“The Science of Personality” is Now Available

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Tue, Oct 14, 2014


People are the most dangerous and consequential force on Earth. Shouldn’t we know something about them?

Personality is a powerful predictor of human behavior – it predicts how we learn, how we work and how we lead, who we love, what kind of company we keep, and how other people see us. But although the study of personality is centuries old, our ability to understand and control personality is relatively new.

Available for the first time today, “The Science of Personality” is a feature-length documentary that brings together the foremost minds in personality psychology and the business world to explain what personality is and how it impacts our lives and the lives of those around us.

To watch the full feature and find more information, visit www.thescienceofpersonality.com.

Topics: personality, documentary

Q&A: Personality and Safety

Posted by Kristin Switzer on Thu, Oct 09, 2014

hard-hats-wideFor companies in every industry, worker safety is a major concern; companies spent billions of dollars a year on equipment and training aimed at creating a safer workforce. Yet, in 2013 alone, 4,405 U.S. workers died on the job. In this Q&A, Hogan consultant Kristen Switzer discusses the missing component in workplace safety – personality.

1. Why is personality important to workplace safety?

For more than 30 years, Hogan has demonstrated personality’s impact on job performance and organizational effectiveness. For many jobs, safety behavior is one of the most critical aspects of performance. Advances in equipment, technology, and procedures have improved worker safety; however, traditional safety training programs are limited in their effectiveness because they neglect individual worker characteristics. An employee may be your best handler in the warehouse due to their speed and accuracy; however, if they are distractible and drop your cargo, they are also your biggest risk. Unsafe behaviors can be assessed using psychometrically validated measures, and Hogan has identified the personality characteristics predictive of at-risk work behaviors.

2. What personality factors are most relevant to safety behavior?

Research demonstrates a strong relationship between personality and safety-related behavior. Hogan’s core assessment used to predict safe behaviors, the Hogan Personality Inventory, is based on the traditional Five Factor Model and is adapted to predict workplace performance. Behaviors that result in workplace injuries and/or safety-related incidents tend to be exhibited by individuals who are inattentive to details and have difficulty following rules (low Conscientiousness); those who are unable to handle stress or cope with uncertain situations (low Emotional Stability); those who have difficulty getting along with others and prefer to work independently (low Agreeableness); and those who are overly outgoing and seek being the center of attention (high Extraversion). In addition, Hogan conducted many validation studies which further support these results and demonstrate that organizations can use combinations of personality scales to predict workplace safety.

3. Most organizations probably do not consider personality when they try to improve workplace safety. How do you make them see the centrality of this factor?

Anyone who has worked around heavy equipment or machinery—refining, shipping, transportation, construction—knows that accidents occur all too often, and most cases, the accident will be caused by the same small number of people. Supervisors and peers can likely easily identify this group of risk-prone employees, who may even be referred to as “an accident waiting to happen”. Traditionally, accidents have been viewed as a result of faulty design and processes, but we are challenging this mindset. Enhancing protocols and procedures continues to play a key role in safety training; however, individual personality characteristics must be considered as one of the primary sources. Think of any recent safety-related catastrophe in the news and you can often recognize a consistent theme among the majority of accident causes: human error.

4. Once the organization has acquired knowledge about the representation of these personality dimensions in their workforce - how can the knowledge be used in practice to improve workplace safety?

Hogan recommends a comprehensive approach to safety management and improving workplace safety. The safety assessment should be included as part of the hiring process so organizations can start with individuals who have a propensity for safety. To assess the current environment, Hogan recommends a safety climate survey which allows the leadership team to identify problem areas (i.e., equipment, supervisor safety attitudes, co-worker safety) and develop safety performance improvement plans. For those already in the role or new hires, employees should benefit from coaching initiatives around their individual safety assessment results and targets. By focusing on individual safety assessment results, each employee understands how their own personality affects workplace safety and they are each held accountable. Building a safer, more engaged culture requires selecting future employees with a proclivity for safety, recognizing risk-prone employees, and providing resources and coaching.

5. Would you recommend that organizations screen for these personality factors in their recruitment process, or is it better to use SafeSystem for developmental purposes?

Performance issues in safety are often related to poor job fit. To improve job fit, safety-related risks must be assessed as part of the selection process. Let’s think about another type of job—a Customer Service role—from an employer’s perspective. When hiring a customer service representative, an employer looks for characteristics which will lead to better success in the role (i.e., attention to detail, stress tolerance, customer focus). Once on the job, an employer can maximize their success through proper training and development programs, customer service seminars, and on-site coaching. However, any employer wants to ensure that the individual has the core personality strengths to be successful from the start. The same is true for Safety. Safety-related behavior is a major component for many jobs, so safety risks should be assessed as part of the hiring process to ensure good job fit. Further, on-the-job training and development programs will be even more successful by leveraging safety assessment data. Procedures, training programs, and even emergency drills are effective at encouraging employees to act safely, but without understanding an individual’s personality characteristics and risks, these programs will be limited.

Topics: safety, SafeSystem

One Week Left Until “The Science of Personality”

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Tue, Oct 07, 2014


Only seven days until we launch “The Science of Personality”!

Personality is a powerful predictor of human behavior – it describes how we learn, how we work and how we lead, who we love, what kind of company we keep, and how other people see us. But although the study of personality is centuries old, our ability to understand and control personality is relatively new.

One week from today, “The Science of Personality” will bring together the foremost minds in personality psychology and the business world explain what personality is and how it impacts our lives and the lives of those around us.

To watch the trailer and find more information, visit www.thescienceofpersonality.com.

Topics: personality, documentary

Integrity - Critical For Leadership Success

Posted by Dan Paulk on Fri, Oct 03, 2014

Many years ago, a great baseball player named Paul Waner was nearing the end of his long career. He entered a ballgame with 2,999 hits — one hit away from the 3,000-hit landmark, which so many hitters want to reach, but for whom relatively few actually do reach.

Waner hit a ball that the outfielder did not handle cleanly, but the official scorer called it a hit, making it Waner’s 3,000th. Waner then sent word to the official scorer that he did not want that questionable hit to be the one that put him over the top. The official scorer reversed himself and called it an error. Later in the game, Paul Waner got a clean hit for number 3,000.

Leaders need integrity in order to function effectively. Integrity is seen as a positive attribute. When it is said that person “has integrity,” it is a compliment, meaning they display honesty and strong character. Integrity derives from the Latin root “integer,” meaning whole or complete, therefore, combining leadership and integrity: leading completely.

But what is the real meaning of integrity? Jack Welsh, in his book Winning, says “Integrity is something of a fuzzy word. People with integrity tell the truth, and they keep their word. They take responsibility for past actions, admit mistakes and fix them. They know the laws of their country, industry and company – both in letter and spirit – and abide by them. They play to win the right way, by the rules.” Paul Waner would have agreed.

Surveys and case studies have identified integrity or honesty as a characteristic that is most desired in a leader. Robert Hogan, founder of Hogan, outlines four critical qualities for an effective leader—at the top of the list is integrity (YouTube: A Discussion with Dr. Hogan: What Is Leadership?). Integrity is a fundamental criterion for leadership. It is imperative that leaders lead with integrity, honesty and values because members of the team want to know that their leader can be trusted. The best way to build employee trust is to maintain integrity.

Every organization needs a CEO with high integrity, the ability to communicate and motivate people and to grow into the job and adapt with changes in the environment. Unquestionably, CEOs are the key to success for organizations, hence the task of recruiting them is one of the most important one for an organization. Selecting the wrong person will cause damage not only to the investors and employees, but the organization as a whole. And unfortunately, a growing number of organizations find themselves having to choose a new CEO in the midst of company havoc.

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”
- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Why Do Smart People Make Dumb Decisions?

Posted by Blaine Gaddis on Wed, Oct 01, 2014


We say that successful leaders possess good judgment and failed leaders lack it, but what does that really mean?

People have spent years attempting to measure their judgment. Most efforts focus on critical thinking, IQ, or other cognitive abilities, but they ignore other individual differences that influence judgment. More importantly, they fail to answer the question, “Why do smart people make dumb decisions?”

