What is the best personality test for the workplace? We’re big fans of utilizing personality assessments to better understand the communication preferences and dynamics of our team. But what’s the best personality assessment for your team, and how do you decide between the many options that are available?
In this post, we’ll compare four of the most popular personality tests for the workplace, including how they work, what your team will get out of them, costs, and other logistical considerations.
The Benefits of Workplace Personality Tests
Every employee, coworker, colleague, manager, and business leader is different. We all have different strengths, weaknesses, and communication styles. These differences make a team dynamic and adaptable, but they can lead to misunderstandings and even conflict if everyone’s differences and preferences aren’t known to the entire team.
Say you’re a high-energy, bubbly personality who (occasionally 😅) forgets to use their indoor voice. If you believe everyone on the team is just like you, you might alienate the more shy members of your team, which means they may try and avoid you. This could feel like a slight, and the more often you feel ignored, the more resentful you’ll be. Why does everyone seem to have a problem with you? Why is everyone so rude? Over time, this could lead to disengagement and apathy towards the work and the team.
Workplace personality tests help us understand ourselves and the people around us. We’re not saying they’re a perfect science, but they do help us facilitate conversations that delve into who we are, how we respond to certain situations, and what makes us tick. They help us put our habits, values, and communication preferences into words.
The most effective, efficient, and happy teams understand each other’s strengths, weaknesses, work styles, and communication preferences. They know how to communicate, delegate, and collaborate effectively because they know and trust each other. Workplace personality tests facilitate this mutual understanding. When you understand who your team members are and what they value, you can support and motivate them more effectively, utilizing differences to make the team stronger.
How to Choose the Best Personality Test for the Workplace
The DiSC personality assessment helps identify personal preferences, tendencies, and patterns of behavior that you may or may not already know about yourself. Contrary to some other personality tests, DiSC specifically evaluates how you behave at work. Because of this, some of the results you receive may seem contrary to what you know about yourself. If you’re spontaneous and impulsive in your personal life, you may be surprised to find out you’re more steady and grounded at work.
DiSC is broken down into four main types. You will receive a score for each type, and, in most cases, one of your scores will be higher than the rest—this is your dominant personality type at work. That said, it’s important to note that you are not just one or the other; you are a combination of each of the four types, with a primary, secondary, and tertiary preference.
The four DiSC types are Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.
Those who score high in Dominance are usually very competitive and love the thrill of a challenge. They are goal-oriented and want to be recognized for their hard work, and they generally prefer to be the person in charge. They are natural leaders, self-sufficient, and quite confident. They prefer direct communication and can frequently be critical of other people. Because of this, others may see a Dominant person as blunt, bossy, and controlling.
Those who score high in Influence are usually extraverted, charismatic, energetic, and optimistic. They’re very interested in getting to know people, forming relationships, and making friends. They genuinely care about other people’s feelings, which makes them natural people-pleasers. This is both good and bad, as while these qualities make them well-liked and friendly, they may shy away from direct communication out of a fear of conflict.
Those who score high in Steadiness are usually calm, patient, and understanding. They like routine and handle repetitive tasks with dedication and an attention to detail. These people want to be helpful and enjoy providing assistance, especially if they’re close to the person they’re helping. They tend not to improvise; they will listen closely to instructions and do the job as directed.
Those who score high in Compliance are usually diplomatic, detail-oriented, and adaptable. They usually avoid risk and choose caution over impulsiveness or spontaneity. They like clear instructions and tend to follow the rules, so they prefer to work in an ordered, stable environment.
Everyone you work with, and you included, is a combination of these four characteristics, which results in 12 distinct personality types.
The best DiSC personality tests are completed as a group, and each team member’s scores should be discussed openly. Schedule a date when your entire team can participate in the DiSC test, and leave plenty of time for discussion. Is anyone surprised by their results? Which two people on your team received the most similar results? Who on your team are complete opposites?
These insights are extremely beneficial to teams and businesses as work can be delegated more effectively according to each person’s strengths, and team members will now understand why they’ve struggled to communicate with other team members in the past.
The cost of DiSC personality tests is also an important consideration. While you can complete DiSC assessments for free, they won’t be very thorough. DiSC assessments can cost anywhere between $24 and $100 per employee.
📚 After completing our own research, the Blue Summit Supplies team landed on DiSC. Learn more about Why We Chose the DiSC Personality Test.
