Have you ever wondered how some employees manage to do the same thing day-in and day-out without flinching and with speed and consistency to boot, while others start to get fidgety after working on the same file for more than an hour?
Welcome to the world of the Patience drive, or as The Predictive Index calls it: the drive to have consistency and stability in one’s environment.
When managing people with different levels of patience, the key is understanding that while most employees are likely to want to perform a job well, some employees literally just get bored faster than others.
Knowing how to balance the variety of tasks given to each employee can mean the difference in having a list of successful projects or a dozen of uncompleted tasks.
Managing High-Patience Employees
You’ll know you’re dealing with a high-patience employee when he or she exhibits comfort in the routine or even predictable tasks. They love sticking to the “game plan” and take satisfaction in executing each play with extreme accuracy.
For the high-patience employee, it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is because they know they’re expected to bring the same quality of results Monday through Friday. On the flip side, they don’t fare very well with sudden changes so shielding them from it is best to keep them from being thrown out of sync.
Sure, they can handle more work as much as anyone else, but like adding milk to flour, it’s best to introduce additional tasks smoothly and in small amounts, giving them enough time to properly incorporate each new one into their daily routine.
Tips for Managing High-Patience Employees
- Create a game plan (and stick to it!)
As mentioned, high-patience types operate best when given not only a clear direction, but realistic expectations, as well.
- Avoid rapidly changing priorities
It’s best to set the direction now before locking in your high-patience employee to execute. Multiple changes down the road only disrupt focus at that point.
- Avoid sudden changes in environment
Chances are your high-patience employee already feels broken-in and comfortable in your office. Repainting the wall is one thing, but an unnecessary shift in the floor plan can throw them off their game. Think along the lines of “If it ain’t broke, don’t move it.”
- Recognize their loyalty
High-patience employees seek long-term affiliation and security when it comes to their employment standing and is likely to stick it out with you for the long haul.
- Surround them with a caring and supportive team
Like most people, they seek affirmation in the things that they do, especially if it is done routinely, meaning they want to know they’re producing the right results over and over again.
Managing Low-Patience Employees
On the other end of the scale, low-patience employees don’t crave the stability and consistency at all. If anything, they actually much prefer things to be dynamic and fluid instead of fixed and unchanging.
At work, they can be seen as more of the “doers” with everything about them being quick–their thought patterns, the speed in their speech, or their willingness to be thrown right into the mix of the action.
In an event of a change, a low-patience employee will quickly and happily adapt because really, anything that brings a bit of variety to the picture is a welcome addition to their day-to-day life at work.
Tips for Managing Low-Patience Employees
- Give a variety of assignments
It’s important to note that for low-patience employees, variety is key to staying productive. Don’t just give them one type of task to do, but rather a few of varying natures to keep them engaged.
- Provide them flexibility to choose tasks
As fast-paced as they work, low-patience employees are likely to want a change of pace every now and then. So it’s also important to give them complete freedom to bounce around their list from one task to another.
- Check on the quality constantly
One downside of working too quickly through things is running the risk of sacrificing quality. As a manager, just make sure to check the quality of work often in case they might have skipped past a step or two.
- Keep them mobile
Unlike their counterparts, a low-patience employee sees their constantly changing environment as motivating when it comes to doing their work. Think of putting them in an open office instead of cubicles, or issuing them laptops instead of fixed computer workstations.
- Avoid routines at all cost
To a low-patience employee, routines are merely a work-rut. Avoid falling into the comfort of “set it and forget it” when giving them tasks to do. Know that they thrive the most when balancing multiple priorities and keeping up with tight schedules. Giving them an environment where they can exercise this can prove to be beneficial not only for them, but also for the entire team.
Interested to know your Patience drive? Take the FREE Behavioural Assessment Test from The Predictive Index so you can find out for yourself. Fill out the form below to begin.
Together with tailored trainings and workshops, resource materials, and expert consultation, Red Wolf Group provides a full-circle talent optimisation approach that can help businesses and teams of all sizes understand workplace behaviours better.
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