16 Types Of Employees And How To Motivate Them

discussing types of employees

If you’re looking for ways to improve motivation in your business, to keep everyone working at their best, and to get to know each individual better, learn which types of employees you’ve got on your team.

In this article, we’ll discuss those 16 types of employees and provide easy ways to motivate each and improve the way they work by leaps and bounds.

Table Of Contents

Origin Of The Types Of Employees

three employees laughing together

At first glance, an article about the types of employees in your business might get you thinking about such variables as age, sex, race, nationality, experience, and the like.

In actuality, the “type” in this case refers not to any external indicator or learned ability but to one of the dominant personality traits that each person possesses.

These traits (or personality types) are based on the psychological research of Carl Jung and the clinical research and observations of Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs.

The latter (Myers and Briggs) developed the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator and a test that matched said personality types with their preferred way of working.

In each personality type is a unique motivation that drives and inspires each individual to operate at their best. Managers can use this information to customize how employees work, how they function with a team, and how the team contributes to the success of your business.

16 Types Of Employees And How To Motivate Them

Different types of employees taking a picture together

Before we dive into the 16 different types of employees, it’s important to understand that the names of each personality type (e.g., Inventor, Mediator, Leader, and Protector) do not necessarily specify the job, or the role, the employee must hold.

The names are just an easy way to remember the dominant traits of each type.

Rational Types Of Employees


INTJs (a.k.a. Masterminds or Scientists) are strategic thinkers who stick to the facts and are most comfortable when they make a plan and follow it step by step.

Highlights of the type:

  • Independent
  • Analytical
  • Determined
  • Ability to turn theory into a plan of action
  • Long-range thinker
  • Have very high standards for their performance and the performance of others

Motivate an INTJ by giving them an assignment (not a lot of detail or discussion needed) and then turning them loose to work by themself and get the job done.


Man stretching at a desk

INTPs (a.k.a. Architects or Thinkers) enjoy theories and ideas and transforming those intangibles into reality.

Highlights of the type:

  • Creative thinkers
  • Excited by theories and ideas
  • Driven to turn theories and ideas into reality
  • Appreciate competence
  • Little interest in leading or following

Motivate an INTP by allowing them to be creative and to come up with a completely new way of doing things.


ENTJs (a.k.a. Executives or Fieldmarshals) are driven, assertive, outspoken, and prize efficiency and organization above all else.

Because of that, they are often the first to come up with solutions to complex problems (or, at least, know how to find them).

Highlights of the type:

  • Assertive
  • Outspoken
  • Driven to lead
  • Ability to understand organizational problems and create solutions
  • Value competence and organization
  • Demonstrate little patience with inefficiency

Motivate an ENTJ by giving them opportunities to lead — small tasks at first, then larger and larger groups.


ENTPs (a.k.a. Inventors or Visionaries) have a passion for the new. Where projects are concerned, they tend to lose interest in the routine aspects of bringing the task to fruition.

Highlights of the type:

  • Creative
  • Resourceful
  • Outspoken
  • Assertive
  • Enjoy people

Motivate and ENTP by telling them it can’t be done and then stepping back and giving them free rein to prove you wrong.

Idealist Types Of Employees

Four employees out on a hike at sunrise


INFJs (a.k.a. Counselors or Protectors) like to be the protector in a group and are often very receptive to, and concerned about, other people’s feelings.

Highlights of the type:

  • Sensitive
  • Sticks with things until finished
  • Intuitive about people
  • Adhere to a well-developed value system
  • Likes to do the right thing

Motivate an INFJ by showing them how their job (or a task or project) benefits others (clients and team members alike) and then challenging them to help out.


INFPs (a.k.a. Healers or Idealists) are often more concerned with personal growth over external rewards and serving humanity rather than themselves.

Highlights of the type:

  • Loyal
  • Adaptable
  • Able to see possibilities
  • Quiet
  • Reflective

Motivate an INFP by giving them free rein to be creative and challenging them to find an out-of-the-box solution to a problem.


friends making hearts out of hands

ENFJs (a.k.a. Teachers or Givers) exhibit strong people skills, have a real concern for how others think and feel, and are driven to serve others in one way or another.

Highlights of the type:

  • Sensitive
  • Outstanding people skills
  • Focused
  • Enjoy working together
  • Dislike the impersonal (e.g., logical analyses)
  • Effective managing “people issues”

Motivate an ENFJ by letting them work in groups whenever possible and showing them how their work affects the lives of those around them.


