Anyone who wants a business or company to grow understands how important employee engagement and workplace collaboration are. And employers use all kinds of tools to improve those factors to increase productivity, effectiveness, and results. One of the most common tools HR professionals and business owners use are personality tests. But of all the available workplace personality tests available out there, which one is the best one to build an effective team?
The workplace can be an interesting place for employees. In some cases, the office can be an exciting space to be a part of, especially when team members collaborate well and trust each other. Then there are the times where our jobs and companies are highly stressful places filled with work politics, disagreement, gossiping, and conflict.
Using personality tests in the workplace is not a new practice at all. Many of us have taken one or two in the past when on a team building, strategic planning, or onboarding meeting with your hiring manager. Some experts place the number of work professionals who have taken a personality test an approximate of around 60% of the current workforce
Using personality tests in your team can bring all kinds of amazing benefits:
It helps you pinpoint areas of strength and improvement.
It creates an avenue of vulnerability-based trust, which makes for more synergetic teams.
It shows company staff ways they can be more productive.
It's a great way to screen job seekers for job and culture fit before putting them through a hiring process.
It helps your team understand each other better and find ways to collaborate more efficiently.
10 Most Popular Workplace Personality Tests
So let's take a look at some of the most popular workplace personality tests that your team should take to create a more effective team.
1. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator, or MBTI, is a personality typology tool used to show people's psychological preference based on four categories—
Introversion or extraversion;
Sensing or intuition;
Thinking or feeling; and
Judging or perceiving.
There are sixteen unique permutations of the personality types that shows how people respond best to circumstances and other people.
The MBTI assessment is completed through an introspective questionnaire that weighs people's personalities based on their responses to hypothetical situations. The assessment is the result of years of study and iteration, although the earliest versions originate from Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. back in 1917. After meeting her future son-in-law, Katharine observed differences between his personality and that of their family members'. The epiphany would start a journey of discovering temperaments and traits that profile a person.
Where to Take the Test
The website 16 Personalities offers both a paid and premium MBTI assessment. Alternatively, you can also sign up to Workstyle.io to discover your MBTI personality and several other assessment results as well.
The DiSC personality test is another of the more popular personality quizzes available to teams today. It measures four attributes, namely Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. You and your team's test results will show the varying levels of the four attributes one would have. Most of the time, one result will stand out the most, and thus be the superior personality attribute.
The DiSC model of behavior first came to life back in 1928 after physiological psychologist William Moulton Marston presented the personality archetypes in his book entitled "Emotions of Normal People.". He sought to create a test that would outline directly observable and measurable psychological experiences.
Where to Take the Test
3. Eysenck Personality Test
The Eysenck Personality Test is an assessment by Hans Eysenck, who was one of the pioneers of personality research. He determined three elements that would affect a person's personality— extroversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism. The latter has been an object of debate across multiple schools of thought given the negative connotation attached to it. But various studies have shown a link between psychoticism and creativity, which could provide useful in jobs that require a level of innovation and artistry.
Where to Take the Test
The test is readily available here.
4. Hogan Personality Inventory
The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) is a great option for test takers from the business community. It helps predict someone's capacity to "get along and get ahead." The inventory quiz is a way of estimating one's ability to succeed in their career, relationships, eduction, or life in general.
The way that the HPI describes people's personality is measuring their strengths, weaknesses, work behavior and leadership capacity when they're at their best. The test has around 200 questions and has been used by over half a million candidates globally. People have been using the Hogan Personality Inventory for the last forty years to help predict employee performance, increase employee retention rates, and improve service. It's a great pre-employment testing tool for HR managers and recruiters.
Where to Take the Test
You can head over to PeterBerry.Com to take the assessment.
5. Keirsey Temperament Sorter
The Keirsey Assessment is one of the more popular career tests today. It spans over seventy years worth of research on human behavior. The model first came out on Dr. David Keirsey's bestselling book, "Please Understand Me®.'. This assessment was designed to help professionals understand their temperament, character, and intelligence and how they impact one's leadership, work environment, team dynamics, learning, careers, and relationships.
