You’ve probably heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder” before. Working smarter is beneficial to your business. New technologies and business strategies are making it easier than ever before to optimize your workplace and your workforce.

Workforce optimization can be defined as a business strategy that utilizes key business performance metrics and insights in order to get the maximum benefit out of their employees. In other words, workforce optimization is understanding how your employees work and how to leverage their skills to reach your organizational goals.

Assessments are one of our favorite tools for strategically optimizing the workplace. The versatility of personality tests and assessments lends well to various company optimization goals. The behavioral data points generated by personality tests will enable you to make informed decisions for your business. Whether you’re looking to increase productivity, hire the best talent, encourage strong departmental bonds or help your leaders manage their teams, personality assessments will give your company a competitive advantage.

How can assessments help with hiring new talent?

One way you can use assessments to boost the success of your workplace is to use personality tests as part of your recruitment process. Around 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test to determine the personality of their potential new employees.

Created by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, the MBTI assessment categorizes participants as one of 16 personality types. Many well-known companies, including the CIA, have used it in their hiring process suggesting that it’s a highly regarded measure.

It has been reported that 30% of new employees have left a job within 90 days of their start date. One of the main reasons provided for this short turnover was company culture. New employees that aren’t the right fit for a job will eventually underperform when it comes to productivity and role engagement. As a result of this disconnect with company culture, new hires that are a poor fit for your company may be tempted to leave in search of a new job not long after their start date.

Personality tests, such as MBTI, can be advantageous for your business as they help you identify candidates strengths and weaknesses, and how well they will integrate into the team dynamic. Using personality assessments to screen job applicants in the early stages of your recruitment process can improve your selection process.  When using personality tests in their screening process, Amtrak found that 2,000 out of 5,000 applicants were deemed to be a “strong fit” for their organization. Combined with résumé analysis and in-person interviewing, personality tests will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of a candidate and whether they will be a good fit for your business.

Can assessments help you increase employee productivity and engagement?

In their global study, PwC found a better talent fit between employer and employee resulted in a greater return on an organization’s investment in people, unlocking an additional $130 billion in productivity for the 11 countries covered in their report. If personality tests used during recruitment can help you hire employees who are the best fit for your company, what steps can you take to ensure you retain that talent?

Periodically using personality assessments as part of your employee training process or performance reviews could be helpful in improving employee engagement and productivity. Some personality assessment solutions will help you analyze an employee’s emotional intelligence. This insight into emotional intelligence can then be used to develop, manage and motivate employee performance. Research shows that emotional intelligence can have a significant positive impact on an employee’s performance levels and can also boost employee productivity.

How can employee assessments aid leadership development and succession planning?

If you want to stay ahead of the competition then you need to ensure your employees are performing to their full potential. Although employees are hired on the basis of having a certain set of skills, knowledge and ability, it is the employer’s responsibility to further nurture and develop those skills.

You can plan for business success by:

  • Understanding an individual’s inherent capabilities
  • Putting each employee in a role that builds on their strengths
  • Providing targeted developmental opportunities
  • Helping front-line managers coach and motivate

With personality testing, you can understand an employee’s capabilities, motivations and behaviors. Once you know how an employee interacts with others or behaves in certain situations, you can tap into your richest resources and create a tailored plan for professional development based on employee temperament.

Employee personality assessments can also help you decide whether an employee has the right skills required to effectively lead others. The Ignite Leadership Development Program covers the optimal personality traits of an effective leader. This program can be used to help professionals develop emotional intelligence skills and improve their impact, influence, leadership and resilience.

How can employee assessments optimize teamwork and departmental structure?

By understanding your personality and the personalities of the people you work with, you can improve workplace relationships. The DISC profile is a popular personality test for identifying the individual personalities within your team.

Just like individual employees need development, teams also benefit from having support and evaluation opportunities. The Everything DISC Workplace profile includes a comparison report that enables you to compare two employees’ strengths, challenges and relationship behaviors. The findings from this report can then be used to identify potential communication or teamwork roadblocks and solutions to enable those individuals to work well as a team.

When building an optimal team or departmental structure, you’re not going to want each employee to have the exact same personality. Being unique is one of our best assets and with the help of personality assessments, you can build well-balanced teams within your organization. Tech company, Buffer, uses the Big Five personality test to build a more cohesive working team.

Final thoughts on optimizing your workplace with personality assessments

The decision to use personality tests in your recruitment, development and retention programs is entirely up to you. However, it is evident that having a deeper understanding of employee temperament, working style, behavior and capabilities can provide a multitude of business benefits. By acknowledging the potential benefits of personality assessments, you can evaluate different areas of your organization and determine whether incorporating personality assessments into your existing structure could offer a competitive advantage to your company culture and growth.

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick