How the Enneagram Personality Test Can Improve Employee Retention

top view of three people discussing a project

Personality tests are one of the tools hiring managers use to gauge the cultural fit of a prospective employee. They shed light on the person’s character and behavior, determining if he or she will be able to cope with the rigor needed for the job. Business owners, in particular, will benefit from knowing their job candidate’s personality, values, and tendencies before hiring them. Wrong decisions can lead to high turnover and struggling productivity, which can cost the business owner valuable time and money.

These kinds of behavioral assessments provide a good complement to the typical interview process, offering a more holistic picture to the person vying for the position. Good job candidates must possess both technical knowledge and the right attitude. Repair technicians, for example, should not only know their way around a Caterpillar diesel engine but also showcase resilience and ingenuity, especially in emergencies.

Employers can take their pick on a lot of available personality tests. However, they should be clear on the kind of insight they want to know as some are more helpful than others.

The basics of the Enneagram assessment

The Enneagram Personality Test, together with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), is one of the popular personality tools found in the pre-employment process. This assessment consists of a nine-pointed system, wherein each point is a personality type. But more than showing what kind of person you are, the Enneagram test illustrates how a person responds to problems and high-stress situations. It outlines a person’s defense system and coping mechanisms.

people in line for an interview

Antonia Dodge, the author of the book Personality Hacker, calls one’s Enneagram type as their trauma navigation tool, the mind’s go-to strategy when handling difficult situations. Depending on one’s type, a person has a favorite default emotion, which can be anger, shame, or fear. If you fall into Types 8, 9, and 1, then you are more prone to anger. 2, 3, and 4 are for shame, while 5, 6, and 7 are ruled by fear. Knowing which emotions fuel one’s behavior and motivations can give insight on how to manage them better.

More responsive career development programs

Employers can use what they learned from the enneagram test to see if a potential employee can grow and adapt to the working environment. They will also know how to maximize strengths and address weaknesses better, crafting more effective career development programs and workshops. That gives a more personalized touch to an employee’s onboarding and training as compared to following a generic plan.

The employee will also be more aware of what their core fears and behaviors are, leading to a sense of ownership of their behavior and growth. They are more empowered to make positive changes in how they work and interact with other people. If they have the Type 1 personality type, classified as someone who sees the world in black and white, they can learn to be more adaptive and flexible in their work.

Self-awareness is a valuable skill to have in the workplace, both for the employer and the prospective employee. This introspection highlights how one can grow and the needed support they must get to reach their potential. Employers will also know what to expect from their employees and the training they can provide to help them achieve success.

Newsletter Signup:

Scroll to Top