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Finding the perfect match
Constructing the perfect team: Understanding workplace personalitiesThere’s no doubt that you can look around the office and point out personality distinctions among your employees or colleagues: Bill’s very efficient, Sarah always has great ideas and Jerry really enlivens the office.

Similarities and differences among workplace personalities are the foundation of any organization. For a business to function like a well-oiled machine, it requires a variety of personalities that complement and challenge each other.

A well-rounded workplace
Though it’s a good idea to maintain current screening methods, properly implemented personality testing can be instrumental in reducing the risk of hiring, eliminating interviewer biases, diminishing turnover and assessing leadership readiness.

While there are many different varieties of personality tests to choose from, the two most popular tests are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) and the DiSC® Dimensions of Behavior(1). The MBTI assessment, given more than 200 million times in the United States annually, identifies 16 main personality types based on four personality factors(2):

  • Where you focus—Inwardly (Introversion)or outwardly (Extraversion)
  • How you inform yourself—Relying on facts (Sensing)or feelings (iNtuition)
  • How you decide—Objectively (Thinking) or sensitively (Feeling)
  • Method of handling information—Evaluating quickly (Judging) or keeping options open (Perceiving)

Similarly, the DiSC theory, a personality profile based on an individual’s active or passive actions in various environments, has proved quite valuable for 4imprint.

Case in point
4imprint customer Tamela Moore focuses on basic personality awareness using the True Colors© system, classifying employees by the colors orange, gold, green and blue. Moore’s Accomplish Moore program puts personalities at its core to asses why individuals act the way they do in workplace and team settings.

“I have discovered that it is so important for people to understand why they do what they do,” said Moore, who has witnessed increased productivity, improved communication and camaraderie as a result.

Moore also uses Mood Magnets, imprinted with her logo and website, during her personality workshops as well as Coaster Weights as thank-you gifts.

Who’s who in your office?
So how do you implement a personality test? Begin by researching the type of test that would best serve your business based on the factors you want to measure and the accuracy and effectiveness of the source. Hiring a professional to administer the test assures maximum validity.

To get your current employees interested about the new program, it might be beneficial to host a staff development day. Start out by administering the test, and then have some fun with the results.

  • Give your employees colored lanyards or name badges to match a personality type. Create a simple system to denote which color stands for which type—that way you can use any method of testing.
  • Supply each staff member with an inspirational paperweight inscribed with their traits to remind his or her colleagues how they perform the most efficiently.
  • Thank your staff for their participation and all they do by giving a motivational gift, like the book, Expect Success, which features universal words of wisdom.

Personality tests can be useful methods to not only choose a well-rounded staff, but also to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses to ensure productivity. To learn more about how they can impact your business and working relationships, read our related Blue PaperSM: Cracking The Personality Code.

(1) Ropella, Patrick B. “Understanding Workplace Personalities.” Pharma & Bio Ingredients. Ropella & Associates. 19 Nov. 2008 <http://www.pharmabioingredients.com/articles/2007/02/understanding-workplace-personalities>.

(2) Storm, Paula, and Susann DeVries. “Personality Psychology in the Workplace.” MLA Forum 5 (2006). MLAForum.org. 15 Dec. 2006. 19 Nov. 2008.

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