Others focus on personality characteristics or core values and describe how those attributes influence decision-making. Although this approach directs attention to other key determinants of judgment, it does not reflect the fact that both cognitive and non-cognitive attributes influence judgment.

Research shows that about half of a leader’s decisions will fail. This indicates that existing approaches to judgment are missing something, but what? The answer lies in a basic fact of life – everyone makes mistakes. As such, beyond making correct decisions, good judgment also involves reacting appropriately to failed decisions. How a leader reacts to feedback about his or her failed decisions is crucial to correcting mistakes, learning from them, and making better decisions in the future.

Judgment includes (a) cognitive and non-cognitive attributes that impact the pre-decision process, and (b) a crucial post-decision element of reactions to feedback. Using this information, individuals can make better decisions and more quickly recognize and correct mistakes by understanding how they process information, what natural tendencies they rely on before making decisions, and likely reactions to feedback about failed decisions that could undermine their ability to learn from mistakes.

Organizations and individual leaders can benefit from this comprehensive understanding of elements influencing individual decision-making.

Organizations can:

  • Diversify their leadership teams and ensure that individual leaders have the right sources of information to make decisions.
  • Optimize the types of decision-makers they need based on factors such as industry sector or level of organizational maturity.
  • Gauge their overall receptivity to feedback and coaching and customize coaching interventions to improve judgment at the organizational level.

Individual decision-makers can:

  • Develop their judgment by playing to their natural strengths.
  • Carefully monitor other approaches that do not come as naturally to ensure that they consider all relevant factors before making a decision.
  • Increase awareness of tendencies that limit the value of feedback and impede their ability to recognize and correct mistakes to make better future decisions.

Topics: judgment

Introducing "The Science of Personality"

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Wed, Sep 24, 2014


People are the most dangerous and consequential force on Earth. Shouldn’t we know something about them?

Personality is a powerful predictor of human behavior – it describes how we learn, how we work and how we lead, who we love, what kind of company we keep, and how other people see us. But although the study of personality is centuries old, our ability to understand and control personality is relatively new.

Coming October 14, “The Science of Personality” is a feature-length documentary that brings together the foremost minds in personality psychology and the business world to explore what personality is and how it impacts our lives and the lives of those around us.

To watch the trailer and find more information, visit www.thescienceofpersonality.com.


Topics: personality, documentary

Hogan to Build New HQ in Downtown Tulsa

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Fri, Sep 19, 2014

We are excited to announce that work is underway at the site of our new global headquarters in downtown Tulsa, OK!

When Drs. Joyce and Robert Hogan founded our company in 1987, it was a three-person test publisher operating out of two adjoining rooms at our current address. Over the decades, that three-person assessment provider grew exponentially, gaining footholds at some of the most powerful multinational companies in North America and expanding our network of international partners and distributers to become the global leader in personality assessment and consulting.

As our business grew, so did our staff. We hired the brightest young psychologists and business minds, taking over and then outgrowing the building in which we once occupied only two small rooms. Now, looking to the future, we are building a world-class facility that will not only give us room to expand to more than 200 employees, but will be an architectural icon befitting our organization.

Designed by world-renowned firm Seltzer Schaefer Architects, the three-story, 35,000-SF building will work to architecturally unite Tulsa’s past with its future. One side of the building will be dominated by a glass wall that echoes Tulsa City Hall and alludes to the technology and transparency for which Hogan is known, while another will pay homage to the classic red brick buildings of the historic Greenwood District to the north.

“When we set out to design a new headquarters, we wanted something that would be more than a place to put our growing staff,” said Hogan COO Aaron Tracy. “We wanted to build something of architectural significance that would anchor the east end of downtown.”

Additional features include:

Sustainable design and construction including a green roof and 70 geothermal wells
Meeting space to accommodate training workshops and our partners and distributers
Rooftop patio and entertaining space, including a catering kitchen
Public art by renowned artist Shantell Martin
Design and workspace layout that reinforces collaboration and our work-hard, play-hard culture

Ted Osgood, American Commercial Group, is acting as developer, and Flintco is supervising construction.

