In the home furnishing industry, customers want to be seen and treated as unique individuals during their furniture buying experience. The same is true for your employees. They want to know that you are invested in their career, given opportunities to develop and sharpen their skills, and appreciated for their unique qualities. One way to do this is with a Strengths Assessment tool.
Providing employees with tools to explore their personality types and strengths gives them guidance to improve how they interact with others who have a different style than themselves. Assessments are also a great team-building activity. This tool shows them how to engage more effectively, have more productive reactions in challenging situations, and identify growth opportunities for themselves and others. It can also provide your employees with career guidance that aligns more with their preferred style.
A wide variety of tools are available on the market, ranging from no-cost to those requiring a significant investment. Some of the more common ones are DISC, Myers-Briggs, and Gallup’s StrengthsFinder. All assessments determine an individual’s and team’s strengths and opportunities. It’s up to the organization to select the one that best suits their needs.
For instance, DISC, which stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness, is a tool that identifies motivating factors, behaviors, and responses to conflict and stressful situations. After answering a few questions, DISC assigns a primary and secondary strength type, along with career guidance and feedback. Using the official tool requires a fee, but several free sites provide some limited information.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) has been around for over 50 years and indicates how individuals perceive and make decisions. The MBTI places each person into one of 16 personality types by assigning each individual to one of the following preferred styles: Extroverted or Introverted; Thinking or Feeling; Judging or Perceiving; Sensing or Intuition. The tool’s goal is to develop a clearer sense of self-awareness, reduce conflict due to misunderstandings, and develop the ability to interact with others. There are some free online MBTI assessments, but to effectively use the MBTI tool, a certified instructor should be used to navigate through the results and facilitate ongoing team-building activities.
The Gallup’s StrengthsFinder, sometimes called Clifton StrengthsFinder is a tool that gives details about a person’s strengths and suggested areas of improvement. Interestingly, this tool allows you to develop your strengths versus the traditional approach to developing one’s weaknesses. This method provides coaching and assists with identifying areas they are best in. Although you may find some free online assessments, costs are associated with receiving the most benefits.
As companies look for ways to develop future leaders, an employee’s self-awareness is crucial to identify gaps and opportunities for growth. These tools are a great way to create an individualized development plan which will need to be reinforced with coaching to support the employees’ career goals.
While there are several great reasons to use the tool, companies should guard against misuse or abuse. From the very beginning, companies should address the concerns of their employees and ensure that this information will not be used to stifle or limit career opportunities. It is common to find happy and successful people working in a field or career that does not match their preferred style or personality type. This information should not prevent them from exploring their desired careers or limit them in any way.
The goal of using these types of tools should be building and developing trust within teams and leaders while helping identify each individual’s strengths and growth opportunities to strengthen the company. It is imperative to ensure everyone knows that there is no preferred style and that each person has a unique strength that only adds to the organization’s greater good.
If a company decides to use one of these tools during the hiring process, it should be just one of the factors considered and not necessarily the determining factor. Some companies use the results of these tools to create an individualized training program. The company sets the person up for success by using their identified strengths while developing a plan for the gaps.
Being able to communicate effectively, navigate different personality types, manage difficult situations, and resolve conflicts are desirable competencies in our industry. Companies can offer strength assessment tools to properly provide employees with the tools and resources to navigate unique situations.