Personality matters when it comes to training staff


Workers are more inclined to absorb work training if it is tailored to suit their “learning personalities,” according to a study conducted psychometric consulting firm SHL.

Based on information collected from 90 workers in Britain who were questioned after receiving training, SHL says workers’ learning styles vary; some have “variety seeking” preferences, meaning they prefer more flexible and sociable learning, while others have “analytic” or “decisive” learning personalities.

One way in which the distinction matters, according to SHL, is in whether staff will be best suited to receive training in a classroom style format or by “e-learning”. Variety seeking types will thrive in the classroom environment, stimulated by a trainer and their co-workers, while analytical types will tend to prefer the guided, step-by-step style that usually comes with e-learning.

The upshot? A mix of different methods of training delivery will help ensure the information gets through to as many staff as possible.

“SHL has found that a combination of interactive classroom learning and e-learning that embraces web 2.0 technology creates a balanced training program. This approach caters to different learning personalities and takes the best from both formats,” spokeswoman Samantha Hickey says.

Here are Hickey’s top four tips for employers developing a training program for staff:

  1. Consider the personality and learning styles of your employees: Different personality types learn differently.
  2. After the course, take an interest in what your employees have learnt: Employees gain more from their learning when managers and employers discuss the training and how it will be applied in the workplace.
  3. If you are considering an e-learning program, review what it offers your staff first: Making sure e-learning is dynamic and interactive, provides feedback to staff and comes with support.
  4. Blended learning can offer the best of both worlds: A combination of online and face-to-face appeals to a broader variety of people.

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