What is the effect of personality — in terms of team personality composition — on business affairs and decisions? Is it critical only when it comes to social interactions within the workplace? Probably not. That’s why personality assessment tools and techniques are important when hiring; and when you’re making critical business decisions. In a similar fashion, a personality assessment arsenal may also prove invaluable when used for team building and employee development purposes.
But what is the effect of individual personalities — as defined — on a business, as a whole?
The effect of employees’ personality traits on business
If you’re not yet convinced as to the difference team personality composition is likely to make on your business’ future, you should take a moment to consider the effect of unethical business practices. Unethical business practices do not always follow a top-down flow, but are diffused within teams. And the latter may not always be a matter of a single individual — or more than one — spurred to act on their own best interests. Behaviors such as mistreating coworkers, neglecting guidelines and not conforming to fundamental — already agreed upon — rules and accepted behaviors within a team, may also be a matter of personality traits. And when these traits take shape in damaging or destructive behaviors and actions as described, they’ll gradually hurt your team’s consistency and your business’ future, as a whole.
The same is true when it comes to desirable behaviors and actions. In that case, it’s the positive traits of your employees’ personalities that have — fortunately — found a breeding ground. That is a tribute to the way you practice management, as well the culture you probably cultivate. And it’s this alignment that allows said employees, with said traits, to become agents of positive change, within your company.
Now, the question worth answering is “How can you separate the wheat from the chaff for your business’ sake?”
Put another way, how can you identify personality traits in your team and your employees, in general, so as to drive progress forward? Well, personality assessment tools help make a good start. Read on, to find out more as to how you can make the most out of them.
Making a shift from subjective personality assessment practices, to objective ones
If you think about it for a minute, you probably already assess personality — in some way — within your company or your organization. That happens every time you conduct a 360-degree feedback session. Even if you don’t name it that way. And that’s when peers, line managers and direct reports provide feedback, with respect to an employee’s overall performance. You probably do that for all of your employees — or most of them — during performance reviews. Their feedback is usually focused on subjective areas, such as teamwork, communication, behaviors and their impact, as a whole. And it’s this sort of profiling you unofficially conduct, from time to time, that is indicative of a person’s overall contribution to the success of your business. And, though it — first and foremost — helps evaluate an employee’s overall performance, it also helps reveal personality traits, as well.
Still, personality evaluation may become more objective, with the help of scientifically-created personality assessment techniques. An additional benefit is that these techniques help conduct assessment in advance. That is to say, when you cannot refer to observations from colleagues; as it happens during hiring, for example. And by doing so, during the recruitment process — as in other cases — you manage to develop a better understanding of your employees. Which is true for both those already in and those about to join your company.
4 ways personality assessment tools help your business
The benefits of using personality assessment tools and techniques in your company are countless; as long as you use them wisely. And, by wisely, we mean using the right tool for the right purpose.
In what follows, we’ll give you an overview of four different ways your business can benefit from assessing individual personalities:
Identify personality traits to improve motivation and job performance
The relationship between personality traits, motivation and job performance is evident in various cases. There are traits that serve as predictors, as to whether employees will be driven by self-efficacy motivation or not. Employees with confidence, for example, are highly likely to believe in their own capabilities and their ability to complete given tasks. Less confident employees, on the other hand, tend to doubt their ability to produce the desirable results and, thus, set lower goals.
In a similar fashion, high scores in traits such as agreeableness, may serve as indicators that an employee will probably do their best only with respect to their in-role performance. That is to say, they’ll be highly likely to focus exclusively on tasks related to their job description. Thus, based on how you value initiative, you may choose candidates accordingly.
Evaluating personality traits helps improve team effectiveness
Team personality composition is, undoubtedly, critical to a team’s performance. Personality traits such as trustworthiness, honesty and dependability affect how well the team members will coordinate and interact with each other. With the help of personality assessment tests, team leaders can identify strengths and blind spots within their team; that’s so as to improve collaboration, increase the collective learning they achieve and the overall performance of the team.
Using personality assessment during hiring so as to promote innovation
When innovation is a “sine qua non” of your organization, then it is of paramount importance to make hiring decisions; so as to build a diverse team. And, by diverse team, we don’t mean diversity only in terms of skills, background and demographics. Personality diversity is also important, when your focus is on driving innovation forward. How? Well, it helps improve problem-solving and decision-making processes within your team. When different voices and multifaceted approaches are communicated, this may help widen your team’s perspective; and also bring balance. Put another way, you’ll probably get stuck on one-dimensional type of perspectives.
In a similar fashion, it is also important to look for innovative qualities in your hires. Among other things, you’ll need to look for personalities that tend to approach solutions creatively, are receptive to new ideas and have visionary insight. And your quest will be much easier with the help of personality assessment tools. Such tools will help you evaluate candidates and identify the ones that possess the required qualities.
Evaluate personality traits to support leadership effectiveness within your organization
There may be cases when you’ll need to assign a new — perhaps demanding — role to one of your employees. In a similar fashion, you may be in search of hiring a new manager for one of your teams. It goes without saying that, to choose wisely, you’ll need to identify the desirable traits and competencies. In particular, you’ll need to look for candidates — whether new hires or candidates from your team — that score high in competencies such as assertiveness, emotional stability, consciousness and steadiness. In a similar fashion, you’ll need to evaluate their ability to inspire and motivate; as these are critical for a person to take on a leadership role.
To make successful choices, you may use personality assessment tools and, more specifically, leadership assessment tools that help evaluate said competencies and traits. This way, regardless of whether you’re hiring or promoting, you’re likely to choose the ones who have the potential to become effective leaders.
Evaluating personalities during recruitment is probably the most common application of personality assessment tools. And that’s because they help identify personality aspects you might miss if you conducted a more conventional screening process. Such tools are equally effective when used for additional business purposes. To elaborate, getting insights into employees’ personalities is also important for improving collaboration within teams. These tools help highlight the desirable qualities and traits; and to also uncover personality-related barriers that may lead to future challenges.
In a similar fashion, personality assessment tools are also critical when used for decisions related to leadership assignments, for similar reasons. All in all, by using scientific tools to assess personalities in a systematic way, you get all the information you need to create action plans and strategies, so that you effectively help individuals — and whole teams — make real progress.