THE CHANGE PEOPLE PATTERN™ – SAMENESS
By Marilyne Woodsmall
As I mentioned in a prior article, nowadays, given the current economic crisis, it is all the more critical to hire the right person for the right task or right job the first time. Doing so will save you time and money and will increase your bottom line. In this light, remember that basing your hiring on traditional resumes and on someone’s appearance is not the best way to know whether a given candidate is best suited for a particular task. This is where knowledge of People Patterns™ can make a huge difference in hiring the right person for the right job.
Knowing how a person thinks and how he or she behaves in a particular context in the execution of a given task is going to be much more revealing as far as competency and suitability are concerned. Also, as I mentioned at an earlier time, the best predictor of future behavior is past history. It is important to realize that it is not what a person says that he or she will do that matters. Instead, it is what the person has done in the past in similar situations that matters. There are critical factors connected to past and present behavior that are revealed through People Patterns™.
Today in the context of personnel and hiring, let’s focus on the first element of the Change People Pattern™: Sameness. There are obviously certain tasks that are much better suited for individuals who are sameness in orientation. In general, any job that involves routine in any way is perfect for a sameness person. These individuals prefer to be in jobs that require them to repeat specific tasks every day. For them,
“No variety is the spice of life” is their tantrum. Sameness people thrive on repetition and will seek it out whenever and wherever they can. Continuity is the key word for jobs that are best suited for sameness people.
Jobs in assembly lines are perfect for sameness people because they require the repetition of a set of specific tasks and which often are performed during the same shifts every day as well. In fact, the sameness element, the ability to consistently repeat a task in the context of an assembly line is critical to creating quality and defect free products. It is no coincidence that the major car manufacturers are located in the mid-west which is highly sameness in orientation. Sameness workers really take pride in their work and in the products and/or services with which they are involved.
Connected to the element of repetition is the notion of job security. Sameness people need to know that their jobs are secure and that there are no changes in their work environment. It is important that their work conditions remain the same. That is why sameness people have a much harder time dealing with new management, or with new rules that break from the routine that they are used to following in one way or another. Management needs to be aware of how to incorporate policy changes or how to present and frame any modification in an aspect of the job that changes the way in which sameness people are used performing it.
Several years back, we had a modeling project with a firm that manufactures self-adhesive labels. Most of the workers in the plant were sameness (and some qualified sameness). When management wanted to impose a new structure called “High Performance Organization” (recommended by some outside consultant) on the plant workers, it was not only poorly received, it was basically rejected by the sameness workers. They couldn’t deal with a change in the way things had been done there for years. The plant was fortunate to have a really competent and intelligent manager with whom we worked who understood the importance of behavioral elements in a management context. And because of his knowledge of the Change People Pattern™, he quickly understood why the new system would not work as presented, given the mindset of the employees.
As well as repetition of task, sameness workers also work best in jobs that involve a regular time schedule. They work best at 9 to 5 jobs in which they take lunch breaks and other breaks at the same time. They also tend to spend vacations at the same time every year or as close as possible to that time frame. If the requisite sameness element is found in their job, a sameness person tends to remain in the same job from 15 years to an entire lifetime.
Another job that is a good fit for sameness people is telemarketing. In a modeling project that we had modeling top telemarketers, the best ones were sameness in orientation (unless they were supervisors, as we shall see at a later time). Repetition of task is important to them as is job security. Basic jobs in bureaucratic structures such as the Postal Service or the DMV are suited for sameness (and also qualified sameness people).
In sales, sameness people will thrive if there is an element or several elements of continuity in their job. For example, if they are selling the same product to the same customer base without change, they will prosper. As long as these salespeople are following a given routine without deviation, they are quite content to remain at the same job for years if they are really happy and in their sameness comfort zone. What I have found over the years is that sameness individuals will instinctively come up with strategies that promote and support their sameness mindset to the tee. They will unconsciously eliminate any “difference” or change factor that may show up in the workplace that disrupts their routine so that they are surrounded by continuity and sameness.
In short, if you a have a job or task that requires constant repetition, and one in which pride in workmanship and continuity are key, then you had better find a sameness person for the job. You will have someone who will be happy doing the same thing over and over again to his or her delight. And you will be happy in the long run, having hired the right employee for your business.
Finally, in hiring, it is not about a particular mindset or orientation or People Pattern™ that is good or bad in itself. It is simply a question of finding the right person with the appropriate Change People Pattern™ to fit the task at hand.
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