According to American Psychologicalassociation, personality is “Individual differences in characteristic patternsof thinking, feeling and behaving” (APA, 2017).
The importance of personalitytesting in big organizations like the NHS is significant. A potential worker’spersonality can affect how this person performs within the boundaries of thecompany and interacts with the colleagues. Positive personality coupled withefficient working routines can be contagious and may enhance the determinationof the entire group, which might lead to increased productivity and achievement(Amos and Weathington,2008). First the company must recognize their own valuesand what characteristics they want their employees to possess, and once their mindis set they have a variety of tools to assess their potential and currentemployee’s personality. Wellton NHS could assess their workforce’spersonality by categorizing their workforce into 2 different types: type A andtype B (Friedman 1996).
Using this type theory might help them with thedecision on who to promote from a Ward Manager to a General manager. Type Apersonalities are described as workaholics who are extremely alert (Spector andO´Connell,1994), which might work for a general manager since now they havemore responsibility and they must devote themselves for the job. Type B´s arenormally described as easy-going people, who don’t get easily frustrated, whichmight fit better the records staff’s duties, since they should be patient and thejob is more monotonous. This type theory has been criticized for excludingfemale volunteers and relying in unequal sample sizes. However, the researchhas had a huge effect in inspiring the field of health psychology. In order to do this categorizing themanagement must understand the traits, which are “the main building blocks of apersonality” (King and Lawley 2016:270). Lewis Goldberg, who was the mostprominent researcher in the field of personality testing was behind the testcalled The Big Five. This test identified five traits of the personality, whichare: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and opennessto experience (Gallego and Pardos-Prado, 2013).
For the NHS, this test canprovide an insight into how their current employee or a new hire co-operateswith colleagues, deals with important decisions and how they cope withwork-related stress. Another, famous test made for mapping employee personalitiesis the Myers Briggs Type Indicator(MBTI). Results from this test position theemployee to one of 16 personality types, which all have their pros and cons.The test has received a lot of critique due to including poor validity andhaving poor reliability but it is still helps the NHS management to understandif the employee is a suitable fit for the organization. Although personality tests bring a lotadvantages and understanding to the person’s mind, there are some disadvantages.In NHS, the employees might answer the test questions the way they feel theyshould be answered, therefore the results are flawed and are not the truepresentation of the employees’ personalities.
For instance, a person whodoesn’t have empathy at all, would answer the question as if he had, becausethe people working at health care services are often acquainted with kindnessand sympathy. Furthermore, if the company doesn’t have a person who isqualified in the field of health psychology, interpreting the results couldalso go terribly wrong. Using the typetheory and trait tests helps the employee to learn about themselves andencourage self-awareness (Human Resource Consultants, 2017). On the otherhand, there are some consequences if the test is taken too seriously;inflexibility, intolerance and a threat to diversity. All these are cases whenthe employee believes in the results so hard that he cannot act in a specificway or he feels that’s he is not a right fit to the group and maybe at somepoint starts acting like everybody else, which doesn’t work well for thecompany since they need diversity for different tasks.
In conclusion personality testing for NHSwould be a helpful tool to manage the staff and for the employees to use it asself-reflection tool to learn how to better interact with others in a work group.Especially now when NHS merged with another trust which caused a lot of changesand confusion, it would be helpful to get an insight how the employees thinkand what could be done differently.