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Grow Your Business Your Team

How to Use Personality Tests to Unify Your Team

image for RawPixel/Shutterstock
RawPixel/Shutterstock
  • Choosing the right personality test can make a difference in helping you build teams with complementary personalities and skills.
  • Honesty in tests can lead to a positive work environment.
  • Playing to strengths can help you build a better team.

As a leader, you want your company's culture to be as positive and efficient as possible. A major part of this is ensuring that every employee is in the role best suited for them, based on not only interests and talents but also personality.

For instance, an introverted worker might want a more independent position, while an extroverted employee might enjoy collaborating with others. Knowing what works well for each person helps unify your team, with every member doing their preferred part.

You can create a more unified team by conducting personality assessments and analyzing the responses.

Personality tests can be tailored to fit just about any environment. Personality tests that are geared toward offices are created to see how people react in certain situations that might occur in the office. A business personality test might ask test takers how they would respond in a group project situation, how they would deal with a troublesome co-worker or how their personality affects their work style.

Some personalities simply do not work well together. Such personality clashes can lead to stalled projects, workplace tension and even fighting. Using a personality assessment will allow you to build teams based on the personalities of individual team members, leading to far more compatible teams. This type of testing also lets employers better understand their employees and get to know them better, which, in turn, can improve workplace productivity.

Here are four tips to get the best results from employee personality tests.

Use science-based personality assessments. In another Business News Daily article, we identified common personality assessments for employees. The top six are the DiSC Assessment, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, The Predictive Index, the Five-Factor Model of Personality (FFM), the Occupational Interest Inventory and situational judgment tests.

Daniel Freschi, president of leadership development company EDGE, said the best personality assessment is the FFM, which identifies a person's openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism (OCEAN). Using this test, Freschi said, you can learn who is likely to cooperate with team decisions, who is more competitive and likely to go against the grain, who is talkative and assertive, who is highly organized, and who has strong impulse control.

"We often provide an assessment whenever we start a new engagement because we are joining a team," Freschi added. "This allows us to understand where we will find synergy and where we might bump into one another."

However, Keisha A. Rivers, founder and chief outcome facilitator at The KARS Group Ltd., said it's not always necessary for employees to complete such extensive assessments. Instead, you can start with something simple, like SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and then ask how and when they work and think best and what type of environment they prefer, for example.

Encourage honesty. There are no right or wrong answers on personality tests, and your team should know that before taking the assessments. No one should feel pressured to give a specific answer or feel that they might be penalized otherwise.

"The key is to frame the questions in such a way as to encourage honesty in the responses," Rivers said. "If your team members see it as a way of judging or categorizing them instead of a tool to develop them and assist in their growth, then they may not be as forthcoming and the results won't be accurate."

Maintain a positive culture. As the leader, it's your job to promote a healthy company culture. Doing so will set the expectations for the rest of your team, and the supportive environment allows personality assessments a better chance at thriving.

"Using personality assessments works best in an organization where the overall culture is one of growth, development and team building to achieve outcomes and goals rather than a competitive one focused strictly on hitting the numbers," Rivers said.

Play to strengths. When you get the results of the assessments, identify patterns and similarities among employees so you can cater to their talents and interests.

"Effective team building is based on understanding the people in the room and equipping them to be able to work more cohesively together," Rivers said. "Using personality tests are a great way to identify tendencies, behaviors, ways of working, problem-solving and communicating. The more you understand how the people in your team work, the better you can cultivate a culture that enables them to avoid issues."

Grouping employees who you know will work well together is far better than throwing people together and hoping they will work things out. Business personality tests can help you build teams with complementary personalities and skill sets.

Taking compatibility into consideration can help to reduce personality clashes that lead to delays in work. It also can help to fill all of the unique roles that the project requires and move your projects along. By taking the time to create teams based on how people respond in certain situations, you can be more confident in your employees and their work.

Business News Daily Editor

Business News Daily was founded in 2010 as a resource for small business owners at all stages of their entrepreneurial journey. Our site is focused exclusively on giving small business advice, tutorials and insider insights. Business News Daily is owned by Business.com.