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.

Identify The Types Of Employees For The Right Reasons

Identify The Types Of Employees For The Right Reasons

When faced with the prospect of taking a personality test at work, many employees worry that their employer may misuse the information somehow or that they might be penalized in some way if they don’t exhibit the traits the business is looking for.

The 16 types of employees on this list reveal traits that are often deeply ingrained, tied to a person’s self-worth, and make the person who they are.

Laying those traits bare for all to see can be a bit nerve-wracking.

As you explore the possibility of administering a personality test, think about it as a way to motivate your team and help them do their jobs better.

Explain to your team that you’re not identifying the types of employees as a way to discriminate or pigeonhole. Rather, you’re looking for a way to harness their skills and abilities for their own benefit and the betterment of the business.

More Ways To Motivate The Different Types Of Employees

More Ways To Motivate The Different Types Of Employees

1) Allow Each Employee To Stretch

Regardless of the types of employees you have on your team, give each person an opportunity to step outside their comfort zone from time to time.

If team members do the same tasks over and over, day in and day out, their work can become routine and uninspiring. When that happens, motivation can fall like a rock in a deep pond.

To prevent this from happening, give each employee a “stretch assignment” that allows them to try something new, use a different skill set, and conquer a new challenge.

While you might choose something as involved as being the lead on a new project, stretch assignments don’t have to be that dramatic. Even just asking an employee to lead a team meeting can provide room to grow and improve.

Whatever new tasks you choose, you want to encourage the employee to:

  • Improve their dominant traits
  • Expand their skills into a non-dominant area

With those goals in mind, the employee can try new things rather than just repeating what they normally do.

2) Ask For Feedback From Your Team

Asking for employee feedback is a great way to motivate everyone on your team.

When you encourage your employees to communicate the problems they face on a daily basis — and perhaps provide suggestions for how to remedy them — you can gain deep insight into the way your business operates.

But asking for employee feedback isn’t enough. You also need to act on it from time to time.

When your team sees that their suggestions can have a positive effect on the way your business runs, they’ll be more motivated to voice their thoughts and opinions. That can be good for them, the team, and the business as a whole.

If gathering and acting on feedback is new to your workflow, start by implementing a suggestion box (a.k.a. an aggravation box or a frustration box).

This “box” can be a physical thing that you mount on the wall or place on a desk. Or, it can be an email address, Slack discussion, or Twitter handle that all team members can access.

Once your team is comfortable providing feedback via these channels, you might consider upping the game, so to speak, by establishing “open-door hours” during which you encourage your employees to come talk to you face-to-face about any issues they may be having.

A combination of both methods can provide all types of employees with a way to make their feelings known.

3) Motivate All Types Of Employees With Games

Motivate All Types Of Employees With Games

Games of any kind are a great way to bring people together, help them forge bonds, and cultivate camaraderie in your organization.

Stuck for ideas? Try these suggestions:

  • A few rounds of Pictionary
  • Typing speed test
  • Crossword race
  • Mario Kart
  • Trivial Pursuit
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Emoji name that tune
  • Kickball game in the parking lot

Experiment with different strategies to find the type of game, the duration, and the frequency that works for your team.

And keep in mind that the games you choose don’t have to be long or complicated to be effective. They just have to be fun and get people working together toward a common goal.

4) Brainstorm With The Group

Holding a brainstorming session is a simple and effective way to motivate all types of employees to get creative and contribute to the improvement of your business.

You might decide to hold one every week or stretch it out to once a month. Whatever schedule you choose, consider bringing something from the suggestion box and brainstorming ideas on that issue.

Doing so can help bring all personality types together — from INTJ to ESFP — to solve problems and help your business run better.

5) Assemble A Diverse And Inclusive Team

Assemble A Diverse And Inclusive Team

While diversity and inclusion sound like two sides of the same coin, they are actually very different concepts.

Team diversity involves hiring people from different cultures, viewpoints, backgrounds, and personalities.

Team inclusivity, on the other hand, involves setting up the practices and attitudes within your business to ensure that everyone:

  • Has equal access to the same resources and opportunities
  • Is treated fairly and respectfully
  • Can (and wants to) contribute fully to their success, the team’s success, and the business’s success

So, you can have a diverse team, but they may not feel a sense of inclusivity (i.e., that they are treated fairly and have equal access to resources and opportunities).

On the other side of the coin, your team may feel a sense of inclusivity but not have the diversity they need to succeed in today’s global business environment.

Ideally, you want to strive for both diversity and inclusion within your business. Doing so can help your business make the most of the skills that each personality type brings to the table.

6) Create A Common Purpose

Another effective way to motivate all the types of employees on your team is to create a common purpose for everyone to get behind.

While each team or individual may operate under a different sub-purpose, it can be extremely beneficial to build an overarching, company-wide purpose that informs everything your employees do while they’re on the job.

Creating such a common purpose can help shift your team’s focus away from the basic questions of what and how onto the more advanced question of why.

It also gives your employees a broader view of your business and how the processes and products that they work with every day fit together to make everything run well.

7) Construct A Company Hierarchy

It doesn’t matter if you employ three team members or 300, your business may benefit from a company hierarchy.

At its most basic, a company hierarchy is simply a chain of command that employees can reference to see where they fall within the structure of the business.

But, to be even more useful, a company hierarchy can also include information about the various responsibilities that each person has.

That way, if an employee has a question or needs approval for something, they don’t have to spend extra time — or interrupt others — searching for the right person.

Constructing a company hierarchy will likely appeal more to the rational and logical employee types, but everyone can benefit in some way by getting a peek inside the structure of your business.

8) Organize Team Meals

One of the best ways to create a cohesive team, build strong bonds, and foster motivation is to eat together on a regular basis.

People have a tendency to relax while they’re eating which can help them open up, talk to others on a more personal level, and really get to know their coworkers.

Group meals can be effective whether you gather once a week for a catered or pot-luck lunch or once a quarter for a trip to a fine dining establishment in your area. Even a quick drink after work can help draw all types of employees together into a cohesive unit.

There are many ways to organize team meals so get creative, try different options, and see what works best for you, your team, and your business.

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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