Which Employee Personality Types Make The Best Impact on Company Culture?

September 4, 2017

Workplace psychologists have done lots of research on the intersection of employee personality, workplace productivity, and company culture. And it’s pretty easy to understand why – most companies are typically filled with lots of different personality types that all have to work together in order to reach their collective goals. And also, hiring managers and HR execs often want to know what types of employee personalities will help contribute positively to their company culture so that they can ultimately do their jobs better – whether that means hiring, managing or motivating talent.

So that’s what we wanted to explore today – the top types of personalities to have in the workplace to build a great company culture.  

Keep in mind, though, that while there are some definite personality types that positively impact company culture, what is also true is that:

  1. There is not one single personality type that is best suited for your workplace (The important thing is to try to recruit individuals with several personality types and help them communicate effectively with one another) and; 
  2. There’s much more to a person than their personality type, so it’d be wise not to base your decisions solely on whether an employee seems to be one type over another

That said, the following personality types are the ones that are most likely to impact your company culture in a positive way. Each personality type also comes with its own unique strengths and weaknesses that must be appropriately managed to create a coherent team.

The Visionary

Every company needs its visionaries. Someone with a visionary personality will often describe him- or herself as an “ideas person.” No matter what your field, recruiting and retaining these visionaries is critical to your company’s culture. Every team should have at least one person with the visionary personality type. These are the people who generate ideas in meetings, come up with a creative vision for a great next step for your company, and inspire others to stay motivated. However, visionaries are often better at idea generation than practical execution. As a result, a team full of these creative types can often talk a big game but will struggle to execute a plan to produce results. Managers should be aware of these strengths and weaknesses to balance a team accordingly.

The Pragmatist

Unlike visionaries, who thrive on the big picture, people with the pragmatist personality type love to get into the nuts and bolts of a project. These individuals excel at solving problems and developing new solutions. Pragmatists often pride themselves on being intellectual, rational, and impartial in their approach. They tend to be very systematic in their work and can be impatient with others who do not grasp what they are trying to achieve. Pragmatists are often better at solving concrete, defined problems than thinking outside of the box. This can create tension with visionaries, who tend to be very vague and theoretical in their approach.

The Communicator

Someone with the communicator personality type is likely to describe him- or herself as a “people person.” Communicators are often the people who speak up in meetings to smooth tensions or facilitate a conversation between disagreeing factions. They value harmony, effective communication, and building teamwork. The downside of communicators is that they can sometimes be perceived as more interested in chatting by the water cooler than getting things done. However, when their energies are channeled well, they are ardent proponents of the company vision.

Communicators can be very effective in mediating team disputes, working with customers, and promoting company values. And according to our own data from over 500,000 company reviews on kununuthe companies that ranked highest (by their own employees) were way better at “communication” than those that performed worse, which just further proves how important having great communicators in your company really is:

  • Among highest rated companies on kununu (4 stars or higher), the average rating for “communication” is 4.08 stars
  • Among lowest rated companies on kununu (2 stars or less), the average rating for “communication” is 1.05 stars

The Worker Bee

Although people with a worker bee personality type often get a bad rap for being less fun than the others, a company would quickly go belly-up without its worker bees. These are the people who get things done. They often value punctuality and organization. Where other workers get frustrated by detail-oriented work, worker bees thrive. They are efficient, decisive, and love to execute a plan. Additionally, as their name suggests, people with the worker bee personality type are loyal and hard workers. However, these employees may become frustrated when they see other folks (particularly the visionaries and communicators) getting all of the glory for their hard work. Providing honest, meaningful feedback to these people will help them feel appreciated.

How to Determine What Personality Type Your Office Needs

Although not everyone fits neatly into one of these four personality types, most employees have strengths and weaknesses that resonate more with one personality type than another. A couple of ways to learn how your current employees fit into these categories, and also what’s lacking in your company, is to:

  1. Have employees take a personality self-assessment. There are many personality inventories that can be used in a company setting to assess personality type (e.g., the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the True Colors assessment). Use the results to generate discussion as a team-building activity. Not only will your employees get to know themselves better, they will also better understand sources of friction and ways to communicate effectively with their fellow team members.
  2. Leverage external company review platforms like kununu to get an true pulse on how employees really feel about the culture in your company.

 

So what do you think – will these personality types influence the way you approach job hunters?

We talk more about what job hunters want to know about company culture, specifically in the job search process, in our free guide The New Expectations of People Looking for Jobs [Download for free here]. 


Linda Le Phan
Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu.

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