The driving force behind workplace behaviour is hard to decipher, even for the most empathic of people. We humans often struggle with seeing things from other people’s perspectives.

This could be why so much of a manager’s time is wasted on trying to resolve workplace conflict (some report spending up to 2 full days per week trying to resolve interpersonal conflicts in their teams).

blog-01Our general inability to see past the visible behaviour of employees and to look into what really drives them, often leaves even the most experienced of managers and HR professionals stranded.

Imagine the scenario: In spite of forming a fantastic impression of your new employee during the interview and hiring him or her on the spot, 6 months down the line, the person you now have on your team most definitely does not seem like the person that you gave the job to.

That’s because behaviour is adaptable and fluid. We don’t always behave in the way that we are naturally inclined to.

Consequently, if you hire someone solely based on your impression in that given moment without an insight into their inherent behavioural characteristics or knowing what they really have to offer, you’re risking unhappy team members, dissatisfied customers, and another black mark on your interview record of hiring suitable people.

This is where a behavioural assessment can give you confidence and save you time in the long run. It can help you see past the external behaviour of your employees and job candidates, and see who they really are.

Assessment is not about putting people in boxes or stereotyping employees to make it easier for managers to categorise them in annual appraisal. Behavioural assessment is about understanding who the person in front of you really is, and what motivates, informs and drives the behaviour which you experience externally.

Typology-based personality assessments and personality tests have dominated mainstream HR and organisational decisions. However, when it comes to measuring the dynamic of personality, behavioural assessments are growing in popularity for a number of reasons and have a few key differences compared to standard typology-based personality instruments:

  1. Behavioural assessments analyse personality traits, not personality types. They look at the blend of characteristics within a person and how these characteristics motivate behaviour.
  2. Behavioural assessments measure the combination of traits in your personality and paint a unique picture of what motivates your individual behaviour and reactions to the world around you.
  3. Behavioural assessments provide the why behind workplace behaviour, not just the what of personality type assessments.
  4. Workplace behavioural assessments often give in-depth information about how to manage and work with an individual’s motivating needs, rather than simply highlighting the personality type.
  5. A good workplace behavioural assessment gives you an insight in how a person is adapting his behaviour to the demands of their environment, and what the results of these adaptations are on his performance.

A behavioural assessment in effect is a system which is used across all areas of leadership, strategic planning and human resource management, not just in the recruitment and selection process.

In fact, a well-validated and scientifically credible behavioural assessment is an effective way to gain insight into the less obvious personality traits and psychological motivating needs of an individual and can help managers and HR professionals to develop a greater understanding of the hidden drivers behind workplace behaviour and performance – in turn improving productivity and employee engagement too.

A well-validated behavioural assessment should be designed to assess team-orientation, communication preferences, leadership and management styles and core personality traits which inform workplace behaviour and motivation.

Behavioural assessments can be used in the development or selection process in business, as well as to analyse and improve employee engagement and motivation. A growing number of businesses around the world use psychometric behavioural assessments on new or potential employees, and many forward-thinking organisations have integrated this kind of assessment into their management programs too.

The results of a behavioural assessment give managers and leaders a much clearer idea of how potential employees will fit the requirements of a vacancy or role, as well as the culture of the organisation. It’ll also deliver information on what motivates productive behaviour in the individual and how best to manage and nurture his or her potential.

Have you taken a behavioural assessment before? Do you use assessment data for recruitment and selection? 

Leave a comment below to share your opinions and experiences – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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