The Enneagram is a type of personality test designed to help people better understand their own personality as well as the personalities of those around them.
There are nine different Enneagram styles, and each has different strengths, weaknesses, work habits, and communication preferences.
- The Reformer
- The Helper
- The Achiever
- The Individualist
- The Investigator
- The Loyalist
- The Enthusiast
- The Challenger
- The Peacemaker
You can get even more specific by determining your wing. For each of the Enneagram types above, there are two wing options, which creates 18 distinct personality descriptions. You can determine your wing by deciding which of the types on either side of yours you most relate to.
For example, if you are Enneagram type 4, you will naturally also gravitate toward type 3 or type 5, which results in Enneagram 4 wing 5 or Enneagram 4 wing 3. While these two individuals will be similar, their motivations and preferences will be slightly different.
The Enneagram digs deep and doesn’t shy away from the parts of our personality we’re least proud of. Each type has nine different levels of development that highlights what your type looks like at their best and their worst. It also breaks down how each of the types prefers to work.
Enneagrams are valuable to a business, as they can help improve communication, manage conflict, and help you build a team that’s strong because of each other’s differences.
You can take the Enneagram personality test for free. There are free quizzes online, but you may also choose to ask your employees to read and reflect on each of the different personality types and wings on their own time and then bring everyone together to discuss what they learned. There are also paid options available or you may choose to hire someone who can walk your team through the process.
📚 We’ve written a great deal about the Enneagram. Check out our other articles:
- An Introduction to Enneagram (Strengths, Weaknesses, and Career Paths)
- Using Enneagrams to Understand Coworkers
- How to Lead and Manage Enneagram Types in the Workplace
Insight into Your Boss's Enneagram Type
Myers-Briggs is easily one of the most popular personality tests out there. It’s so popular that you may know your Myers-Briggs personality type off the top of your head. While a bit more basic and surface-level than some of the other personality tests out there, the Myers-Briggs test still yields powerful insights into what makes you tick.
Myers-Briggs is based on Carl Jung’s typology, which states that all people perceive the world through four psychological functions: Introversion/Extraversion (I/E), Sensing/Intuition (S/N), Thinking/Feeling (T/F), and Judging/Perceiving (J/P). Each person has a dominant quality in each category, which creates 16 different personality types ranging from ESTJ to INFP.
For example, an ESTJ person is described as hardworking, conscientious, traditional, and eager to take charge, while an INFP person is described as idealistic, imaginative, sensitive, and compassionate.
You can easily take a Myers-Briggs online test to dip your feet in the water. While this personality test will have similar benefits to the others, Myers-Briggs descriptions are generally overwhelmingly positive, focusing almost exclusively on each person’s strengths.
4. The Big Five
The Big Five personality test is taken more seriously than Myers-Briggs within the psychology community. It breaks a person down into five personality factors:
The test asks the taker to agree or disagree with a series of questions about their preferences as well as how they respond to different situations.
The Big Five is different from other tests, such as Myers-Briggs, the Enneagram, and DiSC, because the test does not assign you a type at the end. It only informs you of how you scored in each category, revealing your preferences. If you score high in Neuroticism, confidence is likely far from your #1 attribute. If you score low in Openness, you probably prefer tradition and stability and don’t enjoy change or seeking out new experiences.
Completing the Big 5 assessment in the workplace provides insight into the communication preferences and work/play habits of your team. Someone who scores high in Extraversion may have trouble communicating with their teammate who scores high in Neuroticism. While each team member may have seen the other as rude or ‘not their kind of person,’ the Big 5 personality test illuminates these preferences and helps people who communicate differently meet each other halfway.
The Big Five promotes understanding and patience in the workplace. Instead of being mystified or annoyed by your teammate’s actions, you can now understand where they’re coming from and why they’re communicating or behaving the way they are.
In this post, we compared four of the most popular personality assessments, but depending on what you want for your team, there are countless other options available.
Some personality assessments are designed for the hiring process rather than a team building activity. These assessments help managers make hiring decisions, and they help ensure that candidates with skills suited to the position are hired. The best personality tests for hiring will focus on a candidate's strengths and weaknesses in order to build a diverse team of individuals.
The Caliper Profile, for example, is a test applicants or employees can take to help managers make decisions about a candidate's potential and what job roles are best suited to each team member.
More on Communication From Blue Summit Supplies
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