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Leveraging behavioral science to decode employee performance

Talent Assessment | 6 Min Read

Leveraging behavioral science to decode employee performance


Employees need a combination of the right behavior and cognitive aptitudes to thrive at work. These behaviors determine coworkers’ communication patterns and collaboration equations. Therefore, demystifying employee behaviors using data-driven insights streamlines an organization’s talent management approach, employee engagement, and workforce performance.


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The importance of behavioral data

Subjective measures are still predominant when assessing employee behavior for a specific job position, and so the integrity test slides frequently in the binary, from good to bad. However, employee behavior is more important than this simple differentiation. It includes unique ways in which employees and coworkers contribute to the success of a team or organization.

Every employee has certain behavioral instincts that influence their decision-making process, workplace motivations, and engagement levels. Therefore, when working in a team, different members have various opinions, conflict mechanisms, and resistance to varying ideas.

Understanding behavioral data science offers wide visibility into team functioning, employee productivity, and team engagement. It helps identify employee needs and create team harmony, driving successful outcomes.


Key factors determining employee behavior

There are some key factors that contribute to an employee’s behavior at work, such as the source of their motivation, personality, and perception. These key factors are:




Employees’ personalities impact their communication and behavior at the workplace. Any employee with high agreeableness may be helpful and more cooperative than an employee who is not.




Employee motivation is the key to their willingness to achieve more at the workplace. Motivated employees are engaged, highly productive, and open to solving problems without disengaging.




Employees’ perception refers to their interpretation of sensory information and how employees perceive their tasks and workplace environment.




Transformative leadership styles are evident in employees’ behavior, as these qualities help them motivate coworkers and create a productive environment at the workplace.


Learning agility:


The learning agility of employees is their ability to unlearn old practices and adopt new, improved practices.


Leveraging data to understand employee behavior

Every employee possesses these essential aspects to some extent. Recognizing how these aspects affect behavior and team productivity helps pinpoint employee needs. These insights are crucial for boosting engagement and achieving successful outcomes.

However, businesses must first collect reliable data to understand employees’ behaviors. Mercer | Mettl’s behavioral assessments evaluate critical competencies to offer valuable data and insightful reports. These reports allow organizations to gauge employees’ behavior on the job or in a real workplace environment.

How can companies use data to understand employees’ behaviors?

1. Gathering data

Collecting behavioral data from varied sources helps organizations understand employees. This includes performance evaluations, 360-degree feedback, manager collaborations, and peer collaboration sessions.

2. Defining metrics

Once data sources are defined, organizations should define metrics that may help them identify employees’ behaviors in different situations. For example, productivity charts, engagement levels, turnover rates, absenteeism rates, and performance scores.

3. Finding trends

Based on the above findings, analyze trends in employee behavior and factors influencing it. For example, dipping productivity levels can indicate burnout, or absenteeism can indicate low motivation and encouragement for a project.

4. Identifying high potentials

Organizations must identify high-potential employees to understand their characteristics and behaviors. This can allow identifying key factors that drive success in specific job roles in the future.

Mercer | Mettl’s High Potential Identification Assessment helps find employees with intellect, agility, and leadership qualities to drive success for the business. It evaluates employees’ skills in strategic thinking, learning agility, critical decision-making, and adaptability.

5. Using assessments

Using assessments helps organizations collect quantitative and qualitative insights into employees’ motivations, perceptions, and job satisfaction. These insights offer a comprehensive view of workforce needs, their productivity, and willingness to succeed.

Mercer | Mettl offers a suite of assessments to help businesses gather this data. For example, our psychometric assessments evaluate employees’ motivations, behaviors, values, preferences, cognitive ability, and personality traits. This data helps gauge employees’ cultural fitment in a job role, predict their future performance, and analyze a suitable training plan.

6. Considering multiple generations

Considering insights for multiple generations in your organization is the key to using behavioral data efficiently. Different generations have different working patterns, motivators, and requirements from their workplace. Therefore, knowing how Gen Z, Gen X, or Gen Y perceive their workplace helps understand their behaviors and improve business performance.



Using behavioral data to understand employees’ motivators and preferences is the key to ensuring workplace efficiency. This data offers insights into behavioral gaps and strengths of different employees, ensuring opportunities for improved communication, upskilling for leadership positions, and high job satisfaction.


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Utilize Mercer | Mettl’s assessments to measure employees’ cognitive, behavioral, and psychometric intelligence. For example, reports and data gained after psychometric assessments help understand employees’ values, preferences, personality traits, and behaviors. Understanding these key employee traits allows for strengthening teams, ensuring employee engagement, and understanding skills gaps.



What are examples of behavioral data?

What are the ten ethical behaviors in a workplace?

Why is employee behavior important?

Originally published August 25 2023, Updated August 25 2023

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About This Topic

Behavioral assessments are extensively used in education and workplace settings to observe, identify, and explain behavior. In the corporate context, behavioral assessments require individuals to demonstrate behavioral competencies through multiple activities relevant to the job role and resemble an actual organizational situation.

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