To use or not to use Personality Profiles

When it comes to business and people development, we believe personality profiles can contribute to a bottom-line building, ROI driving and performance enhancing people development solutions.  Specifically developed to help team members understand themselves and each other, personality profiling tools can support the building of strong relationships that in turn produce high performing teams. But what are the uses of personality profiles and how can organisations really ensure they achieve worthwhile results?

What Is A Personality Assessment?

Profiling tools are widely available for a variety of budgets.  What they all do is assess and compare personality characteristics, tendencies and sometimes traits, often based on self-report questionnaires that contain a range of answer choices. There are also options for other people’s perceptions to feed into the results dependent on the tool used. The results are usually pulled into a report that shows how people are likely to respond, think, act in a range of situations and through this understanding, personal awareness can grow, strengths and limitations become more visible and how people are received by others and how others may have an impact on them, can be explored. This type of information has been known to create real and significant changes to behaviour and therefore team dynamics overall.

What are the options for implementing personality profiles?

There are a few ways to implement personality profiles for individuals and teams. For example, they can be used specifically for individuals, perhaps they are new into leadership roles or have been identified as potential successors for future leadership roles.  This is often a good starting point early in a coaching relationship and is good for developing growth plans for the individual.

A popular option is to use the profiling tool as part of team building or longer term development programme. Involving an entire team in the activity means a common dialogue can form and awareness of differences and similarities across team members can create  ‘lightbulb’ or ‘Aha!’ moments. It also helps to create awareness of team strengths, specialities and gaps both now and for the future so can assist in talent planning.

Our approach often combines both individual and team activity. In the right balance, this can provide both depth and breadth to really shift teams into a higher gear.

How do organisations really benefit?

The benefits as we see it are four-fold:

  1. Increased Employee Engagement

Research has shown that employees with the highest levels of engagement with their organisation are likely to perform 20% better than other employees and are 87% less likely to leave the organisation, clearly showing that engagement is directly linked to organisational performance (to find out more about that, download our whitepaper here). A personality profile can help employees feel recognised, valued and accepted through the insights they receive and are able to disclose (when ready) about what makes them tick, what their triggers are and how they fit with both their team, and the organisation’s purpose and values. The results? Greater cohesion, sense of belonging, higher engagement and strong performance.

  1. Stronger Team Dynamics

When team members and managers understand the motives, tendencies and behaviours of each other, they are able to use this knowledge in the way they interact with each other. Using personality profiles in the workplace creates the opportunity for a more effective dialogue where team roles and responsibilities can be agreed and communication and conflict can be managed well by everyone involved, creating a strong team bond based on mutual understanding.

  1. Increased Productivity Levels

Companies who focus on developing people and strengthening teams to their fullest potential will see an increase in productivity levels. This is because their team learning and individual preferences are linked to how goals can be delivered, and those, in turn, are linked with overall business objectives and performance metrics in a way that works for everyone.

  1. Enhanced Management Skills

The benefits don’t just stop with team members. As a manager, leadership skills can be developed to make those important decisions and communicate them with full knowledge about works well for individuals. So leaders can adapt their styles to make the most of their people. In today’s employment market, it means better employee retention in the long term through strong relationships and as the talent market becomes ever more competitive, this could save fortunes in recruitment and selection costs alone.

A few words of caution

Our overall view is that personality profiling tools work best when used as a lens; a line of enquiry, a way to perceive people and how they interact in the world. They are not a means to categorise, define and place limits on how people resource is allocated. Equally, they are a way to support how teams may use different perspectives to implement new ways of working well together, and not make excuses for shortfalls or poor results.

In addition, a personality profile whilst enlightening for many, may not tell a self-aware individual anything new about themselves. So the purpose of doing this needs to be clear to everyone. Rather than focus on the accuracy of the results and leaving it there, the real learning and return on investment come from the action that follows. Helping individuals understand the impact they have on other styles and finding ways to work more effectively with people who do not share their preferences is the activity that can always be developed. For example, I remember when I first took a personality profile, I discovered the very circumstances that motivated me to work harder were the same circumstances that caused huge amounts of stress for a colleague. Neither of us changed our personalities, but we did understand how best to work together and adapt to support each other. Because we had respect for each other’s strengths and weaknesses we were able to assign tasks that created a dynamic, effective team, where a conflict may otherwise have existed.

So, personality profiling tools can provide ways of opening minds and discussions to deliver high performance provided they are used based on the setting clear goals, measuring the effectiveness of those changes and encouraging people to understand first, communicate well and adapt is the stuff of high performance. Personality profiling tools provide a way of opening minds and discussions to deliver this.

At Organic P&O Solutions, we believe the people within your business are the driving factor for almost everything, from profit and brand image to company culture and productivity. By understanding people, their strengths, their weaknesses and how they respond to different situations, it is possible to build a strong team that will be able to help actively achieve the organisational goals. That’s why we offer bespoke team building sessions, designed to help individuals and teams learn about themselves and each other in a productive environment. For more information about the range of profiling tools we can help with, or to book a team building event, get in touch with us today.