Have you noticed different motivational strategies are effective at inspiring some team members into action but, have little to no impact on others? For example, Susan in accounting may be motivated by the recognition she receives from a small award that symbolizes her accomplishment, whereas Rasheed in research, may increase his productivity if more time off-work was presented as a reward for his increased results.
It can frustrate the best of us to see opposing results after applying the same efforts. However, it’s completely natural. And when it comes to corporate team communication this pattern is better understood with a knowledge of psychometrics — also known as personality index types.
Personality indexing cuts through the static, pushing your leadership team to connect better with their employees and generate more productive results. As an executive coaching tool, personality indexing can increase your team’s performance levels and bring in meaningful results. For a clearer understanding of personality testing and how it can boost your enterprise’s value, keep reading.
Or, to jump-start your team’s performance immediately, connect with Adam Kreek.
Why Personality Indexing for Your Business?
Why is it a struggle to hire, engage, and retain top talent? Why do groups struggle to work together effectively? Why is it so difficult to coach and motivate employees to drive harder to achieve business goals?
These are all questions you’ve probably asked yourself before.
Personality tests are useful tools to help you manage better, lead better, make better hires and engage employees more effectively. After taking a test you will know yourself, your colleagues and potential hires. When used effectively, personality tests can increase the likelihood of a successful, new hire, increase the likelihood of strong team culture, and increase the likelihood of business performance.
With a good personality indexing program you can reduce risk while also increasing the effectiveness of:
- Hiring and selecting unknown candidates
- Equipping managers to drive results
- Conflict reduction measures
- Culture building programs
- Career path development
- Employee onboarding
- Designing company reorganizations
- Strong teams
- Succession planning
- Internal promotions
On average, 55 percent of a company’s costs are related to hiring and paying employees. So, why not use a system that is validated by science to better craft your company culture?
- Half of all new business hires fail within 18 months. If you save one bad hiring decision for an employee who is paid $70,000 per year, your ROI is between 2x and 5x the annual cost of hiring an executive business coach.
- By increasing your employee engagement investments by ten percent, you can increase profits by $2,400 per employee per year.
An organization that uses personality tests will establish a common language to frame identity and build trust through effective communication. On the surface, you will start the assessment by reading your score but finish with a deeper understanding of yourself and the others you work with.
Risks of Personality Indexing
However, there are real risks in personality assessments. And the devil is in the details. Like humans, personality tests are nuanced. When using a personality test for business performance, you should pick one that is scientifically validated and measures character traits that are directly related to business performance.
Personality assessments are not destiny. People can create workarounds to deal with natural tendencies. What this tool does is to create a best guess as to how someone will perform in their job.
The best leaders do not behave the same as one another, nor do the best police officers nor the best salespeople. While excellent performers in a certain role will achieve the same, excellent outcome, it turns out that the styles and methods for delivery vary from person to person. Excellence at work is always idiosyncratic.
A common criticism of personality tests is that the results are determined from self-reporting by employees or potential employees. However, research shows that people tend to fill out these reports honestly – and even when they do it does not affect the ranking of top individuals anyways.
All said, if you know the benefits and the risks, you can use personality assessments to make better hires, be a better leader and increase engagement.
|PROS of Personality Indexing for Business||CONS of Personality Indexing for Business|
|Employers can see how a candidate may fit into the team and company culture.||Employers assess a candidate’s fit based entirely on test results.|
|Managers can use results to better understand how to better communicate with and provide feedback to employees.||Managers can lean too heavily on the test results and miss out on important communication opportunities.|
|Personality tests provide a relatively unbiased, consistent means of assessing candidates and employees.||Not every candidate or employee may take the personality test seriously and/or not have the capability to fill the test out to the best of his or her ability.|
|Personality tests look into what a candidate will do in a given situation, versus what he or she has done.||Companies may administer the wrong personality test for the wrong situation.|
|Personality tests can be fun for candidates to take, and can boost self-awareness and job satisfaction.||Personality tests can be costly and time-consuming for companies, candidates, and employees alike.|
What is Personality Indexing?
Personality indexing is a type of psychometric testing that measures and quantifies personality traits. They are the modern-day version of personality tests. Personality indexing allows us to review and understand why we interact with others the way we do, as well as glean insight into our personality strengths and weaknesses.
The information obtained from a personality index screening can be used to better understand individual personality and further our journey towards self-actualization. Leadership executive’s that encourage self-actualization processes through team coaching services often find improved work ethics and productivity are achieved.
Examples of regarded personality indexing tools include:
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
- Enneagram Testing
- Big 5 Personality Traits
- The Predictive Index
Each tool varies in methodology, delivery, interpretation, and structure but all are designed to better further self-awareness and the collective understanding of the people that make up your teams. Each test has a certain overlap with one another and can deliver effective results.
The graphic and table below attempt to find similarities between the different psychometric tests listed in this article.
The Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment
Developed in 1955 by Arnold Daniels, the Predictive Index (PI) is today’s top personality testing resource used by executives and organizations to determine how best to manage employees. Based on scientific research and backed by psychologists, the PI testing system explores four key drivers and divides individuals into 17 different personality types.
- Dominance is the drive to exert influence on people or events.
- Extraversion is the drive for social interaction with other people.
- Patience is the drive to have consistency and stability.
- Formality is the drive to conform to rules and structure.
Objectivity is also measured and is the degree to which an individual prefers objectivity when processing information and making decisions.
These four key factors—or key behavioral drives—provide a simple framework for understanding your employees’ and candidates’ workplace behaviors so that we can see beneath the surface and predict how people will behave in given situations.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The mother-daughter team that developed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in 1956 after decades of research, personnel management had a desire to help bring women into the workforce. Based on their own observations as well as the work of esteemed psychiatrist, CG Jung, the two created a questionnaire that identifies sixteen different personality types.
