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Managing Different Personalities in the Workplace

Personality tests can be an effective tool in employee recruitment, training, and development. As your business grows and becomes more diverse, a one-size-fits-all approach to employee management won’t work well on a team made up of different personality types. Company leaders will need to have a better understanding of what makes employees tick and how to encourage everyone to play nice in the workplace.

Managing different personality types in the workplace can present its challenges. As a result, you’ll need to be flexible with your employee management style. Using Deloitte’s Business Chemistry, here’s how to manage employees with these four different personalities.

 Managing different personalities in the workplace.

How to Manage the “Pioneer”

Pioneers are the wheels set in motion. You never know when or where their next big idea will come from, but you can be sure they’ll want to give it a try. Business Chemistry describes pioneers as:

  • Outgoing
  • Spontaneous
  • Risk-takers
  • Adaptable
  • Imaginative

Pioneers are the social butterflies and adventurous spirits in the workplace. When managing this type of employee, it’s important to give them the creative freedom to explore new ideas. They don’t like being confined by rules or structure and may have a hard time focusing on the smaller details of a project, so don’t try to micromanage them.

Lean on your pioneers to think out-of-the-box and come up with creative new ideas, perhaps in a group brainstorming session, but then shift the project details and execution to your drivers and guardians.


How to Manage the “Driver”

If pioneers are the wheels, then drivers are the fuel that keeps it going. Ambitious and efficient, drivers are motivated by results and will always rise to meet a challenge. Drivers are described as:

  • Logical
  • Focused
  • Competitive
  • Quantitative
  • Deeply curious

Drivers are laser-focused and work quickly, so they need to be continuously fed new challenges or they risk getting bored or frustrated by delays or long processes. When you come to them with new assignments, they’ll appreciate clearly defined plans and processes and will work tirelessly to meet and exceed your expectations and goals.

Because of their workaholic tendencies, drivers may also struggle with work-life balance, as they can easily be consumed by the tasks at hand. Reinforce good habits, like taking lunch breaks, not responding to emails after hours, and delegating tasks when their plate is full.


How to Manage the “Integrator”

Integrators are best at bringing everyone together. If pioneers are the wheels, drivers are the fuel, then integrators are the ones who makes sure everyone gets a seat in the car. They see the value in workplace culture and understand how it can affect employee happiness and performance. The Integrator is:

  • Diplomatic
  • Empathetic
  • Nonconfrontational
  • Team player
  • Intrinsically motivated

As intrinsically-motivated employees, integrators thrive when they can really get behind your cause. As a business owner, be sure to clearly define and communicate your company mission. 

Similar to pioneers, it’s best not to micromanage your integrators. It’s important to show these employees that you trust and respect them, whether it’s allowing them to work remotely or believing in their idea. Finally, when assigning projects, don’t isolate your integrators. They work best in group settings, where they can bounce ideas off one another and play to each other’s strengths.


How to Manage the “Guardian”

Guardians are the employees who make sure you reach your destination on time and in one piece. They value stability and order and have great attention to detail. According to Business Chemistry, Guardians are:

  • Reserved
  • Detail-oriented
  • Practical
  • Structured
  • Loyal

Guardians are practical and structured, which means they can easily become impatient with seemingly wacky ideas or meetings that get off topic, but you may not notice.

Guardians are quiet and reserved, so they may not always speak up in meetings and can be easily forgotten. They need time to process, digest, and formulate a well-thought-out response. When managing this type of employee, it’s best to follow up with them the next day to ask for their thoughts or opinions. Because they’re fiercely loyal to their employers, you know your company’s best interests will be at the heart of all their decisions.


Employee Management Assistance

While no single workplace personality is “the best,” managing these different workplace personalities can be challenging for business owners and managers. Need assistance? Outsourcing human resources to a professional employer organization (PEO) like Group Management Services (GMS) can help with employee management. From employee recruitment and retention to performance management, GMS can guide you through any issues you’re faced with, while you keep full control of your employees.

In addition to human resources, GMS offers a full suite of HR services, including payroll, risk management, employee benefits, and more. Contact GMS today to request a consultation.

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