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British employees are more American than they think, a study has found

The research has found that the UK has a significantly higher & lsquo;influence’ frequency than those across the pond in the US. High influence people tend to be positive, communicative, friendly, more verbal and likely to share personal feelings. These behaviours are stereotypically seen as & lsquo;American’, meaning the old adage of the & lsquo;British stiff upper lip’ may no longer ring true.

The PPA assessment tool provides an indication of a candidate’s likely behaviour at work. It measures four factors – Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S) and Compliance (C), which largely mean (D) Drive (I) People (S) Pace (C) Policy. Those completing the PPA assessment answer a series of questions, the answers to which indicate their profile or characteristic working & lsquo;style’. All respondents will have a lead factor is their most pronounced preferred working behaviour.

This latest research also showed a significant shift in & lsquo;dominance’ as the lead factor in the UK with a 17% decrease noted across the last seven years. & lsquo;Dominance’ led profiles, often seen as the working preference of entrepreneurs, tend to have a fear of failure and are motivated by power and authority, and more importantly, results. This notable shift in preferred working style could suggest that as a nation, we are now less assertive, competitive, direct, driving or & lsquo;self-starting’ than before the recession hit, with a gradual decrease in the number of & lsquo;dominance’ led profiles since 2011.

Contrastingly, previous research from Thomas, showed that our next generation coming into the workforce from schools across the UK has twice as many & lsquo;dominance’ led profiles than the current working population. David Cameron famously said in 2010 that the UK would “trade its way out of the recession” as part of its & lsquo;Entrepreneurs Everywhere’ drive, however, this data suggests that if we are to do so, it is more likely that our younger generations are the ones with the working style preference to make this happen.

In addition, the research showed that the UK working population has a significantly higher number of & lsquo;steadiness’ led profiles than the US, and these profiles have increased by 5% in the UK working population between 2007 and the first quarter of 2014. This means since the recession, workers prefer to be more amiable, systematic, dependable, thorough and tend to be good listeners.

Martin Reed, CEO and Chairman of Thomas International, said of the latest findings, “Known for both our pessimism and cynicism here in the UK, it seems that we’re a lot friendlier than we think on this side of the pond! However, it is also true that our working behaviour will to some extent reflect our working environment, and the economic climate during this time period is undoubtedly a huge contributing factor. After the recession, more structures will have been put in place to reduce risk, and the results actually show peaks of compliance in both the US and the UK after 2008.

“The insight this research gives us can help to give a better understanding of our workforce and how it maps against the current Government’s desire for economic growth. Businesses would do well to use this wisely if they want to get the most from their employees, both now and in the future. It is the next generation that we can see are set to be more entrepreneurial and less-risk averse and businesses need to make sure the right structures are put in place to take advantage of entrepreneurial flair.”


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