The importance of work ethic in the workplace is self-explanatory – work needs to be done, and an employee with a strong work ethic can get work done efficiently and accurately. Hiring hardworking employees not only makes a company more productive but also promotes a strong work ethic across the entire company culture. Personality tests can be used to predict how hardworking a job candidate is. One of the “Big Five” personality traits is conscientiousness, a trait associated with work ethic that demonstrates the extent to which an individual is responsible, organized, dependable, and reliable. Personality tests can also evaluate perseverance, which evaluates if a person is diligent, hard-working, and goal oriented.
One widely used pre-employment personality test used to evaluate work ethic is the Workplace Productivity Profile (WPP). The WPP predicts whether an individual will be a conscientious, productive and reliable employee. Most commonly used for entry-level positions where rule adherence and reliability are of primary importance, the WPP measures four traits: Conscientiousness, Perseverance, Integrity/Honesty, and Attitudes towards Theft and Fraud. The first two relate to a person’s likely work habits, and can help predict how hard working a potential employee may be.
Another personality test for work ethic is the Criteria Personality Inventory (CPI), a personality test based on the “Big Five” personality traits of Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Openness, and Stress Tolerance. Conscientiousness in particular is associated with work ethic because those who score high in conscientiousness tend to be careful, deliberate, self-disciplined, organized, hard-working, and dependable.
A more expanded version of the CPI, the Employee Personality Profile (EPP), is a personality inventory that examines 12 total traits, including the Big Five traits. Along with conscientiousness, this test also measures Achievement and Motivation. The Achievement score reflects an individual's ability to follow through to complete tasks and achieve specific goals, while the Motivation score represents a person's inner drive and commitment to achieve. These traits are all associated with an employee’s work ethic.
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