Why it’s Important to Understand your Employees’ Personality Types image

Why it’s Important to Understand your Employees’ Personality Types

Staff Squared date icon18th October 2019

Tag iconManaging staff

No two people in this world are ever the same. Sure, there are traits and values that make us relatable to one another, but you’ll be pretty hard pushed to find two people who don’t have at least one difference or inconsistency about them – and quite frankly, it would be boring if you could. 

It’s these varying attributes that make us who we are. With each unique combination of characteristics comes a personality which defines us all as individuals. How we communicate, how we learn and how we work can all be understood based on our personality type – which is exactly why employers can learn so much about their staff if they take the time to recognise who each employee is on a singular basis.

Before we get into the ‘why’ – let’s take a look at the ‘how’. 

How Personality Types are Determined 

Websites such as 16Personalities and PersonalityPerfect have come up with algorithms that can tell your exact personality type from the answers you give for a series of questions targeted to understand your mind, energy, nature, tactics and identity. 

These five personality aspects can be combined to establish a personality type.

Mind: Shows how we interact with our surroundings and can be separated by introversion and extroversion. 

Energy: Shows how we see the world and process information and can be separated by observation and intuition. 

Nature: Shows how we make decisions and cope with emotions and can be separated by thinking and feeling. 

Tactics: Reflects our approach to work, planning and decision making and can be separated by judging and prospecting.

Identity: Shows how confident we are in our abilities and decisions and can be separated by assertiveness and turbulence. 

Personality aspects fit together to define our role and strategy which makes it possible to ascertain a personality type. 

Role: Of which there are four. This determines are goals, interests and preferred activities. 

Strategy: Of which there are four. This shows our preferred ways of doing things and achieving goals. 


RoleStrategyPersonality Type
AnalystsConfident IndividualismArchitect (Assertive), Logician (Assertive)
People MasteryCommander (Assertive), Debater (Assertive)
Constant ImprovementArchitect (Turbulent), Logician (Turbulent)
Social EngagementCommander (Turbulent), Debater (Turbulent)
DiplomatsConfident IndividualismAdvocate (Assertive), Mediator (Assertive)
People MasteryProtagonist (Assertive), Campaigner (Assertive)
Constant ImprovementAdvocate (Turbulent), Mediator (Turbulent)
Social EngagementProtagonist (Turbulent), Campaigner (Turbulent)
SentinelsConfident IndividualismLogistician (Assertive), Defender (Assertive)
People MasteryExecutive (Assertive), Consul (Assertive)
Constant ImprovementLogistician (Turbulent), Defender (Turbulent)
Social EngagementExecutive (Turbulent), Consul (Turbulent)
ExplorersConfident IndividualismVirtuoso (Assertive), Adventureer (Assertive)
People MasteryEntrepreneur (Assertive), Entertainer (Assertive)
Constant ImprovementVirtuoso (Turbulent), Adventurer (Turbulent)
Social EngagementEntrepreneur (Turbulent), Entertainer (Turbulent)

Follow the links in the table above to see 16Personalities’ definitions for each personality type. 

How can Understanding Personality Types be Applied at Work?

Having even just the most basic knowledge and understanding of these broad personality types can help you to comprehend your own preferences and those of other people around you. 

Personality types are a useful means of recognising how we lead, influence, communicate, collaborate, negotiate and manage difficult or stressful situation which, if utilised correctly, can comprehensively improve the day-to-day running of a business. 

Leadership Style

As a leader or manager, your job is to engage and inspire your staff to work together and independently to achieve company objectives – something that requires a broad spectrum of abilities, including: 

  • Good decision making. 
  • Clear communication. 
  • An aptitude to build effective working relationships.
  • Making good use of other people’s abilities. 
  • Openness and adaptability to change.
  • Tolerance of disagreements and knowing how to resolve conflicts. 

Before you begin trying to learn the personality type of your peers and employees, you need to look closer to home and recognise your own type to understand how you best work, learn and lead. This will open you up to become more aware of everyone else’s strengths and weaknesses and the whole team will adopt a much better understanding of what is required of them to succeed. 

Conflict Resolution

There are many reasons as to why conflict can arise, but the main issue usually stems down to a lack of trust or when authority or values are challenged. Not only that, but it can come from many angles, be it a dispute between two colleagues, team leader and employee, company owner and management or even an external conflict between the company and a client or outsourced service.

Discord doesn’t have to be a wholly negative thing – the outcome can be spun into a positive simply by highlighting the underlying cause of the conflict. 

This is where personality type comes into play. Being aware of others’ personality types will help to know how to approach the conflict, how to communicate with the people involved and how to resolve the conflict altogether. 

Effective Communication

Communication is an important aspect of all parts of life from work to personal relationships. On a daily basis, we communicate with different people on many levels; but have you ever stopped to consider how your natural style of interaction affects those you are communicating with?

Having the ability to understand, appreciate and accommodate individual communication styles will skyrocket your competence to communicate with others effectively which will give you an advantage no matter what position you hold in the company. 

Decision Making 

Whether you are determining the order of priority for today’s workload or who best to put on a new project, making decisions is an inescapable part of any job, and they can come with some pretty substantial challenges. 

Understanding your own type of personality will give you a better insight to your own decision-making processes – and understanding those of your staff and colleagues will also help you to appreciate how they work to make their own decisions. 

This offers a distinct advantage when collaborating with others to conclude a resolution most effectively and will also reduce the risk of conflict during the process. 

Other Benefits of Knowing Personality Types

There are what feels like an infinite number of reasons why understanding personality types in the workplace can only ever be a good thing, and that was only a small handful – a few other benefits include: 

Coaching – Personality types can be used as a tool to understand how to improve on a professional level, for both yourself and others. Setting goals and targets can be done much more effectively if you know the person they are being set for. 

Sales Skills – Going back to the communication benefits, areas like Sales can be massively improved by knowing and understanding both your own personality type and that of everyone around you as it allows you to adjust your communication style depending on who you’re talking to suit the preferences of the potential client, making the sale more likely. 

Staff Retention – This is a biggie. Know your staff and how they think, feel, work, make decisions etc. and you will have a much higher chance at keeping a hold of them. Staff who feel valued are much more likely to stick around and being shown that their employer cares enough to take the time out to really ‘get’ them will make all the difference. 

Embrace Personality Types and don’t Let Go

The points we’ve reviewed in this article are just the tip of the iceberg of the benefits of understanding different personality types in the workplace. Other undisputable clinchers include managers knowing how best to show appreciation to their staff or even the most tactical way of disciplining them if the need was ever to arise. Knowing each team member’s personality traits allows managers and business owners to tailor internal processes in the most effective and efficient way possible. 

Organisations should take time out to understand their employees’ personality types in order to promote a sense of self-awareness amongst staff, for management to know how to handle situations to suit each team member and, ultimately, to create a more dynamic and economical working environment. 

Written by Clarisse Levitan

Lead Customer Support Agent - Staff Squared

Clarisse works as the Lead of our Customer Support Team to provide all of our customers with the very best care and guidance when using their HR software.

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