Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Personality Quiz

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

Personality Quiz

Article excerpt

Personality tests for job candidates are making a comeback. But this time around, rather than using the tests to identify applicants with potential psychological problems, employers are using them to determine whether a candidate is a perfect fit for the job. "The emphasis is on screening competence as opposed to screening out crazy people," says University of Tulsa psychology professor Robert Hogan in a Kiplinger's article on careers.

Using multiple-choice or truefalse questions, the tests help employers find out if an applicant has traits associated with top performers in a particular job, with the goal of reducing turnover.

Desk Rage on the Rise

First there was road rage, then there was air desk rage is running rampant in many of today's workplaces. According to a recent telephone survey of 1,305 American employees performed by Integra Realty Resources, stress leads to physical violence in one in 10 work environments. And almost half of those surveyed said yelling and verbal abuse is common in their workplaces.

"Desk rage" can include such behaviors as acts of aggression, hostility, rudeness and physical violence. A report in Compensation and Working Conditions by George Gray and Phyllis Myers of Virginia Commonwealth University reveals that in 1998, more than 700 homicides occurred at work. The cost of workplace violence to employers is estimated to be between $6.4 billion and $36 billion in lost productivity, diminished image, insurance payments and increased security.

Business Bullies

Once just relegated to the grade school playground, bullies are alive and well and creating black eyes in many of today's businesses. A study conducted by associates at Wayne State University shows that 21.5 percent of all employees have been bullied in the past 12 months.

Bullying in the workplace generally involves persistent, abusive and intimidating behavior designed to make the recipient feel upset, humiliated and threatened. A 1998 survey conducted by the Campaign Against Workplace Bullying identified these top bully tactics:

* blame others for errors

* make unreasonable demands

* criticize the work ability of others

* inconsistent enforcement of arbitrary rules

* threats of job loss, insults and put-downs

* downplaying or denying accomplishments

* social exclusion

* yelling and screaming

* stealing credit for another person's work

To avoid these kinds of scenarios, it is important that companies assess individuals not only for their technical skills, but also for their interpersonal skills when making promotion decisions.

(Source: Kathy Simmons, "Warning! Bullies at Work," Career Builder)

Turnaround Tips

According to Nina Disesa, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of New York-based McCann-Erickson, when you step into a turnaround situation, you can safely assume four things: "morale is low, fear is high, the good people are halfway out the door, and the slackers are hiding."

She suggests that it is imperative that you assess "where the company's strengths are, whom you can depend on, and who needs to stay for things to get back on track."

Disesa added, "You have to create a plan of action. And you have to be decisive. You're not going to be absolutely sure about anything, but that's a given. …

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