Managing Different Personalities in the Office


One of the hardest parts of being a manager is learning how to manage the different personality types and work styles of your employees.  This is especially true when you’re managing employees from the Baby Boomer, Gen X, and Millennial generations.  Some employees need constant direction and feedback while others hate being micromanaged.  As a manager, it’s your job to make sure everyone on the team is being both productive and efficient, even if that means you have to treat everyone a little differently in order to help them achieve their highest potential.  Here are a few tips to help you communicate with and motivate the different personalities in your office.

Identify personality types.
There are two main types of personalities in the workplace: thinkers and feelers.  Thinkers are prone to making decisions solely on logic, while feelers make decisions based on relationships and value what is “good” over what objectively makes the most sense for the team.  The quicker you can figure out whether a person is a thinker or feeler, the easier it will be to manage them.  One way to gauge this is by observing how they react to confrontation when someone disagrees with them.  When managing feelers, you’ll need to be more sensitive to their emotions.  When managing thinkers, focus more on your reasoning and provide logic for your reasoning. 

Build relationships.
You may have already noticed by now that the millennial generation doesn’t like to be micromanaged. In order for them to be successful, you’ll have to adjust your managing style to their way of working.  To get through to this generation, you have to focus on building a relationship with them first.  Gen Y places high value on authenticity and transparency in the workplace.  If you can gain their trust by being honest with them, you’ll quickly find how loyal they become. 

Set high expectations.
When you don’t set the bar high, employees get in a routine of doing the same work day after day and become bored.  This leads to them producing mediocre work because they know they can get away with it.  They’re highly aware that their manager doesn’t have high expectations, so they won’t go above and beyond to have above average feelings about their work.  Both Gen X and Gen Y employees are highly independent and creative, so it’s your job as a manager to push them and encourage creativity.  If you do so, you can use their skills to your advantage.

Know what’s important.
Each of your employees has different career aspirations, motivators—things that make them tic.  Finding out what these motivators are is the key to being a great manager.  An employee that values freedom and flexibility should be managed differently than one that values direction and structure.  Schedule one-on-one meetings on a bi-weekly or monthly basis to talk about career development and make sure they’re getting what they need to be successful.   A great manager will constantly be training employees to move beyond their job descriptions, whether than just telling them what to do. 

Don’t take things personally.
No matter how great of a manager you are, you will always have employees that are reluctant to follow your direction or just plain don’t like you.  Don’t take it personally.  Recognize that they have a different personality and do your best to win over their trust.  If you do so, they may eventually start to come around.

By learning to identify and appreciate the different personalities in your team members, you’ll have a much more effective work environment. Recognize the true strengths of their personalities and work those strengths to your advantage.

If you’re looking to fill open positions in your organization with top-notch employees that have positive personalities and are ready to get the job done, contact the expert recruits at RealStreet Staffing today.  As the leading employment agency for construction, engineering, and architecture professionals RealStreet Staffing can deliver talented professionals for your organization.

RealStreet has been an excellent partner in understanding our programs’ unique staffing requirements-skills, experience, clearances, seasonality—and consistently provides qualified and highly productive team members who are often recognized by our customers for their performance.

Cheryll Bissell

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