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Benchmarking Process, Company News

Speaking to the Styles of Givers, Marchers and Takers with Benchmarking

Oct 2, 2014 4:45:00 PM

The Annual ASAE Annual Meeting and Exposition was another whirlwind affair for the Dynamic Benchmarking team -- full of seminars, presentations, networking and social events. Our feet were tired and our arms were heavy, but we left with our minds racing with fresh ideas fueled by this great event to which we return each year.

This year’s keynote speaker, Adam Grant, touched upon a subject vital to benchmarking, human interaction. In his bestselling book, Give and Take, he asserts that people can be classified into three, distinct styles: Takers, Matchers and Givers. Very simply, takers strive to get as much as possible from others; matchers aim to trade evenly; and givers are those rare individuals who contribute without expecting anything in return. Not only is this information valuable when building and managing teams in the workplace, it can be of great assistance in helping you create and promote an effective benchmarking study.

While benchmarking studies are rarely conducted face-to-face, there is still a significant amount of human interaction at play. How the study is promoted and delivered; how questions are structured and grouped; and how the audience participates and responds to the results are all interactions that can be affected by subtle, and not so subtle, changes in communication style.
Benchmarking surveys offer excellent opportunities to meet the needs of all three workplace styles. Givers needs are met when they are able to share their knowledge and expertise and take satisfaction in knowing that they’ve contributed to the greater good. Takers appreciate the abundant data that’s delivered as a result of the study, and Matchers are motivated by the balanced nature of benchmarking where they can both give and receive information. 

Chances are, your audience will be composed of Givers, Takers, and Matchers, so when promoting your survey be sure to:

  • Show how easy and convenient it is to share data
  • Target your survey to an audience of experts on the information you’d like to collect
  • Communicate the benefits of both giving data and receiving results 

By covering these three, key messages at the start, you should touch upon what motivates each of these three personality types and ensure strong participation in your next benchmarking study.