The Impact of Individual Employee's Personalities on Their Attitude Towards Work

Personality clashes can cause workplace tension.

Personality clashes can cause workplace tension.

Every employee brings an individual personality to work with them. Even when performing in a professional capacity, a person’s natural temperament and traits come through, and often are reflected in their attitudes toward work.

Positive

A person with a naturally sunny disposition is likely to see the good in every situation, both in life and in work. This type of person is typically the individual who volunteers for projects no one else will take and the team cheerleader when a project doesn’t go as anticipated. She will have an “up” attitude that has the potential to inspire those around her to see the good side of every situation. This personality type typically has a positive view of her employer, and feels fulfilled in her position.

Negative

An individual who is pessimistic in nature has the potential to bring down those around him, both at home and at work. This is the group naysayer who has a dour outlook on every suggestion, doesn’t think anything will work as anticipated, and is the first to say, “I told you so” when a project or plan flops. A negative person usually is unfulfilled in his job, may talk badly about the employer and might have the attitude that he’s better or more knowledgeable than his colleagues. He probably doesn’t attempt to move forward at work, and if he does, he is likely shot down because of his attitude. This person has the potential to impact productivity and bring down morale.

Competitive

A competitive personality can inspire others to greater levels of success or can run others off with an over-the-top approach to always coming out in the lead. A competitor sees work as a game and has an attitude that winning, or out-performing others, equates to success. Competitive personality types are often gregarious in nature and are frequently high performers. Because of this, employers are not likely to reign in this sometimes-annoying individual because he tends to be a rainmaker for the company.

Disinterested

Staffers with laid-back, devil-may-care attitudes often view work as a place to kill time, putting in only the bare minimum to get by. Some disinterested people are charming enough to cajole colleagues into handling the bulk of the workload, often offering false praise and compliments in an effort to retain their do-little role. While this attitude may not necessarily hurt the workplace, as long as work is getting done, it doesn’t add to its productivity either. Further, colleagues often tire of those who try to slide by without contributing, which can eventually lead to friction.

 

About the Author

Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images