Is it possible to know too much about your employees? When and how to use workplace personality tests

Tuesday January 24, 2023

Companies often make personnel decisions based on academic achievement, professional qualifications, performance and general rapport of an employee.

Increasingly, though, personality testing is becoming a tool of choice for people management. Is it something you have considered? Is it universally a good thing? We dig a bit deeper to uncover the benefits and pitfalls of personality testing.

What is workplace personality testing?

Personality tests, which come in many forms, attempt to profile individuals based on psychological traits and types. These drive behaviour, motivation, communication and such like.

So understanding any employee’s personality in this technical sense can help show how naturally suited they are to a role, or how to manage them most effectively. It is important, though, that personality tests are interpreted by qualified people.

Some common tools assessing personality types are:

  • Myers-Briggs (MBTI)
  • DiSC Profile
  • Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI)

Some common tools for assessing personality traits are:

  • Psytech 15 Factor Questionnaire Plus (15FQ+)
  • The Saville Wave
  • SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire
  • Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)

What are the benefits of personality testing for your organisation?

There are undoubtedly many benefits to conducting personality testing in the right context. It can help with:

  • Motivating staff – by giving insight into what makes them tick (and what doesn’t).
  • Conflict resolution – where people repeatedly at loggerheads can learn to understand their differences based on personality and develop ways of accommodating them.
  • Management and leadership development – equipping current and future leaders with new skillsets to face the challenges ahead.
  • More efficient and effective communications – as your whole organisation comes to appreciate different communication styles, such as where brevity or detail is called for.
  • Identifying key job attributes – like drive, energy and resilience which are important for some roles.
  • Staff retention – through providing engaging and meaningful learning and development.

Preventing People Problems

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