Implementing Personality Tests for Increased Employee Retention - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Implementing Personality Tests for Increased Employee Retention

When you are hiring employees, it can be tempting to bring anyone on to your team simply to meet your labor needs but making sure they are good fit culture-wise can help reduce turnover.

One way to try to find new hires who are best suited for your company is to employ personality tests. While they are by no means infallible, they are helpful in understanding what motivates a person as well as their preferred work and communication styles. Personality tests can help make sure you are putting the right people in roles that play to their strengths.

Personality tests don’t need to be limited to new hires either. Getting to know your own traits and those of your current staff can optimize how you manage your people and interact with one another.

There are a plethora of personality tests available and each has its pros and cons. Finding the right one for your organization may take some trial and error. Check out five of the commonly used personality tests in the workplace.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Probably the most well-known personality test, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) looks a person’s tendencies in these four groupings: extraversion vs. introversion, intuition vs. sensing, thinking vs. feeling and judging vs. perceiving. This results in one of 16 personality types, with their own strengths and weaknesses. This test is a 93-question assessment where a person chooses between two statements.

While it is the most well-known, MBTI’s scientific validity has been questioned over the years. If you do opt to use MBTI, it can be used for individual development, employee development, team development, team productivity and to increase team effectiveness.

DiSC Behavior Inventory

The DiSC personality profile measures four basic traits: dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness. The assessment can range from 12 to 30 questions and is meant to be easy to use and administer.

The DiSC model is designed to help people better understand themselves and adapt their behaviors with others. It can be useful for leadership and executive development, management training, sales training, conflict management, team building, customer services, communication and job coaching.

This specific personality test is used by a number of landscape companies including Milosi Landscape in Tennessee, R&R Landscaping in Alabama, and Hidden Creek Landscaping in Ohio.

“We can raise our game,” says Jason Cromley, CEO of Hidden Creek Landscaping. “Instead of trying to hire for the position now, we’re trying to hire for tomorrow’s position.”

Kolbe Index

The Kolbe Index measures the instinctive ways a person takes action, highlighting their natural strengths. On their website, the publishes say the Kolbe is not a personality test but rather identifies a person’s method of operation. This assessment breaks down the action modes into four categories: Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quick Start, Implementor.

There are two responses for each question. The way you are most likely to act if free to be yourself and the way you are least likely to take. Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape in Virginia uses the Kolbe Index as a tool to ensure they are placing employees in the right positions.

Hogan Personality Inventory

Another test that is used in many industries is the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI). It has 206 true or false questions that have a 15- to 20-minute completion time. HPI evaluates seven primary scales and six operational scales. The primary scales look at key behavioral tendencies: adjustment, ambition, sociability, interpersonal sensitivity, prudence, inquisitiveness and learning approach. The occupational scales measure: service orientation, stress tolerance, reliability, clerical potential and sales potential.

This assessment identifies how a candidate is likely to act in specific circumstances. It is designed not to be invasive or intrusive and can help with staff selection, personal development and leadership.

SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire

The SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire is designed to show how behavior traits influence a candidate’s work performance. This test has 104 questions and assesses 32 characteristics. Individuals choose between four statements which best describes them and least describes them.

Candidates are evaluated in three categories: relationships with people, thinking style and feelings and emotions. The test provides a comprehensive report so it is easy to directly compare job applicants.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.