In the fast-paced realm of modern work, where remote and hybrid setups reign supreme, the intricacies of collaboration have taken on a whole new meaning. Traditional personality tests were once heralded as the solution to understanding individual personalities and team dynamics. But in today’s work landscape, personality tests seem woefully inadequate.
The primary problem is that these assessments aren’t accessible because they aren’t seamlessly integrated into everyday team workflows. Even when they are accessible, personality tests require interpretation, so they lose the value of quick, actionable insights. Moreover, they focus solely on traits or behaviors, while overlooking essential motivators, values, and work styles that drive individuals and teams.
And now a more significant concern looms large — the emergence of AI, blurring the lines between professional evaluation and personal privacy. This article explores strategies for applying personality tests in team building by leveraging AI and other technology to develop and sustain effective team collaboration.
The Limitations of Personality Tests
A standard personality test with no action behind it is useless for improving team dynamics. Personality tests are supposed to help you understand your team, provide a foundation for trust, establish psychological safety, and facilitate an inclusive workplace culture. In remote or hybrid work environments, they often fall short of this purpose for several important reasons:
1. These tests measure behaviors, not what motivates an individual or team
Because most assessments only measure traits or behaviors, they are vulnerable to multiple biases, misunderstandings, and interpretations. There is no opportunity for clarification. Also, they’re not sensitive to an employee’s state of mind when the test occurs, so the timing of the findings may also introduce bias.
2. These tests fail to consider change and adaptability
When employees start a job, they gain experience and try to develop knowledge and skills each day. Therefore, they continuously adjust their behavior to correct previous shortcomings and apply new learning. These tests fail to provide room for inevitable change and improvement that come from ongoing work experience.
3. The results are not worth the expense
Assessments like the Myers-Briggs personality test and the Clifton Strengths test are costly and take a long time to implement. Additionally, a full interpretation of the results can be completed only by a certified consultant or a psychologist. This can be expensive.
Adapting to Remote and Hybrid Work Challenges
To complicate things, hybrid work environments are gradually becoming the norm. This means employees must become more comfortable with a mix of in-house and remote work, and find ways to make virtual teamwork more collaborative and successful. When trying to manage hybrid workforce dynamics, these are some common challenges organizations encounter:
1. Lack of connection
Over time, remote team members lose typical personal and social connections almost entirely. Members don’t know their teammates as individuals, because they don’t have opportunities to connect informally during coffee breaks, lunch meetings, or other casual settings. This means relationship bonds and mentorships are hard for employees to establish and maintain. These disconnects can make employees unhappy and less committed to the job.
2. Lack of communication
Differences in how information should be relayed between workstations can be a big challenge. For example, consider something as simple as a Gen Z employee who prefers to share information via text.
When asked to send instructions to a Millennial colleague via email, the Gen Z employee includes all the necessary information. However, the message also contains many abbreviations and shorthand because that’s how many Gen Z employees like to write.
Unfortunately, the Millennial recipient prefers more formal, detailed communication. Therefore, after opening the Gen Z message, the Millennial quickly dismisses it as unprofessional, despite the vital information included in the message. If the Millennial ignores or deletes the message, related tasks won’t be completed when needed and productivity suffers. Perhaps even worse, people on both sides of this communication may feel ignored or even disrespected.
3. Lack of collaboration
Distributed team collaboration is a big issue among remote teams, especially when some employees are left out of decision-making processes. Collaborating within remote teams takes more time, effort and awareness than groups who work together in person. This makes hybrid work especially challenging. Yet, many organizations are choosing to move forward with some type of hybrid model.
With so many challenges to overcome in today’s post-pandemic work environments, some organizations are moving beyond classic personality assessments for answers. Instead, they’re turning to psychometric insights. Here’s why…
How Psychometric Testing Helps
With AI and other advanced technology as a backbone, psychometric testing acts as the glue that holds together remote and hybrid work teams by helping members build meaningful connections. There are many ways to pair psychometric questionnaires with AI to enhance distributed team collaboration. These are just a few examples:
- Working in concert, psychometrics and AI can connect all employees, whether or not they’ve physically met. They can collect data from phone calls, virtual meetings, and other digital activities to determine when and how often people need to meet and interact. This helps identify and support aspects of the organization associated with productivity and performance. Ideally, these cultural insights also help inform and reinforce team and organizational norms.
- AI can rewrite emails in various communication styles, based on how each recipient likes to receive information. This reduces friction among team members of different generations or backgrounds, so you can improve communication and mutual understanding within your workforce.
- AI can be responsible for suggesting and coordinating virtual meetings to onboard new hires, conduct relevant training, or promote relationship building— all based on actionable psychometric insights.
- Workplace psychometric testing fosters an inclusive spirit by demonstrating that differences can do wonders for teams that are willing to be open-minded and enhance efficiency. By encouraging diversity of thought, this approach promotes organizational innovation and improves problem-solving.
How Psychometrics Can Improve Team Performance
In the digital realm, psychometric assessments are not just tools — they’re catalysts that help transform remote and hybrid team dynamics. Imagine having essential insights at your fingertips, bridging the gap between colleagues you’ve met and those you haven’t. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
You can utilize this intelligence for AI-driven suggestions that will help you craft more personalized email communication and develop more impactful 1-to-1 interactions. You can leverage personality insights in meeting invitations and agendas. This empowers you to prepare in advance, supported by tailored AI prompts. In virtual settings, psychometric insights about team members can help you guide training, influence project strategies, aid in onboarding new members, and foster cross-functional collaboration in ways you may never have imagined before.
Welcome to the future of team building. This is where psychometric tests can revolutionize collaboration by virtually connecting the dots, when and where it matters most.