What’s Your Job Personality Type?

Would your coworkers describe you as a Defiant Dave or a Debbie Downer? Or are you more of a Cheerful Charlie or Happy-Go-Lucky Lucy? Your personality traits—how you react to bad news, your reasoning ability, and how inquisitive you are—could determine whether or not you get hired for a job or how your job performance is evaluated.

According to Hogan Assessment Systems, a consulting firm that specializes in personality assessment, a burgeoning trend in workplace safety is merging traditional safety education and training with industrial and organizational psychology. Hogan Assessment says companies need to delve deeper into the psyche of employees in an effort to resolve existing safety issues or establish a solid culture of safety.

“Traditionally, safety programs focus on PPE, standard procedures, and compliance,” said Dr. Kevin Meyer, a consultant in the International Consulting Practice for Hogan Assessment Systems. “Few programs focus on behavior, which really gets to the heart of the matter.”

Hogan Assessment developed the Hogan Personality Inventory to determine how employee personality traits and behavior can increase workplace safety. Now, this inventory doesn’t ask workers to analyze their dreams or explore their unconscious minds. Rather, it relies on questions that take into account day-to-day activities, such as:

  • Do you like to brainstorm ideas at meetings?
  • Do you enjoy spending time with friends?
  • Do you enjoy crossword puzzles?
  • Do you like going to social events?

Meyer said someone who is inquisitive or enjoys solving riddles may have a more distractible personality and might not be suited for a job that requires long periods of concentration. “Someone who is easily distracted probably wouldn’t be the best person to be in charge of monitoring a dial at a nuclear facility,” Meyer said.

Using the results from the Hogan Personality Inventory, the company developed six safety-related dimensions that it uses to determine an employee’s personality:

  • Defiant - Compliant: Low scorers ignore authority and company rules. High scorers willingly follow rules and guidelines.
  • Panicky - Strong: Low scorers tend to panic under pressure and make mistakes. High scorers are steady under pressure. Those who lean toward the panicky end of the scale often buckle under pressure and make mistakes that could prove to be costly, and possibly even fatal. Those at the other end of the spectrum are steady under pressure.
  • Irritable - Cheerful: Low scorers lose their tempers and then make mistakes. High scorers control their tempers. Cheerful employees keep their temperament on an even keel, but those who lose their tempers make mistakes by not staying focused.
  • Distractible - Vigilant: Low scorers are easily distracted and then make mistakes. High scorers stay focused on the task at hand.
  • Reckless - Cautious: Low scorers tend to take unnecessary risks. High scorers evaluate their options before making risky decisions.
  • Arrogant – Trainable: Low scorers overestimate their competency and are hard to train. High scorers listen to advice and like to learn.

Meyer said the results allow managers to recognize and coach risk-prone employees. Additionally, he said the assessment makes workers more aware of how their personality characteristics may affect their behavior.

Posted by Laura Swift on Mar 28, 2011

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