How to Use Personality Testing to Improve Employee Engagement

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Are you an introvert, a yellow or a D? Those are some of the terms that describe people’s personalities as measured by common assessments. Employers can use personality tests to gain insight into how employees prefer to process information, make decisions and interact with one another. The most common personality tests used in HR settings include:

These assessments break personalities down in different ways: some, such as DISC, have as few as four outcomes, while the Myers-Briggs assessment yields 16 categorizations. Whatever the result, these designations can help provide employees and company leaders with valuable insights about the organization.

Better Management Decisions

The most important factor in how productive and engaged an employee will be is the relationship to his direct supervisor, Tremblay says. Personality assessments can give managers valuable information about their employees and how to best motivate and communicate with them.

“For example, if an employee is task-oriented, as a manager, I won’t delve into personal conversations,” Tremblay says. “They aren’t comfortable talking about their personal lives, so I will make a connection based on the quality of their work. If an employee is relationship-oriented, then I will get to know them a bit more personally. I will ask about their family or their outside interests and share a bit of mine, too.” Developing these relationships with employees in ways that play to their preferences is a critical factor in engagement, Tremblay says, and managers can match the employees’ personalities to build the most rapport.

Leaders who understand their teams’ strengths and can communicate effectively with them will be able to achieve goals more easily, says Ray McKenzie, founder and principal consultant of Red Beach Advisors. “By using behavior and personality assessments, a leader or manager is able to understand the strengths of their team and areas of improvement for others while placing their team in the right position for success.”

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