The ultimate guide to behavioral assessments

Putting behavioral data to work empowers you to understand who you’re hiring and how they’ll impact your business.

The wisdom of an enlightened workforce

Does your organization have a superpower? Maybe mindreading? Empathy? Seeing the future? X-ray vision?

When your employees have insight into each other’s needs, goals and workstyles through behavioral insights, it is almost like you have all four. Instead of conflict, misunderstandings, or ten people rowing in ten directions, your employees can better understand both themselves and one another, and work together to achieve your goals.

Insights from behavioral assessments can show you what matters most to every member of your team, and let you predict and head off issues before they arise. You can even make better hires based on behavioral and cognitive traits.

What’s in an assessment?

Behavioral assessments come in many different forms, but for an assessment platform to truly transform an organization, it must be:

  • Simple to administer
  • Quick to take
  • Ground in science
  • Validated in workplace psychology
  • Accessible to everyone in the organization

When these criteria are met, you’ll be able to map each individual’s behavioral traits and understand how they like to work, what drives them, and what it will take for them to thrive.

Mapping how we work

Behavioral assessments offer particularly powerful insights into what drives us at work. Built on a proven scientific foundation, they can predict how each employee is likely to act and interact in a professional setting. You’ll gain valuable information into how an employee likes to work with others, what motivates them, and the skills they can add to your team. Sharing this information can help us to assign tasks, allocate responsibilities, and assemble and manage more harmonious teams.

Behavioral assessments can also help us as managers. We can use them to guide conversations around goals and ambitions, to coach or mentor employees, and even to guide performance management.

Behavioral assessments allow us to proactively open objective, honest lines of conversation without triggering anxiety, defensiveness, or fear.

The critical information that comes from behavioral assessments is also a great way to move the hiring process from guesswork to science. You gain insight that lets you better predict:

  • How a person will interact with your existing team.
  • The unique perspectives they can offer your group.
  • Exactly how their results aligned to their job requirements.

The ripple effect

Behavioral assessments will have applications everywhere in your organization.

  • Business owners and executives concerned with corporate performance and employee productivity.
  • Recruiters and HR who are measured on the quality of talent they attract, and how smoothly they onboard new employees.
  • Project managers and team leaders responsible for assembling and retaining high-performing cross-functional teams.
  • Direct managers eager to find the right team members and coach them to success.
  • Employees seeking an organization or role that allows them to grow and thrive.

Use behavior assessment data to gain insights into:

  • Employees seeking an organization or role that allows them to grow and thrive.
  • Hiring decisions
  • Employee motivation
  • Job feedback
  • Managing conflict
  • Team dynamics
  • Performance management
  • Coaching
  • Structural changes
  • Looking to convince your leadership? Here are some ways you can educate your organization on the value of behavioral assessments:

    • Compile data on the costs of making a bad hire, including training, replacement, productivity, and potential earnings losses.
    • Launch a behavior assessment pilot with a small group of employees, determine parameters for measuring progress, and track success over a defined period of time. Use the evidence to win executive-level support.
    • Use a cultural shift, acquisition/merger, or a change in leadership as an opportunity to build a case for how the data will make the transition smoother and more successful.
    • Evaluate and report on group dynamics, including how teams are structured, productivity, conflicts, and team vs. team performance, to highlight areas for improvement.

    Choosing an assessment

    Data-driven methodologies offer invaluable insights to help your company succeed—but not all assessments are created equally. Below are the 10 sets of questions to ask when selecting an assessment platform:

    1. Is this assessment designed for the workplace? Is this a behavioral assessment, revealing information about how people act and interact in their work environments? Or is it a personality assessment?

    2. Is the assessment validated and reliable? Is the solution scientifically proven to yield consistent, accurate, and repeatable scores over time? Does the assessment effectively predict important workplace behaviors that drive metrics such as sales, customer satisfaction and turnover?

    3. What is the pricing model? Is the solution priced as subscription-based, pay-per-user, or pay-perassessment? Are there caps on how many assessments can be sent out? Limits on number of users? Can you re-assess employees as they develop in their careers?

    4. How long does it take to complete? Will the test take closer to 5 or closer to 60 minutes complete? Will your job candidates and employees find the test intrusive or burdensome?

    5. How is the data gathered? Is the test free choice (test-takers select only what they feel applies to them) or forced-choice (a set number of answers from which testers are required to pick one)?

    6. How are the assessment results presented? Are results available as written reports and as visual graphics to support different learning styles?

    7. What level of support is required? Can the test be delivered through an online platform or does it need to be delivered by someone certified within your organization or by the test company? Will there be ongoing support from the test vendor and will that company understand your business challenges?

    8. Is the assessment global? Are the assessments and results available in all relevant languages for your business?

    9. Can the data be used with groups and teams? Can the assessments offer insights into group dynamics? Can you compare two behavioral patterns, or even entire teams, to get a better understanding of what makes a top-performer in your organization?

    10. Is the assessment EEOC compliant? Is the test free of bias with respect to the respondent’s age, gender, or ethnic group, meeting the standards of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)?

    The PI Behavioral Assessment™

    The PI Behavioral Assessment offers you the continuous insights and tools you need to build empathy, productivity, and teamwork within your organization. The assessment is:

    • Quick: Untimed, easy-to-administer, and typically takes less than 6 minutes to complete.
    • Bias-free: Certified by the EEOC as free of bias with respect to the respondent’s age, gender, or ethnic group.
    • Free choice: Leveraging stimulus-response, test takers select only what they feel applies to them. They are not required to pick an answer from a list of choices. What they select, don’t select, how much or how little they select reveals as much relevant data than tests with hundreds of questions.
    • Work-based: Built on science and stimulus-response, the assessment measures specific motivations and drives related to how we behave in the workplace.
    • Multi-dimensional: Relevant for not only hiring, but also employee development, management, retention and growth. The results help companies figure out who has the capacity to grow, adapt from, and optimize their natural styles.
    • Administered and interpreted by pros: PI offers series of instructor-led workshops tailored to train managers and educate each PI user in your organization. Select individuals in your organization can also attend the Becoming a PI Practitioner workshop™ to make them practitioners qualified to deliver assessments and assist in the interpretation of the data and how it is used.

    36% of companies reported bad hires caused negative effects on employee morale.

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