Like other personality indexing theories, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has four dichotomies, from which the remaining fourteen personality types are derived. Originally known as the MBTI test, the test has become the basis for several personality testing products available today, including the 16 Personalities Test and Cattrall 16 Personalities Tests.
Four dimensions of personality are measured:
- Where does your energy come from? Introversion, will being alone with ideas light you up, or Extraversion, will being with other people or processes light you up?
- How do you process information? Sensing, do you need the facts? or Intuition, do you follow your gut instincts?
- Where are your decisions based? Thinking, are you more level-headed in your choices? Or Feeling, are you more empathetic and consult your personal values when making choices?
- How do you organize your life? Judging, do you like rules and deadlines? Or Perceiving, do you embrace being spontaneous and flexible?
The Enneagram of Personality, which provides the theory for Enneagram testing, divides human personality traits into nine categories and allows for connections between each category. This circle of connected traits, whose development is largely credited to the work of Oscar Ichazo, is referred to as an enneagram.
Enneagram testing is directed more towards personal growth and spiritual development than leadership enhancement and productivity. While not often used by organizations for human resource development, the Enneagram Personality test is useful to encourage self-actualization and value discovery.
The personality types are:
- Reforming Perfectionist
- Helping Giver
- Achieving Performer
- Romantic Individualist
- Investigating Observer
- Loyal Skeptic
- Epicurean Enthusiast
- Challenging Protector
- Peacemaking Mediator
DISC is a personality test anagram that stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. Endorsed by leading executive coaches and influencers, such as Tony Robbins, the DISC personality test is designed for achieving both personal and professional growth.
Developed initially by Dr. William Marston — who also created the comic book character Wonder Woman, the DISC theory was further developed and honed by Walter Clark in 1956. Today, the DISC test is still relied upon for developing solutions to leadership and managerial challenges.
The DiSC model discusses four reference points as they exist over two spectrums – introversion/extraversion and task/people orientation:
- Dominance – direct, strong-willed and forceful
- Influence – sociable, talkative and lively
- Steadiness – gentle, accommodating and soft-hearted
- Conscientiousness – private, analytical and logical
The Big 5 Personality Traits
Commonly known as, “The Big 5,” the Big 5 Personality Trait theory goes by multiple monikers, including:
- The Five-Factor Model (FFM)
This theory of personality was established by University of Chicago psychologist Donald Fiske in the ’40s, then further developed in subsequent decades. Personality traits are broken into five sections:
- Openness to Experience
Each personality trait exists on a spectrum between two extremes. For example, neuroticism represents a continuum between extreme sensitivity and nervousness and extreme confidence. In reality, most of us lie somewhere in between the two polar ends of each dimension.
Longitudinal studies suggest that our big five traits are relatively stable throughout adulthood. One study of working-age adults found that personality displayed little change in the face of adverse life events, and traits tended to stay stable over a four-year period.
Studies also show that maturation impacts the five traits. As we age, we tend to become less extraverted, less neurotic, and less open to new experiences. Agreeableness and conscientiousness, on the other hand, tend to increase as we age.
History of Personality Testing
Human behavior has baffled and bemused the human race since time immemorial. The first known system used to classify personality traits dates back to Ancient Greece and one of the first psychologists, Aelius Galenus, who was part of the medical theory of humorism popular at the time. The great philosophers broke down the different types of personalities into four categories, each connected to one of the four physical humors, blood, yellow-bile, black-bile, and phlegm.
The four personality traits of the humorous philosophy are called temperaments and are classified as follows:
Sanguine. Sanguines are extroverted, enjoy the company of others and are highly energetic. This is connected to the blood humor.
Melancholic. Those with melancholic personalities have a strong connection to the black-bile humor. Melancholic people tend to be deep thinkers, detail-oriented, and are typically introverted.
Choleric. Choleric individuals are achievers, goal-oriented, and are highly energetic. Their personality traits correspond to the yellow bile humor.
Phlegmatic. To have a phlegmatic personality means to be connected to the phlegm humor and have an easy-going and relaxed nature.
While the theory of the four temperaments was the accepted belief for about 2000 years, at the turn of the twentieth century, the field of psychometrics gained momentum. Early use of personality testing was adopted by the American military as part of their recruitment process during the First World War. In 2020, the US Army still uses personality testing as part of their enlistment and placement process. However, the modern version of a personality test looks much different from its original counterpart.
Personality theories put forward by Carl Jung and Isabelle Briggs-Meyer during the 20th century led to the personality testing strategies used today by psychologists, employees, and individuals. The purpose of the personality test is to understand different traits, create stronger work cultures, as well as to incur valuable insight into individual personality styles.
Why Personality Indexing Works for Businesses
Leaders who employ the use of personality indexing as part of their team development or personal growth strategy, discover benefits that help improve their work environment and leadership skills. They are useful tools for creating cohesion and unity within an organization.
As a leadership team, it’s important to invest in the personal development of your team members and employees. When we invest in the individuals that we’ve chosen to be with us as we reach the next milestone, achievement, or growth goal, we increase the value of our enterprise.
When used as part of an executive coaching strategy, professional personality indexing can generate an ROI of over two hundred percent and improve productivity by eighty-six percent. Additionally, employee satisfaction and company loyalty are increased for individual employees.
Bring Success to Your Team with Personality Indexing
Your team’s performance cannot succeed without effective collaboration and communication among team members. Develop a coaching strategy that includes personality testing as an effective way to generate active connections, unity, and industry success. Kreek Speak Business Solutions has executive coaching skills that mid-level managers and executives will benefit from and get results.