Did you know that you can test for integrity? It seems to be little known in Australia, although we are doing our level best to change this. Integrity tests are very effective means of limiting the amount of bad behaviour in workforces.

They are extremely widely used in the US where they are known for their ability to reduce the amount of stealing, bullying, discretionary absenteeism and other negatives at work (Ones et al, 1993). In some workplaces they have reduced the amount of these negatives by up to 90%. A worthwhile investment. They typically come in two forms:

  • Overt – where people are asked blunt questions like “Have you stolen from work?”. People can’t believe that people answer such questions honestly, and I admit it is strange, but many of them do. Sitting in front of a computer, with no input from others, people often tell the truth. In any event research indicates average validities of these of 0.45 or so, which makes them more accurate than most interviews, which have validities of around 0.35.
  • Personality based – where people are asked questions which indicate personality characteristics which show a risk that they will do the bad stuff.

The overt ones tend to be slightly more accurate, but are much more confronting for people completing the assessment. The personality based ones are longer and less confronting, but not quite as accurate.

In our assessment suite we offer both. We call them counterproductive work behaviour assessments and we have many clients who swear that the amount of bad behaviour in their workplaces has markedly reduced by the use of these. If you would like to find out how to create a safer workplace for your staff, your clients and your organisation contact us today.

Ones, D. S., Viswesvaran, C., & Schmidt, F. L. (1993). Comprehensive meta-analysis of integrity test validities: Findings and implications for personnel selection and theories of job performance. Journal of applied psychology, 78(4), 679.

Andrew Marty