Is Personality Profiling at Work Helpful or Harmful?

Do’s and Don’ts of Personality Profiling at Work

Are you part of the 13% of American businesses utilizing personality profiling at work? If so, are you using these tests to their full potential or are the results holding your staff back?

Learn the do’s and don’ts of administering and reading personality tests so you can learn about your employees’ morals, motivating forces, and temperament for a successful and efficient work environment.


Do’s of Personality Profiling at Work

Be transparent

Inform your employees of what a personality test is evaluating, what you plan to do with the results, and what they can expect from the experience. Employees may be concerned the results will affect their career. Put them at ease by explaining that results will be used to help further their career by gaining insight into ways they prefer to learn, work, and interact. The tests will likely help in choosing workshops and providing other development opportunities that benefit them most.


Encourage honesty

Building trust at work is a team effort. While some employees may enthusiastically and truthfully answer each question on a personality test, accept that some may skew their answers, either on purpose or involuntarily. Encourage honesty by being transparent and honest about the purpose and intent of a test.


Remember that results are subjective

The results of a personality test are far from guaranteed. There are many variables, including how the testee interpreted a question, how the maker of the test determines results, and what the results mean to you. Think of results as a general direction to head in instead of a step-by-step map.


Make sharing optional

Employees should never be forced to share their results with their employer, department, or coworkers. Instead, personality tests should be provided as a tool that employees can use to spark motivation and gain clarity into their future. Rather than requiring public sharing of results, encourage employees to discuss in small groups so they can gain additional perspective. The true benefits lie in colleagues learning more about each other and finding the best ways to support and work with each other.


Don’ts of Personality Profiling at Work

Choose just any test

There are dozens of personality and aptitude tests to choose from. Don’t just choose the first you come across or the one with the lowest price tag. Instead, take the time to research several, looking for one that matches your industry and purpose for testing. If you’re testing several different departments, you may need more than one test.


Use test results in poor taste

Personality profiling at work should never be used to determine promotions, demotions, cuts in responsibilities, or career trajectory. Only an employee’s actions should be used to influence decisions on the future of their careers. Instead, focus on showing employees how to interpret, learn, and grow from their results.


Share test results without permission

If employees do decide to share their results with you, never share them with others without permission. Posting personality test results in the breakroom or other public space should never be common practice. Make sure employees know that their results will always remain confidential.


Bottom Line

Personality tests can help you create a harmonious and productive work environment. But they can also cause friction and suspicion. Remember to be transparent about the purpose of personality tests in the workplace and encourage honesty and discussion around the results. When properly administered and interpreted, personality profiling at work can help employers and employees alike.


If you do not have an HR partner, Tandem HR is happy to help you with this process. Give us a call today at 630-928-0510.

Tandem HR is an IRS Certified Professional Employer Organization (CPEO) providing hundreds of businesses with high-touch and custom HR solutions. We provide payroll, benefits, risk management, employee relations, and much more.