Assurity has been a member company since 1997. Learn how they partnered with Continuum to understand preferences in communication and working styles among their associates using the MBTI.
The MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) inventory is one of the most popular and widely used personality instruments, first published in the early 1940s by mother-daughter team Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers. The tool commonly used to better understand personality differences is rooted in the theory that personality type evolves from preferences on how we use our mind and focus our attention on four dichotomies: how we see the world (internal or external), take in information, make decisions, and structure how those decisions are made.
While it may seem there could be numerous random variations, individual behavior actually fits in an orderly and consistent framework of 16 personality types identified from the 93 question self-report assessment. Understanding people differ in what they perceive and in how they reach conclusions offers an advantage to employers who want to correspondingly match employees in their interests, reactions, values, motivations, and skills.
To remain a successful organization in the insurance industry and consistently rated one of Lincoln’s best companies to work for, knowing and building on strengths matters. According to myersbriggs.org, “Type can be introduced into an organization to support many functions and situations including: managing others, development of leadership skills, conflict resolution, executive coaching, change management, and other more customized needs.”
Three years ago, Assurity partnered with Continuum to pilot the integration of the MBTI. It began with the Human Resources team and eventually became an integral part of the new employee onboarding process. It serves as an add-on to their use of the popular Clifton StrengthsFinder that identifies one’s “Top 5” strengths based on 34 talent themes.
Utilizing both instruments ensures meaningful recognition of employees’ unique contributions, and as Susan Becker, Director of Human Resources, has discovered: low turnover, high engagement, an enhanced spirit of inclusion and improved communication in the four-generation workplace. Additionally, they have used the concepts for individual goal setting and performance coaching.
Assurity’s award-winning, state-of-the-art corporate office overlooks Antelope Valley and employs just over 400 people. They have coupled the StrengthsFinder and MBTI personality assessments to maximize personal and professional development and leverage the innate talents of each employee in the organization. Susan explained, “You can accomplish great things with different strengths. By understanding how each person’s preferences and strengths balance out with their colleagues’ there is a greater likelihood to stay in the “balcony” and avoid the “basement” of their strengths.” Her Input theme, for example, drives her to collect information and ideas that can be intriguing but distracting. She has learned from her teammate’s when it is necessary to pare back and focus.
Continuum’s Executive Director, Gail Sutter, a qualified administrator of MBTI since 2000, facilitated a series of training sessions for supervisors to use the MBTI as a tool for communicating with varying personality types and enhance teamwork in their respective departments. As 2014 unfolded, monthly sessions were held for 30-50 associates at a time to complete the instrument, attend informational courses and learn useful strategies for putting the MBTI into collective practice.
Susan noted that while there are positions in the organization that require specific and significant experience, using the Top 5 and MBTI has especially benefited their robust intern development program, since they take pride in promoting from within. Each employee’s workspace displays the individual’s four letter type code and Top 5 strengths. Assurity hosts open forums and training workshops as an opportunity to update employees on company news and promote further insight and practical application of their strengths and Type preferences. To learn more about their services, visit www.assurity.com.