“There are so many exciting things going on in our downtown right now,” Tracy said. “We have a young, highly educated group that wants an exciting place to be. Now, Tulsa’s downtown can compete with markets like Chicago, Dallas and Denver. There are places to live, places to eat and places to be entertained all within walking distance.”

For recent press coverage of Hogan’s new headquarters, click here.

You're Invited! How to Grow Employee Engagement Using Personality

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Fri, Sep 19, 2014


Topics: personality

Dysfunctional Team? It's Your Fault

Posted by Ryan Daly on Thu, Sep 18, 2014

High-performing teams can provide an undeniable advantage over the competition. However, most managers will tell you that although it is easy to put together a team with great potential, they rarely perform at their maximum capacity. Why? Because you’re doing it wrong.

Most managers put their resources into finding the right mix of functional roles in a team – roles dictated by people’s titles and reflect their hard skills (accountant, designer, engineer, etc.). However, they often neglect to balance the team’s psychological roles. Psychological roles are dictated by people’s personalities. There are five psychological roles to which people naturally gravitate: results, relationships, process, innovation, and pragmatism.

  1. Results - Individuals who gravitate toward the results role take responsibility for managing the team. They are comfortable taking charge, and are needed to communicate ideas, work processes, individual contributions, progress, and problems to the team.
  1. Relationships – Team members in the relationships role tend to be concerned with harmony and cooperation. They may also be the champion of the customer and stakeholders – someone who empathizes and understands how those outside the team will see things. Personally, they tend to be upbeat, gregarious, and outgoing.
  1. Process – Individuals who naturally focus on process are concerned with implementation, the details of execution, and the use of systems to complete tasks. They are reliable, organized, and conscientious about following rules and protocol.
  1. Innovation – Team members who gravitate toward the innovation role anticipate problems, and recognize when the team needs to adapt. They spot trends and patterns quickly, enjoy solving problems, and generate creative solutions.
  1. Pragmatism – Team members who are drawn to the pragmatism role are practical, somewhat hard-headed challengers of ideas and theories. They promote realistic approaches and aren’t easily swayed by the need to preserve harmony or innovation for its own sake.

To find out more about how to find the right balance of personalities for your team, check out our complimentary eBook, Dysfunctional Team? It's Your Fault.

Topics: teams

Research Q&A: What is "Kaizen psychometrics?"

Posted by Blaine Gaddis on Tue, Sep 16, 2014

kaizenPerhaps the best way to understand Kaizen Psychometrics is by considering each part of the phrase separately.

  • In the most literal sense, Kaizen means “good change” or “continual improvement.”
  • Psychometrics are the statistical analyses we conduct when developing or evaluating our assessments.

So, when we talk about assessment properties such as validity and reliability, those are based on psychometric analyses. But when we talk about analyses aimed at improving and/or updating our assessments, those are Kaizen psychometrics.

Why does Hogan talk so frequency about Kaizen psychometrics?

We talk a lot about Kaizen psychometrics because one of Hogan’s core values is to continually improve our business products, services, and practices. The foundation of all of these initiatives is our assessments.

Although this sounds simple, it is surprising how few test publishers work to update and improve their assessments. This is particular ly true for personality assessments, where the intervals between original content and new items or forms can often be measured in decades rather than years. Even worse, most are never updated at all.

The reason so few test publishers update their assessments is that it requires immense amounts of time and energy. Also, the effort needed is often multiplied by the number of translations available for an assessment (such as the 40+ we have for the HPI, HDS, and MVPI). But the costs of not updating assessments and related information such as norms can be much greater. Whether we like it or not, items become outdated, norms lose their relevance over time, and there is always room for improvement in even the most carefully constructed scale.

What are some examples?

In recent years we’ve improved our core assessments and will continue to make improvements in the future. Some examples include:

  • Creating and implementing new Global Norms for the HPI, HDS, and MVPI.
  • Updating items on the MVPI to remove references to religion.
  • Creating a new form of the HDS that now includes subscales.
  • Regularly testing and updating translations and local norms as new data become available.
  • Continually writing and piloting new items for potential use in future forms.
For more information about these or any other efforts aimed at continuing to improve our assessments, please contact Blaine Gaddis, Senior Manager of Product Research.

Topics: psychometrics

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