Personality assessments are common in professional settings today. Many employers utilize them to identify potential strengths and weaknesses of employees. Through a set of tools and techniques, these tests evaluate an individual’s behavioral patterns in different situations. There are various kinds of personality assessments in use around the world. The ones usually preferred by workplaces include the following.
- Big Five Personality Test
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
- Personality and Preference Inventory (PAPI)
- DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness) Assessment
Why Personality Tests Are Useful In a Professional Setting?
As an employer, personality assessments can help you gather important data about the people on your team. By getting an insight into their traits and mannerisms, you can have a better idea of where each person’s strengths and weaknesses lie. And armed with that knowledge, you can pick more suitable roles for them and develop training programs accordingly. For instance, someone with a keen eye for detail would thrive in a research-oriented role. On the other hand, an individual who likes to collaborate with others is likely to do well in a leadership position. Personality tests are also good feedback methods. The information they generate can help employees enhance productivity, get along with colleagues better, work efficiently in teams, learn how to handle conflicts, and grow as professionals.
Accuracy of Personality Assessments
For all their value, there is a catch to using personality tests for employee development. Sometimes, the results obtained may be based on an employee’s erroneous understanding of his/her nature, skills, and abilities. They might also assume that the management/leadership is looking for specific traits. This can lead to biased or tailored responses during an evaluation. In such situations, the accuracy of a personality test can be somewhat compromised. How, then, should you go about conducting a personality assessment? For one thing, you need to be empathetic to the needs and feelings of your people. Don’t give them the impression that all their worth will suddenly be dependent on an impersonal evaluation. Or that their jobs will be threatened in any way by the results of this assessment. Instead, introduce personality tests as a fun and light-hearted exercise. Let your employees know how they can utilize the generated insights to improve themselves both personally and professionally. Besides, when done right, a personality assessment exercise can even build trust and improve communication in your organization.
What Personality Tests Are Suitable for the Workplace?
It is now time to get your hands dirty and chalk out an effective personality assessment strategy. Take a look at the following methods deemed appropriate for a professional setting by experts.
- Big Five Personality Test
This evaluation tool gauges the extent to which an individual possesses each of the following behaviors
Considering these five as core personality traits, a person is given a score between 0-100 for each of them. Higher marks in any category indicate a greater presence of that particular trait in an individual. Also, the more a score deviates from 50 on either side, the more dominant that behavior (or the opposite) is perceived to be in a respondent. For example, if someone has a 20 on the extroversion scale but lands in the 50-60 range for the other four traits, then he/she is most probably an introvert. The findings of a Big Five Personality Test are easily transferable to other settings. This is one of the reasons why psychologists frequently use this model while treating/counseling patients. As a side note, an easy way to remember the five traits is to use one of the following acronyms.
- CANOE (Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Neuroticism, Openness, and Extroversion)
- OCEAN (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism)
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) The MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) uses an individual’s responses to different questions to generate a four-letter code. This denotes their personality type and indicates their natural tendencies in the following categories.
- Introversion vs. Extroversion (I vs. E)
- Intuition vs. Sensing (N vs. S)
- Thinking vs. Feeling (T vs. F)
- Judging vs. Perceiving (J vs. P)
A standard profile is linked to each of the personality traits listed above. They indicate what a person with a specific behavior likes to do on the job, what kind of culture he/she prefers, what makes them tick in terms of desire and motivation, what sort of conflict-resolution techniques are likely to work for them, etc. In total, 16 different four-letter codes can be extracted from the results of an MBTI assessment. For instance, a person marked ISTP (Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, and Perceiving) is likely to be introverted, practical, logical, adaptable, adventurous, independent, and quietly analytical among other things.
Through the Myers-Briggs Test, employees can learn how to perform better at their jobs and cultivate more meaningful relationships with coworkers. Thanks to better personality awareness, they are able to understand what traits are stopping them from doing their best work. As for employers, knowing their employees’ behavioral tendencies enables them to develop high-quality and meaningful training routines.
- DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness) Assessment
The DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness) Model focuses exclusively on behaviors in the workplace. Unlike other tools on this list, it does not provide information on usual personality types. Instead, a person’s traits in a professional setting are evaluated to enhance their productivity. When a respondent takes the DISC test, their results are plotted on a graph divided into the following four quadrants.
Focus on results and achievements.
Focus on building fulfilling relationships.
Focus on reliability and dependability.
Focus on quality and accuracy. In this way, employees learn which of these four behaviors are dominant in their personalities. For the best results, researchers recommend sitting together with colleagues after the test to discuss the various strengths, weaknesses, traits, and working styles. This can lead to a thorough understanding of what mannerisms are appropriate for a particular situation. As a personality assessment technique, the DISC Model is fundamentally non-judgmental. It does not prioritize any trait over another. Because of this, the respondents can have an honest conversation about all behavioral tendencies that emerge and how most of them can be vital for organizational success. Making the Final Choice When applied systematically and without any preconceived bias, personality tests can be very useful in the workplace. Employers can use these evaluations to help the people under their command become more self-aware, empathetic, productive, skillful, and competent. However, you should always err on the side of caution when carrying out detailed personality assessments. The slightest hint of a wrong message being conveyed to your people will result in suspicion, fear, disinterest, decreased productivity, and loss of motivation on their part.