Have you ever wondered what role do emotions exactly have in the workplace? Do you find satisfaction and happiness with your career? Are you achieving success in the workplace? Then again, what is your definition of success?
These questions are often on the mind of employees all around the world, and yet the answer remains elusive. Well, with the emergence of psychometrics in recent years, the search for answers is offering incredible insights. Employees are now a step closer to realizing and fulfilling their true potential. Moreover, organisations are in the position to provide their employees with meaning and satisfaction in their careers. With psychometrics, the question now becomes, how can organisations utilise an employee’s strengths to further organisational growth? This question illustrates the willingness of organisations to focus on nurturing employees’ strengths, instead of simply highlighting their weaknesses for correction.
What is Psychometrics
So what is psychometrics? Simply put, psychometrics is the science of measuring mental capacities and processes through assessments. Psychometric assessment measures an individual’s psychological capital. That is, an individuals’ personality, values and working styles. Derived from the field of positive psychology, Luthans et al. (2008) explains the concept of psychological capital as the psychological strengths of hope, resilience, optimism, and efficacy within the context of workplace applications. Froman (2009) underscores that hope and the capacity for resilience are key psychological anchors that aids people to take necessary steps to achieve a better future.
How can we use Psychometrics
How can I employ psychometrics to further my career? Ranging from fresh graduates to senior level staff, the administration of psychometric assessments has the ability to help individuals identify and develop their psychological capital. For example, fresh graduates can employ psychometric assessments which allows them to have a better understanding of themselves. This is so as to pursue a career that is meaningful and sustainable. More importantly, one that matches their personality and working style.
On the other hand, senior staff in the workforce can use psychometric assessments to self-actualise (refer to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, 1943). This is by furthering development of their strengths so that they can attain a holistic career in the years to come.
Additionally, a number of studies confirming the validity of psychometric assessments were conducted. These include the findings by Judge and Ilies (2002) where personality traits were found to be related to performance motivation, job satisfaction (Judge and Larsen, 2001) and job performance (Judge et al., 1998).
Relevance of Psychometrics
You may be wondering then, what is the relevance of psychometrics in today’s context? With an increasingly demanding and evolving organisational climate, maintaining a competitive advantage is paramount. More organisations are seeking ways to tap on employee creativity, innovation and resilience. Davis (2010) argues that it is important for an individual’s personality and personal strengths to be aligned with the organisation’s strategy and vision.
Resilience. Why is resilience so important? Lounsbury et al. (2003) posits a positive relationship between career satisfaction and emotional resilience. Psychometrics can gauge our capacity for emotional resilience. Let us consider for a moment the fundamental role that emotional resilience plays in regulating our well-being. A better understanding of how to strengthen resilience among employees is urgently required. (Froman, 2009)
In psychometric assessments, a question such as ‘I tend to dwell on past mistakes’ can be used to elicit whether an individual’s strength lies in resilience. An individual’s score on this question reflects the ability to bounce back from adversity. However, those who agree with this question can be presumed to possibly allow sentimentality to affect decision-making. This means that performance can be compromised when placed under pressure in a demanding environment.
The overarching idea here is that if we are going to be able to experience success, we first need the mindset that it is okay to fail as long as we have tried our very best. As Robert F. Kennedy aptly puts it, “only those who dare to fail greatly, can ever achieve greatly.” I like to think that unless we are superhuman, many a time, we fail in order to succeed, so that we can learn from our mistakes.
Therefore, along with human capital planning, we must view this concept of psychological capital as assets to be embraced, managed and developed by organisations. Such values aids organisations to achieve a competitive edge, and also influence members to develop personal growth. In a demanding and ever changing workplace, this a win-win situation for all.
Luthans, F., Norman, S. M., Avolio, B. J., & Avey, J. B. (2008). The mediating role of psychological capital in the supportive organizational climate—employee performance relationship. Journal of Organizational Behavior J. Organiz. Behav., 29(2), 219-238.
Froman, L. (2009). Positive Psychology in the Workplace. Journal of Adult Development J Adult Dev, 17(2), 59-69.
Judge, T. A., & Ilies, R. (2002). Relationship of personality to performance motivation: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(4), 797-807.
Judge, T. A., & Larsen, R. J. (2001). Dispositional Affect and Job Satisfaction: A Review and Theoretical Extension. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 86(1), 67-98.
Judge, T. A., Erez, A., & Bono, J. E. (1998). The power of being positive: The relation between positive self-concept and job performance. Human Performance, 11, 167–187.
Why the Workplace Needs Positive Psychology. (n.d.). Retrieved March 04, 2016, from http://www.qllab.org/Publications/PosPsychWorkingPaper_OrinCDavis.pdf
Lounsbury, J. W., Loveland, J. M., Sundstrom, E. D., Gibson, L. W., Drost, A. W., & Hamrick, F. L. (2003). An Investigation of Personality Traits in Relation to Career Satisfaction. Journal of Career Assessment, 11(3), 287-307.