One way to determine at the outset what you can do to motivate individual staff members and identify potential leaders is to conduct a Predictive Index (PI) assessment prior to hiring. The PI is a scientifically validated assessment that accurately predicts workplace behaviors, tendencies, motivators, and drivers.

“The PI tells you what makes a person tick and how he or she operates. Based on the information obtained in a PI assessment, I could motivate or demotivate a person in two minutes,” says Nancy Martini, president and chief executive officer of PI Worldwide, a company that works with companies and organizations to conduct and interpret these assessments.

The PI consists of a self-reported adjective checklist regarding how individuals view themselves and how they think others view them. It takes just five to 10 minutes to complete, and the results provide detailed information about a person’s behavioral drives. By matching a person whose drives are congruous with the job they will be performing, it can enhance retention, job satisfaction, team efficiency, and productivity.

“One goal of the PI is to determine who the person really is, because this is who managers, colleagues, and residents will have to interact with,” says Martini. This information is valuable, as many people—intentionally or not—hide their real personalities during the interview process. The PI helps managers determine in advance if a potential employee actually will fit in with the team and the facility’s culture and be an appropriate candidate for a leadership position.

Martini urges facilities that use the assessment to pay attention to the results. “What you don’t want to do is think that you will change someone to make them fit into a job. Instead, you should consider if someone is a fit for the job and how you will leverage his or her talents to get the best from his or her performance,” says Martini.

Jane Drury, vice president of human resources at Balfour Senior Living in Louisville, Colo., uses the PI as a recruiting tool. “We have each candidate complete a PI, then we match it to the profile of the characteristics required for the position,” she says. “This allows us to understand what motivates people and what their work style is so that we can address their needs when they are hired.”

Drury and company also use the tool to identify potential leaders and managers. “This not only helps us identify people who might be good leaders, but it also makes it more likely that the people we hire and promote will be more successful in those leadership positions,” she says.