ENFPs (a.k.a. Champions or Inspirers) are often excited by new ideas, but bored with the details that go into making them a reality.

Highlights of the type:

  • Open-minded
  • Enthusiastic
  • Creative
  • Flexible
  • Have a broad range of abilities and interests

Motivate an ENFP by listening to what they have to say, helping them see how what they do matters, and allowing them to find their own way to achieve an objective.

Guardian Types Of Employees

Employees out on a sunset hike


ISTJs (a.k.a. Inspectors or Mechanics) are focused, thorough, responsible, and enjoy adhering to established protocols rather than coming up with new ones.

Highlights of the type:

  • Serious
  • Quiet
  • Responsible
  • Dependable
  • Well-developed powers of concentration

Motivate an ISTJ by helping them see that their presence on the team — and the responsibility they exercise — has a big effect on making a project successful.

10) ISFJ

ISFJs (a.k.a. Nurturers or Defenders) value stability, practicality, and tradition over novelty.

Highlights of the type:

  • Quiet
  • Kind
  • Conscientious
  • Dependable
  • Perceptive of others’ feelings
  • Interested in serving others

Motivate an ISFJ by trusting them to do their best and relying on them to get the job done.

11) ESTJ

Two employees finding out their myers-briggs personality

ESTJs (a.k.a. Supervisors or Guardians) are interested in the practical aspects of the task at hand (not the theory or abstract ideas that precede it).

Highlights of the type:

  • Organized
  • Traditional
  • Practical
  • Like to be in charge
  • Often have clear visions of the way things should be

Motivate an ESTJ by encouraging them to take on managerial responsibilities and giving them a list of tangible goals so they understand what they have to do.

12) ESFJ

ESFJs (a.k.a. Providers or Caregivers) have a strong sense of duty and responsibility toward others and, because of their warm-hearted nature, are often the caregivers of the team.

Highlights of the type:

  • Conscientious
  • Value tradition
  • Put a premium on security
  • Interested in serving others
  • Need positive reinforcement to feel good about themselves

Motivate an ESFJ by providing plenty of structure and showing them how their job will improve the circumstances of others.

Artisan Types Of Employees

Artisan Types Of Employees

13) ISTP

ISTPs (a.k.a. Crafters or Mechanics) are interested in how and why things work and are good at finding solutions to practical problems.

Highlights of the type:

  • Quiet
  • Reserved
  • Mechanically inclined
  • Risk takers
  • Loyal

Motivate an ISTP by challenging them to find an improvement for the system of the way the job gets done.

14) ISFP

ISFPs (a.k.a. Composers or Artists) avoid conflict, are keen to experience something new, and focus on the present rather than the future.

Highlights of the type:

  • Sensitive
  • Kind
  • Serious
  • Avoid conflict
  • Flexible
  • Open-minded

Motivate an ISFP by encouraging them to focus on the task at hand and apply their creativity to immediate results.

15) ESTP

Two employees making a flow chart on whiteboard

ESTPs (a.k.a. Promoters or Doers) eschew long explanations and prefer to get right to work without planning or looking to the future

Highlights of the type:

  • Friendly
  • Adaptable
  • Action-oriented
  • Risk-takers
  • Good people skills

Motivate an ESTP by giving them a challenge, focusing on immediate results, and turning them loose.

16) ESFP

ESFPs (a.k.a. Performers or Entertainers) live for the moment and pass that love for life onto others in the group.

Highlights of the type:

  • People-oriented
  • Well-developed common sense
  • Practical
  • Interested in serving others
  • Dislike theory and analysis

Motivate an ESFP by highlighting the potential for fun in a given task and the rewards that completing it will bring.

Inch Helps Keep Your Team Organized

Inch Helps Keep Your Team Organized

When you have multiple types of employees working in your business, one of the main challenges is keeping them all organized, focused, and striving for the same goals.

Each has different abilities and ways of thinking, and if you leave them too much to their own devices, they can all end up running in different directions. That’s bad for business.

Instead, channel all the talent on your team with the Inch workforce management and optimization software.

Inch is an all-in-one task-management suite that can help you harness the strengths of the different employee types, get control of your team, increase engagement, and improve the way they work.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit TryInch.com today.

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