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How personality testing can help develop your employees


Are you familiar with the ways personality testing can create a positive work environment? And are you aware of the fact that personality tests can even help develop your employees and drive employee productivity? It’s true, personality tests help in several ways.

How personality tests should be administered to employees

As described by the Center for Management & Organization Effectiveness, it’s important to be sensitive to your employees’ needs and feelings if you intend to administer personality tests. There are various reasons why you should take this approach. Not only might your employees be concerned about how the results might be used, but they might also have many questions about the personality test you select.

For this reason, you should inform your employees of the advantages of the test – of which there are many. You should make sure your employees go into the personality test fully informed of the benefits, and then you’ll want to go a step further and ensure they know that the results of the test will not be used against them. 

One other thing – to administer personality tests to employees, let your employees know that your organization values cultural diversity within teams and that personality testing will help all stakeholders and employees get a better understanding of this.

How personality testing for employees helps them improve

We mentioned that there are many advantages of personality testing for employees. If no other benefits are coming to mind, and you want to inform your employees of the advantages, here are some of the ways that personality testing for employees helps them improve.

1. Makes developing training programs simpler, which helps employee development

As soon as you have the results of your employees’ personality tests, you will be able to develop a comprehensive training program with ease. It is simpler because personality testing for employees gives you an insight into their strengths and weaknesses. From this information, you will therefore be able to put together a training program that targets the potential weaker areas of your employees.

2. Facilitates the process of choosing a mentor

Given that having an understanding of personality and temperament is important when matching a mentor and mentee, personality testing for employees is the logical step to take before you assign your employees with a mentor. Because once you’re equipped with the knowledge of how your employees learn best, you can match them with the most suitable mentor who will use the best approaches to support them. 

3. Gives you an understanding of how your employees communicate best

Communication is key when it comes to employee productivity and development, and personality testing for employees can help you understand more about the communication methods that work best. Do your employees prefer a hands-on communication style or work best with frequent communication from management or senior employees? Do they work best with certain communication tools? 

With the results of a personality test, you will improve workplace communication (in line with your employees’ preferred style of communication), drive productivity, and help your employees develop their skills. 

4. Helps your employees become more self-aware of their abilities

Personality testing for employees will give them a deeper insight into their abilities and weaknesses. In a similar way to reaping the benefits of personality testing for training, your employees can use the results of the tests to their advantage. For example, if an employee knew they found working as part of a team a challenge due to their introverted personality style, they could either:

  • Work towards improving their communication, or 

  • Find tools to make working as part of a team easier

Or, say an employee is looking to become a leader within your organization. Being self-aware of their limitations might lead them to:

  • Seek particular training programs that are ideal for leadership positions, or

  • Develop leadership knowledge by shadowing a leader within their organization

Which personality tests can you use to develop your employees?

Personality testing for employees requires reliable personality tests, but because there is a large range of tests available, which ones should you choose? Here are four personality tests that you can choose from.

The 16-types personality test

The 16 types personality test is one of the most popular personality tests used by organizations across the globe. One reason for this is that personality testing for employee development is much simpler with the 16-types personality test.

It works by providing your employees with a questionnaire used for self-evaluation purposes. The answers given by your employees contribute to the personality category they fall into – which will be one personality type from the 16 possible categories in the spectrum.

To use it for employee development, you can use the tips provided by the test, which are related to aligning your employees’ personality types so they work efficiently together and learn from each other.

There are other ways to use the 16-types personality test for employee development too. Here are a few ways to do it:

  • With insights into how your employees make decisions, you might encourage them to tackle certain challenges with a different approach.

  • If you’re aware that an employee is more of an introvert, you might use this knowledge to encourage them to approach team members for support.

The Enneagram personality test

The Enneagram personality test is a reliable, objective personality assessment based on O. Ichazo and C. Naranjo’s personality theories and models. Using the Enneagram test is one way to ensure personality testing for employees runs smoothly and efficiently.

As with the 16 types personality test, an Enneagram personality test (referred to as the ‘nine types’ personality test) also provides you with advice and tips into how your employees best communicate with others. These tips can be used in your and your employees’ favor because, as we’ve mentioned, communication is vital for employee development.

But, as well as the useful tips provided by the test, here are two key ways personality testing with the Enneagram test can help your employees develop:

  • Use the results of the test to predict and prevent personality compatibility issues, which might stand in the way of employee development. If you know your employee falls into the type 1 category, for instance, you might avoid pairing them with a type 3 personality type, who might find that working alongside a perfectionist personality delays them. 

  • Setting up the right training opportunities in line with the particular personality types can aid employee development. For instance, if you have a type 1 employee (also known as ‘The Perfectionist’), you might include time management in your training programs to help them develop.

Learn more: Most common enneagram types

The DISC personality test

Based on William Marston’s behavioral model, the DISC personality test gives you and your employees a greater insight into their behavior and personality traits. With the DISC personality test, your employees can fall into 12 potential personality profiles, which include Dominant, Influential, Steady, and Conscientious types.

Using the DISC test makes employee development a breeze for various reasons. Here are a couple of ways you might use it to contribute to your employees’ development:

  • Setting up the right mentor for your employee is easier. You can strengthen your mentee’s abilities by pairing them up with a mentor with the ideal personality type, which will, ultimately, lead them to improve and develop their skills.

  • The DISC test will inform you of the main challenges that your employees might face in the work environment. Being aware of these challenges will help your employees adequately prepare, develop their skills and strategies for tackling these challenges, and achieve their goals more simply.

The Big 5 (OCEAN) personality test

The Big 5 (OCEAN) personality test categorizes your employees’ personalities into one of the 5 personality types once your candidates have carried out the self-evaluation. It’s particularly useful for employee development, and the main way it can help develop your employees is by predicting the areas they might need to work on.

You can also use the Big 5 (OCEAN) personality test to develop employees by:

  • Using the results to evaluate team dynamics and ensure team collaboration is efficient. For instance, if you have an employee with a low agreeable personality score, you might avoid placing them in a team with various employees who have a high neurotic score to avoid a clash in personality types.

  • Knowing that your employees exhibit certain behaviors in the workplace, you might offer them feedback to contribute to their development or avoid certain approaches to their projects or tasks. If your employee has a high neuroticism score, for instance, you might provide feedback that encourages them to plan towards challenging, high-pressure tasks.

Drive productivity and employee development with personality tests

Personality tests are handy assessments that ensure you get the right insights required for employee development. They can strengthen your employees’ self-awareness – leading them to challenge themselves and develop skills in their weaker areas.


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