The four temperament types according to the Keirsey Temperament Sorter are the following:
Artisans — They have the natural ability to excel in the "art" of an industry. They are optimistic, adventurous, daring, unconventional and spontaneous. Their creativity doesn't only stop with fine arts like painting, sculpting, or music. They can also be artisan-like in their approach to business, politics, sports, or any field that drives their passion.
Guardians — They are considered the cornerstone of a society, driven by service and social responsibility. They have a natural talent for managing and supervising projects, whether it's in the context of their families, communities, schools, churches, hospitals, and businesses.
Idealists — They are obsessed with personal growth and development. Idealists like to discover how they can become the best version of themselves. In its most mature form, this temperament also seeks self-development for others and finds means to become a part of that growth.
Rationals — They love to think and problem solve. Rationals aren't afraid of complexity and uncertainty. They actually thrive in it because they're always discovering a system or process to place order into the seemingly chaotic. Rationals love to analyze how things work and seek to improve how things operate.
To date, over 50 million people from over 140 countries and 18 languages have taken The Keirsey Assessments.
Where to Take the Test
To take the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, visit their official website.
The Enneagram is another typology system that has become widely known nowadays. It's a system that describes human personalities basied on interconnected personality types. The Enneagram assessment is most popular amongst spirituality and business sectors. There are nine Enneagram types, namely:
Reformer — Highly principled but sometimes judgmental
Helper — Generous and sometimes denies their own needs for the sake of others
Achiever — Successful, adaptable, and overachievers that can sometimes become workaholics
Individualist — Innovative and forward-thinking that can sometimes have a sense of self-centeredness
Investigator — Perceptive and logical people who can become unemotional at times
Loyalist — Committed to long term relationships but has a tendency to worry
Enthusiast — Fun-loving and extraverted but struggles to focus
Challenger — Bold, dominating, and confrontational, but has problems with being too aggressive
Peacemaker — Seeks harmony, sometimes at the expense of their own peace
Where to Take the Test
The Enneagram can be found on Truity.
7. Emotional Intelligence Test
The emotional intelligence test, as its name implies, is a way to measure one's emotional stability, especially in high-stress situations and group settings. It asks a set of questions that will rate how high or low your EQ is.
Emotional intelligence has become one of the biggest battlecries in professional development. One study shows that 59% of employers would not hire someone who had high IQ, but low EQ. So having an assessment like this would be a great way to screen job seekers.
Where To Take the Test
As part of Workstyle's 8 personality tests, the Emotional Intelligence is made available to our customers. You can take that assessment and several others by heading here.
8. True Colors
The True Colors personality test is one that assigns test takers a color that best describes their temperament. There are four main colors in this assessment—
- Orange for energetic and charming people
- Yellow for punctual and organized individuals
- Green for analytical and visionary team members
- Blue for compassionate and empathetic folks
The test was created by Don Lowry in 1978 as a way to create four basic learning styles for at risk youth based on their personalities. The unique idea behind the True Colors test is that it does not pigeonhole individuals to just one category and takes into account the effects that environments and communities have on people's personalities. More than a way to study people's personalities, it's also a way to undertsand motivators that one might have to help with interpersonal conflict at home, work, or any other group setting.
Where to Take the Test
You can take the free True Colors assessment by visiting this website.
9. Big 5 Personality Test
The Big 5 Personality Test is the result of a massive study by various independent researchers. It's based on data-driven research that brought life to five broad traits that line up the personalities of people according to the levels of those traits in them.
The first model was created by Ernest Tupes and Raymond Christal based on work they had done at the U.S. Air Force Personnel Laboratory sometime in the late 1950s. Later, J.M. Digman and Goldberg extended the assessment to the level that the Big 5 Personality Test is at now today.
The Big Five personality traits form the acronymn O.C.E.A.N. Here are each one of those traits explained:
Openness is one's willingness and ability to try new experiences and learn new and insightful things.
Conscientiousness measures one's reliability and promptness. This traits might be measured by one's thoroughness and organization skills.
Extraversion is how one gains energy. An extrovert will gain energy from the presence of others and an introvert will gain energy from himself or herself.
Agreeableness is the friendly, cooperative, and compassionate nature in people. It looks into one's ability to empathize with others and then win their trust and sympathy.
Neuroticism can also be considered emotional stability. It's someone's ability to control their negative emotions.
Where to Take the Test
There are many places to take the Big 5 Personality Test. Fortunately, it is also one of the assessments that comes with a WorkStyle license.
The Gallup Group's CliftonStrengths, or previously known as StrengthsFinder, is another well-known personality test. The assessment helps determine the ranking order of thirty-four different themes that describe a certain personality type. The test indicates that these themes can either be strengths or raw traits that one can either develop or improve to access one's greater potential.
One of the aspects that makes ClifonStrengths such a force in the typology sphere is the coaching certification program that helps streamline team and individual coaching and mentoring programs— The Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaching Program. Strengths Coaches also make themselves available to people and teams who want to understand how the synergy of their themes affect both the group and the individual.
Where to Take the Test
You can buy the CliftonStrengths assessment on their official website.
What is the Purpose of Personality Tests in the Workplace?
So now that we know some of the most common workplace personality tests available to teams today, what do we use them for? There's a world of use-cases for personality tests in the work place. Let's look at some of the common purposes of personality testing and how they can bring amazing benefits to your organization.
- Assessing a Job Candidate Pre-employment
In recruitment processes, hiring managers usually look into things like past experience, education, and references, to name a few of the most common hiring decision factors. But what would it be like if a company hired for cultural and employee personality fit? Many times at work, workplace animosity comes not from a lack of competence on the part of some co-workers but because of a lack of workplace chemistry. Determining whether a person will be a good fit with the current team.
- Building Team Empathy and Trust
In his book, "The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business," management and teams expert Patrick Lencioni shares how he once used the Myers Briggs Assessment with one team. At that point, there was one employee that some people in the organization had problems with because of his perfectionism. But during the team building assessment, that co-worker shared his type and explained his personality type. One person in the team said in profound revelation, "I thought you were just being disrespectful to me when you didn’t turn things around until the last minute.”
What happened in that moment? Everyone in the team had a better awareness of their colleagues personality. As a result, it broke down preconceived biases and gave them a reason to trust that person.
Another way that personality tests builds trust is it helps pin point certain soft skills and strengths that their co-employees can lean on in certain situations. When we see people for what they are capable of doing for us and the team, we have more reason to trust them. A personality test can do that for your team.
- Job Performance Assessments
Personality tests are a great way of gauging a team or employee's personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses. That means that they can be good subjective and objective benchmarks for employee job performance evaluations.
Let's say for instance that your company or management team hired someone for a sales role. Certain tests like the DISC assessment, Strengthsfinder, and Myers Briggs can point out traits and themes that they should use to become more effective at their job. So asking them questions like these can make for good self and team work assessments:
- How can you use your personality type to become more effective at your role?
- In what areas of weakness do you need more support from your supervisors or colleagues?
- Which of your team members do you need the help of most to compliment your areas of weakness?
- Organizational Restructuring
There might be times where your existing team might not be working towards its full potential. That could be because you have the right people in the wrong positions. What workplace personality assessments can do is point out which people fit best in what role. That could lead to some organizational restructuring that will make the company more efficient in the long term. This might not always be the best practice, but in contexts where it's applicable, it could be the big game changer that helps your company achieve better results.
How to Use Personality Tests in the Workplace
Around 60% of professionals today are asked to take skills tests. But is it enough to just have your team take a personality test? Like any other practice in business, the more precise we are about how we roll out this workflow, the better the results will be. So here's a step-by-step guide we recommend when using personality tests to boost team efficiency.
