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How Personality Tests Can Help Build Productive Teams

How Personality Tests Can Help Build Productive Teams

The majority of big businesses use personality tests in one way or another. This may be done to pick the top candidates or to aid in enhancing team and individual performance. The Myers-Briggs personality test and the Five Factor Model are two examples. How truly helpful are these evaluations?


Over the years, personality tests have consistently outperformed job-related ability tests as indicators of employment performance. In this essay, we'll talk about a few popular tests and examine their reliability and practicality.


Myers-Briggs Type Indicator's reliability

Because of how intuitively it classifies behaviour categories, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) continues to be one of the most widely used personality tests for businesses. Researchers have identified the five types most likely to obtain high salaries, positions of responsibility, or to run their own business. Sage has put together an excellent summary in this infographic.


According to the MBTI, each personality is a combination of four dichotomous categories. A person's preferred ways of thinking and working are revealed by combining these categories.


The assessment is simple to comprehend, quick to complete, and self-administerable.


Unfortunately, there isn't enough evidence to prove that the MBTI is accurate while continuing to be popular. It has a low test-retest score (i.e., the probability that someone taking the same test five weeks later will have the same result), which ranges from 0.42 to 0.78, with 0.8 being the minimum allowable number. Psychologists have disputed the idea that personality traits are continuous rather than binary ever since the theory's inception.


Different models

Fortunately, there are MBTI substitutes. The Predictive Index (PI) quantifies a person's percentage of extraversion, i.e., someone may be 43 percent extraverted, rather than placing them in one of two dichotomous groups, such as extravert or introvert.


The PI was created specifically for "occupational and organisational populations" and has been used extensively over the past 50 years. It primarily assesses degrees of dominance, patience, and formality, which are qualities deemed advantageous in the corporate world.


A team of dominant and extraverted individuals will make quick judgments up until they disagree, at which point there will be tense arguments and a halt to activity. However, having too many members of one personality type can be harmful.


The Adaptiv Resilience Factor Inventory, another commonly used tool, places more emphasis on determining a person's level of empathy and resiliency. By measuring how well a person might get along with different types of people, this exam may be able to help teams stay balanced. Sadly, there hasn't been any independent research done to back up the reliability of this test.


The Big 5

The Five Factor Model (FFM), sometimes known as the "Big Five personality traits," is currently the hypothesis that has received the most empirical support and may be used by businesses to predict employee success.


The FFM did not begin as a method of personality assessment; rather, it developed over many years as several psychologists discovered common personality features among individuals from various cultures and backgrounds. The following categories are used to classify these stable and (partially) inherent traits:


  • Originality

  • Consolidation

  • Extraversion

  • Accommodation

  • Need for Stability


For instance, originality measures a person's tolerance for the unknown; those who score highly on this scale frequently exhibit inventiveness and curiosity, while those who score poorly are frequently unoriginal and traditional.


Importantly, ratings are scaled rather than assigning a label to a person. Additionally, unlike the MBTI, it does not integrate the outcomes of the five categories into predefined kinds. The FFM merely aims to provide a broad overview of a person's most prevalent tendencies because it is aware that personalities can vary over time and in response to various circumstances.


That said, some detractors claim the FFM's categories are too wide or that it cannot accurately assess certain characteristics (such as a person's realism).


Are personality tests best discarded altogether if they are ambiguous?

To be successful, a business needs a variety of personality types. Employees who are outgoing and creative are great for boosting morale and coming up with fresh, unique ideas for the company, but without more focused people to keep them grounded, these ideas might never come to fruition.


Therefore, even though assessment improvement is still required, it's still crucial to understand potential hires and how they might interact with others. Naturally, there are alternatives to standard tests for determining a candidate's aptitude, including interviews, problem-solving exercises, and team-building exercises, all of which are increasingly employed in conjunction with personality assessments to offer insight.


To explore how people react to diverse work-related events without the bias of self-reporting, modern personality evaluation is actually showing signs of evolving to incorporate more entertaining methods of measurement, including games or simulated scenarios. Though the jury is still out on the usefulness of these assessments, recent research reveals that "play style" correlates with personality as a kind of behavioural assessment. The best way to measure effectiveness is on a case-by-case basis. A word of advice: don't accept everything the test provider says!


The FFM continues to be the most trustworthy and thoroughly tested tool for organisations to use to forecast employee behaviour, despite the ongoing development of new theories and testing techniques.