Today's Veterinary Business

FEB 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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54 Today's Veterinary Business Leadership In 2015, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) published an in-depth piece about personality tests and their value in the workplace. The writer noted that as many as 60 percent of workers must now take workplace assessment tests, either as part of the hiring process or for career development purposes. If you decide personality assess- ments would be a valuable addition to your practice, it's important to dis- cern which test is the right one. And are there downsides to the tests? That question is easy to an - swer: Yes, there are downsides, as the quality of assessment tests var- ies widely and some of them might put the company in legal trouble. So, if you choose to use personality testing, investigate the best choice and administer the tests consis- tently using a policy you develop. Also, respect confidentiality. The Big Five The SHRM article referenced the five-factor model of personality testing, noting that a good percent- age of workplace personality as- sessments are based on this model. It measures: • Extraversion. • Agreeableness. • Conscientiousness. • Neuroticism. • Openness to experience. This model is the most exten - sively researched to date and is ex- plored in "The Big Five Personality Traits," an article by Kendra Cherry at www.verywell.com. Research indicates that both nature and nurture — biological inheritances and the influences of a person's environment — play key roles in developing each person's personality. As far as behavior, this is an interaction between someone's personality and the situation at hand. In most instances, people respond to a situation in a way that's consis- tent with their core personality. How This Can Play Out If you have employees who would land along the extraversion side of the scale, know that people who rank high in this area will gain energy by engaging with other people. So, they will likely want to talk about situations occurring at work and may speak out before thinking in depth about their comment. If the extraverted person is working with an introvert, this can present a challenge, as the Workplace culture in a veterinary practice is significantly influenced by the personalities of the people who work there. So, it makes good sense to gain a clear understanding of personality assessments and how they can benefit a practice. Leadership H.R. HUDDLE introvert probably won't want to engage in much small talk and will get worn out by socializing beyond his or her comfort level. It can be tempting to consider an extraverted person as a "good" employee and an introverted one as less attractive. In reality, people all along the spectrum can make outstanding employees, although they will likely excel and interact with other people in different ways. The personality trait of agree- ableness plays out differently. Agreeable people care about others and feel empathy and concern. Low on agreeability? This person isn't interested in you and doesn't care how you feel. It fact, he or she might engage in insulting others. So, you want agreeable employees. Next is conscientiousness. People high on the contin- uum prepare for tasks, prioritize and finish on time. They tend to Put some thought into personality assessments Testing can help identify the right person for a job, but be sure to choose the right exam and to develop a policy for its use. 1 2 3 By Charlotte Lacroix, DVM, JD

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