1: Decide on A Personality Test(s) You'll Use
The first step to effectively using personality tests in the workplace is deciding which one to use. One workplace personality assessment could suffice, but there's an advantage to using multiple ones too. Each personality assessment has its own fair share of strengths and weaknesses. Using multiple tests helps cover all bases and ensures that managers have a good grasp of their team members' collective and individual traits and how they can add value to the team and company.
2: Be On Guard Against Stereotyping
Personality tests are meant to give someone a screenshot of someone's personality, strengths, and traits. But it was never meant to stereotype anyone. Remember that a person is always bigger than his or her personality test results. Don't limit someone's capability or worth to the results of their assessments.
For instance, if someone show low extraversion in a job that requires great people skills, remember that those weaknesses can actually be turned into strengths. There's a great article from HubSpot that shows the core competencies an introverted salesperson might have, including great listening skills and deeper analysis into prospects and markets.
3: Understand How You Can Maximize Your Traits and Raw Talents
A team's personality assessment results will give managers and leaders a better idea of what their teams can really bring to the table. These personality tests can turn to great coaching points for supervisors so that they can help their team members be at their ultimate best.
Take time to sit down with each team member to coach them on how they can use their strengths to be more effective at their jobs. For bigger teams, assign supervisors to coach team members. It doesn't have to be a long conversation. You'll be surprised at what fifteen to twenty minutes of solid coaching can do to an employee's efficiency. Some great coaching questions to ask them are the following:
What part or parts of your job are you excelling at the most right now and how are your personalities and traits contributing to them?
How can you leverage on your strengths to get better results?
Who in the team can you connect with to help you in your areas of weakness?
The last question leads us to the last step.
4: See How Others Make You Better
At the core of personality assessments is an opportunity to understand, not just one's own strengths, but their co workers strengths and weaknesses too. A great workplace culture is one where everyone gets the chance to be at their best and gain support from colleagues in areas where they're struggling. Schedule team buildings or evaluation meetings where co workers can examine each other's personality traits. Encourage a culture of openness and vulnerability. The best way to do this is to have your senior leaders go first and share both their strong and weak points. Do this with regular cadence and take note of any changes that it brings to your team's performance and work happiness. Almost always, you'll notice that finishing this process will bring massive results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the Tests Accurate?
To say that personality tests are absolutely accurate would be a grave overestimation, much like any medical or psychological measure will have some room for a margin of error. But they are great tools to use to estimate someone's capacity to perform and grow. The insights these tests give employers and leaders can be invaluable even with raw estimates. Millions of people have taken these tests and shared that their results deeply resonate with them. Moreover, they have helped a large majority of those people grow professionally and personally.
Are Personality Tests Fair?
Personality tests are great tools for evaluation when hiring, assessing, or promoting employees. However, it's obviously not the only tool that managers should use in these scenarios. To hire or fire someone simply based on their personality test results is considered stereotyping and can create all kinds of cultural and legal problems for your organization. The best rule of thumb is to always focus on what makes a person a great fit rather than simply focusing on their areas of weaknesses.
Can a person's personalit test results change over time?
The simple answer is no, however it isn't that simple. While people's responses to circumstances can change and their overall habits adapt to the need, there are basic wirings that work at a genetic level. However, people can and should change the aspects of their personality that they or other people around them struggle to cope with. Doing so will make a person a more well-rounded individual and someone that people can work better with.
What are other available personality tests out there?
There is definitely a larger host of tests and assessments out there that you can use with your team. Here are some of our runners up for this list.
Achieving team effectiveness is a great milestone that could help bring a lot of great results to a team, including improve sales, lower team friction, decrease miscommunication, and improve team and individual work happiness. But it's always important to remember that attaining efficiency isn't so much a goal. Because to consider it a goal would mean there would be an end to it. Consider it instead a moving target, always seeking to the next level of effectiveness and productivity after reaching a milestone. There's always room for improvement, and the more your team improves, the more you'll be able to achieve together!