Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Personality Assessment Gives Employers Tool to Identify High-Risk Workers

Over the years, many companies have been successful in mitigating risk through proper equipment and safety training, but data shows that despite these efforts, companies still lose billions of dollars a year to workplace injuries.

According to studies by TalentClick, a Canadian research company, the direct costs from workplace incidents is more than $51 billion a year in workers’ compensation payments, medical expenses, civil liability damages and litigation expenses. These costs are only further multiplied by the indirect costs of on-site incidents and illnesses. The reason being, according to the company, that up to 90% of workplace incidents are due not to a lack of tools or training but to human error. Through a series of studies with outside organizations, Stephen Race, head of research at TalentClick, and his team discovered a strong correlation between five personality characteristics and workplace safety incidents. The five core risk-related traits include resistance, anxiousness, irritability, distractibility and impulsiveness. Individuals who are considered “higher-risk” in any of these categories, Race says, can be a threat to their own safety and the safety of others in a facility.

By concentrating on these five behavioral traits, employers can identify if workers are more prone to be “safety-oriented” or if they are “at-risk” of safety incidents based on their default personality. 

“Personality often effects peoples first impulses,” Race says. Highlighting these risk factors, can not only help companies identify and reduce human error, Race says, but TalentClick provides coaching and training tips to at-risk individuals, provides strategies to defend against these errors and predicts on-the-job performance for potential candidates which can be useful in the hiring process. Creating more insight to the issue has the potential to increase self-awareness, Race says. “Once workers are made aware of their behavioral tendencies, they catch themselves doing risky behaviors,” he continues.

While Race admits personality traits are just an overlying factor in a series of issues that could lead to an incident, research shows that by choosing “safety-oriented” workers or created an environment that promotes “safety-oriented” workers, companies will, over time begin to see increased productivity, fewer lost-time injuries, improved safety scores, enhanced moral and employee engagement, improved corporate image and reduced compensation claims and lower insurance premiums. 

To help organizations identify high-risk workers, TalentClick has developed a number of web-based personality assessment solutions for workers, managers and recruiters, which include the Safety QuotientDriving Safety Quotient and the Workstyle & Performance Profile (WPP) Behavioral Assessment.

Visit to learn more.