Personality Still Matters

John Krautzel
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Businesses increasingly use various personality assessment tests during the hiring process to determine whether a job candidate is a good fit for their workplace culture. Personality assessment tests can be a valuable tool to avoid hiring someone who looks good on paper but is unlikely to mesh well in a given environment. However, the value of these tests doesn't stop at the moment of hiring. Here's how to use them to maintain a productive workplace.

Provide Motivation

Employees are more productive when they're excited about their work, and personality assessments can help managers understand just what is likely to motivate a given employee. Why hand out tasks and projects at random when a little careful thought can get employees truly excited to come in to work each morning? Use personality assessments to determine which employees are most productive working independently and who is excited about getting up in front of a group to give a presentation.

Encourage Teamwork

Teams don't work well when everyone on the team has the same skills and personality, and personality assessments can help you determine how to assemble your project teams. Ask questions of existing employees and refer back to personality assessments done at hiring to determine whether bringing a new person on to a team is likely to be a good fit. Avoid assigning multiple strong leaders to the same project and, on the flip side, make sure your project teams don't all consist of natural team players who are unlikely to step up to take a leadership role.

Prevent Employee Turnover

No employer wants to waste time, money and effort training an employee who is going to end up leaving the company out of dissatisfaction or improper fit. Pay attention to what motivates your employees, and don't dole out rewards on a one-size-fits-all basis. Instead, offer incentives and rewards that are specifically keyed to each employee's personality.

Resolve Conflicts

Workplace conflicts are almost always the result of personality conflicts between co-workers. When conflicts arise, as they inevitably do, step back to consider the employee personalities involved. If possible, refer back to personality assessments done at hiring to see if you can understand what's motivating the different people who are in conflict. Doing so can help you mitigate and resolve conflicts and find a way to return the workplace to its normal state of full productivity.

The personality of your employees not only makes them a good fit for the company upon hiring, it also determines what projects each employee is excited about and effective at and how employees work together. Increase workplace productivity and decrease employee turnover by using personality assessment tests as a valuable tool not just during hiring, but also as an element of your day-to-day management.


Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at



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