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 not only on interests and talents but also on 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 own preferred part.
You can create a more unified team by conducting personality assessments and analyzing the responses. Here are four tips to get the best results using employee personality tests.
Use science-based personality assessments
In another Business News Daily article, we identified common personality assessments for employees. The top six include the DiSC Assessment, Myers-Briggs (MBTI), Predictive Index (PI), Five-Factor Model of Personality (FFM), Occupational Interest Inventories (OIIs) and Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs).
According to Daniel Freschi, president of leadership development company EDGE, the best personality assessment is the FFM, which identifies one's openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism (OCEAN). Using it, 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, etc.
"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, according to Keisha A. Rivers, founder and chief outcome facilitator of The KARS Group Ltd., it's not always necessary to have them complete such extensive assessments. Instead, you can start with something simple, like SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), then ask how and when they work and think best, what type of environment they prefer, etc., she said.
There is no right or wrong – and you want your team to know that before taking these 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," said Rivers. "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
It's your job as the leader 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," said Rivers.
Play to strengths
When you get the results of the assessments, you want to recognize 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," said Rivers. "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."