Six Ways Personality Testing Can Boost Your Staff Retention

Losing even one employee can be a huge loss to your business. Not only do you lose a valuable pair of hands, you potentially lose a chunk of experience that’s difficult to replace. Productivity declines, and morale may take a hit across the wider workforce, especially if you are left understaffed. These factors can have devastating effects on everything from leadership to service quality and of course, the bottom line.

Still, what can you do to keep employees?

Here are six ways that a simple personality assessment can help you make sure your employees stick around for the long term.

#1: It puts people in the right jobs

We’re not suggesting that you screen potential hires through the 16-type indicator – this is unhelpful, since there’s no evidence that someone’s personality will predict how effective they will be at their job.

But allocating tasks that are well-matched to people’s strengths is an important factor in reducing employee turnover. Employees who are repeatedly misaligned to their work role don’t stay, according to research commissioned by LinkedIn. The mismatch is costly since you’re looking at a $20,000 to $30,000 cost burden every time you have to replace someone.

Personality assessments cuts the disconnect. It lets you see the world through your employees’ eyes, so you can give them exactly the tools and environment they need to work better, play to their strengths, and not feel that the grass is greener on the other side. If a project requires high attention to detail across a series of routine tasks, for example, then it makes sense to allocate the project to people who can not only perform the tasks, but will be very satisfied in doing so. People whose day-to-day matches up with their personality and skill set have far lower stress levels, leading to higher long-term retention.

#2: It values the individual

With personality testing, employees can gain a candid, holistic view of who they are, what makes them tick and how they fit into the culture of the organization. This self-knowledge is a valuable tool for making staff better able to cope with their jobs and create happiness for themselves.

Suppose, for example, that your star employee’s job involves networking with large crowds of people, but she has always felt out of her depth performing this job function. Knowing that she is introverted can help you both understand why she feels so anxious and give her strategies for managing the situation. It helps your employee to stop feeling powerless and start working with her natural capabilities. If an employee repeatedly feels uncomfortable about her performance, she's more likely to begin searching for something else.

#3: It allows you to create individualized training programs

If you want motivated employees, then offer ample opportunities for growth. That's the conclusion reached by Gallup, who found that "opportunities to learn and grow" is a top factor in retaining staff, especially millennials. Your people want to succeed, not merely survive – and they’ll switch companies if they’re not getting ample opportunities for growth.

For managers, it pays to be proactive when it comes to opening conversations about career growth. Employees are rarely swayed by generic training courses that don’t fit their personal aspirations and learning style. Rather, they want targeted development that drills right into their specific needs and career goals. Personality assessment allows you to personalize the learning experience according to someone’s career motivators, whether that’s stretch projects, acquiring new skills, or finally getting tenure of the plush corner office.

#4: It makes people feel accepted

When companies use personality testing to improve communication, organization and cooperation in a team, they’re also setting up the individual towards greater self-fulfillment. It’s plain hard to get people working together, but as team members begin to gel, they each start to feel more valued for the perspective they bring to the table. They feel that coworkers "get" them.

As an employee, one of the biggest anxieties is invisibility; the feeling that no one would notice if you didn’t show up one day. Personality assessment lays a new foundation of acceptance, respect, belonging and peer praise – these are powerful motivators. When people choose to stay in organizations, it’s because they have built strong personal connections with the job and the team.

#5: It helps you to create a tailored rewards’ program

When the demand for talent is high, employees often can raise their salary by 10 or 15 percent simply by moving to a new company. Jumping ship is tantalizing to those who are motivated by money. But if you reckon that people are in it solely for the paycheck, well, that’s not the key motivator for most people.

Personality assessment gives you the framework for looking beyond money and creating the right program of rewards based on an employee’s individual motivators. Flexible working conditions, greater autonomy, a better job title, development opportunities, management responsibilities, the chance to do good in the world, or even a free lunch – these are compelling perks for those that find motivation in these things. It’s obvious that people who are rewarded appropriately are more likely to stay.

#6: You can manage better

People quit their bosses, not companies. If you can manage in a way that makes everyone feel supported and understood, you'll already be ahead of most other managers out there.

Of course, one person’s bad boss is another’s inspirational leader. It depends on whether the manager’s style is in sync or out of step with her employee’s operating values. How you get in sync starts with understanding someone’s personality. Knowing whether someone prefers freedom, trust, clear processes, “just the facts,” praise, competition or playing devil’s advocate will help you to communicate within their own frame of reference and give them exactly the type of support that they need, when they need it. It provides a shortcut way to be a positive role model and connect with your team.

Summing It Up

People work in companies because they like them. If they’re not getting what they need from their organization, they will leave. If they are feeling checked out and undervalued; if they see nothing ahead but two decades of going through the motions until quitting time, then they will shop around until they find somewhere better. This knowledge is key for optimizing employee satisfaction and longevity.

A simple personality test like the Typefinder helps you to know your people deeply. It gives you the insights you need to do everything you reasonably can to create a work experience that matters to everyone, and you can make sure that people feel happy and engaged at work. You can stop them leaving and by doing so, help your business to thrive.  

Jayne Thompson

Jayne is a freelance copywriter, business writer and the blog editor here at Truity. One part word nerd, two parts skeptic, she helps clients discover the amazing power of words on a page. She lives with her ENTX husband and children in Yorkshire, UK, where she drinks a lot of tea and loves winding people up. Find Jayne at White Rose Copywriting.

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THE FINE PRINT: Myers-Briggs® and MBTI® are registered trademarks of the MBTI Trust, Inc., which has no affiliation with this site. Truity offers a free personality test based on Myers and Briggs' types, but does not offer the official MBTI® assessment. For more information on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® assessment, please go here.

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