Choosing the Right Assessment for Your Team Building Needs
So you’re convinced that assessments will help you build team morale, improve team dynamics, and increase engagement (if you’re not sure, check out our blog on building stronger teams with assessments). If you’ve started researching options, you’re probably realizing there are many assessments to choose from, convoluted by the myriad of highly questionable personality tests online that are neither scientifically valid or reliable. To make your decision more comfortable, we’ve created a guide to help you find an assessment that aligns with your company's goals and objectives. At the end of the day, you want the assessment that is going to deliver the specific results you are looking to obtain.
What you should look for in personality assessments for your team
1. Are the results scientifically proven?
Recommendation? Play it smart and opt for a scientifically proven assessment that will allow you to make informed decisions built on real data. It will save you lots of time, effort, and money down the road and be sure to provide the insight your company is seeking. This one is important! If you are using the results from assessments to supplement any business-related decisions, it is crucial you choose one that is scientifically proven. Without this, the reports may be inconsistent and highly unreliable, making it difficult to truly capitalize on the strengths of your team, identify any roadblocks your team may be facing, and learn how to manage these conflicts. Additionally, an assessment that is not validated can open you up to legal liability—especially when you are using them to supplement hiring decisions.
2. How in-depth does the information need to be?
The short answer: it depends. If you are only planning to use assessments as a fun way for teams to interact and gather a better understanding of each other, you may want to focus on those that provide high-level personality insights for a quick team building session. On the other hand, if you are trying to manage a team that cannot seem to overcome conflict or needs continual development, then you may need to find one that can dive deep into both individual and team dynamics. Think again about the longevity of your team building plan—the depth of information should be proportional to the goals you are trying to achieve in unifying the team.
3. Does the assessment work for all teams?
Many assessments offer behavioral data about individuals, but not all can dive into team dynamics. When using assessments for team conflict, team building, or to improve team morale, it is helpful to select an assessment that includes a variety of group reports that can analyze the team holistically. Some assessments can dive even deeper with comparative reports that allow you to examine two people on a team and highlight their similarities as well as their potential areas for conflict within group dynamics. While you could still choose to lead your sessions based on individual results, it may be harder to make group comparisons and identify any roadblocks the team may be facing.
4. How easily can the assessment scale?
Some assessment companies offer flexible reporting tiers that make it easy to switch from less detailed reports to more robust insights. This is an excellent option if you need to demonstrate the value of assessments to the leaders in your organization, or if you are looking to integrate assessments into your team’s initiatives incrementally. When an assessment is scalable, you might not have to use an additional assessment to switch between reporting levels, saving you a lot of time and money down the road. Another perk? You can reuse scalable assessments for multiple purposes. Investing in multi-use assessments upfront provides a strong base for even the healthiest of teams to fall back on later if a more in-depth look is needed down the road – think, a growing team, organizational changes, conflict management, or dispute resolution.
5. How easily can the results be interpreted?
Assessment results can either be self-interpreted or professionally-interpreted. Self-interpreted assessments are useful for companies that don’t have a lot of time or want to start team building initiatives quickly. Since certification is not required, anyone can read and understand the results at a glance. Be careful though—self-interpreted assessments also tend to have fewer in-depth insights.
On the other hand, if you opt for a professionally-interpreted assessment, someone who has been through a formal certiﬁcation process (either you or a consultant) will need to review the assessment results with each respondent. For more on options to interpret results, check out page 25 of the Ultimate Guide to Using Assessments for Team Building eBook.
6. What is the investment?
Investing in your team morale is a priceless endeavor, but we know it is still important to stick to your budget. Assessments can be priced in a variety of ways, including a monthly fee, pay-per-report, or pay-per-assessment. When selecting the right assessment for your organization, pay attention to the budget you have set for your team building initiatives and how many employees will receive an assessment. If you have multiple locations or plan on distributing the assessment to a large group of employees, many assessment providers will offer volume discounts. Be sure to explore those options, as they could save you a lot of money. Also, don’t forget to consider the cost of certification (if that is the route you choose) and how many people would need to get trained to interpret the data, as that would additionally influence your budget.
Typically, those assessments that require the highest level of investment also offer the most opportunities for continuous team development—they can be used for many years and will cover an array of personality data. Remember, the greater the investment you make in your assessment, the greater the benefits you will see within your team’s conflict resolution abilities and overall morale.
There are a variety of free assessments you can choose from as well, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for regarding the complexity of the results and the scientiﬁc validity of the assessment. While the free options may seem like a tempting solution, they should only be considered if you do not need specific, actionable results from your session
Narrowing down options can be daunting, but understanding what to focus on will help navigate you to the best assessment possible for your team and ensure that the impact you receive is valuable.
Get More Insight From Our Assessments for Team Building eBook Series
This topic is featured in the first of our three-part Assessments for Team Building eBook series. Get all the information you’ll need to select an assessment, so you can save time and focus on what matters--optimizing your team! Download the eBook today!
Anna is a Houstonian Aggie with a passion for words, minds, and personality. With a degree in Communications and Psychology, a Marketing role at Birkman is the perfect combination of her interests. You can often find her trying new restaurants or whipping up recipes in her own kitchen. Anna also enjoys traveling, cats, volleyball, and spending time with her family and friends.