Human Acceleration

How to identify and improve employee performance according to work style

While employee performance depends on the person, you can (and should) measure employee performance and help your workforce improve. Here's how...


There’s no doubt that your employees exhibit different levels of performance. 

As the leader or head of your organization’s workforce, you’re expected to hold your employees to their contributions.

However, this can get overwhelming as your company grows and evolves -- especially because each employee will achieve a different level of success depending on their traits and individual work styles. 

To ensure your employees reach their full potential, your organization should examine how to support your employees towards improving performance relative to their work styles.

Doing this means your organization can achieve a collaborative working culture and expectations while retaining your top talents.

Before we learn how to improve employee performance for different personalities, let’s cover the main drivers behind underperformance. 

identifying and measuring employee performance

Six reasons your employees may be underperforming

How do you identify why your employees are underperforming? It’s likely due to one of the following reasons (or a mixture of many): 

  1. Tardiness: If your organization has a hybrid or in-office environment, go through your attendance reports and ask your employees questions like why they’re arriving to work late, missing days, and more.
  2. Lack of necessary skills and experience: Do a health check on your teams’ skills and experience. Some employees underperform due to a lack of essential skills, or they don't have the experience needed to get the job done. Implementing an ongoing training program towards role-specific functions and digital adoption can give your teams the necessary skills and knowledge.
  3. Lack of clear goals: Set clear objectives and goals for your teams, then tie them into actionable tasks to help teams understand their roles and what’s expected of them.
  4. Poor Communication: Lack of communication and expectation setting leads to lowered performance. To curb this problem, foster transparent and open lines of communication with your employees and amongst themselves. You can even structure forums that will help your workforce establish positive working relationships and communication habits.
  5. Huge Workloads: Excessive workload can make your employees feel overwhelmed and burnt out. Don't impose extreme expectations on your employees, and assign workloads based on the capability of your workforce. If you’re already doing this and your workforce is still overburdened, it’s time to consider adding new team members. 
  6. Lack of motivation: Most employees underperform due to a lack of encouragement from their leaders and peers. Some employees might find their current positions uninteresting, or they simply don't enjoy their roles. 

Be open to communication and discussion with your team members before you make any decisions or recruit a replacement. 

Now that we’ve covered the root causes of workplace underperformance, let’s learn how to set each employee up for success tailored to their needs.  

How to improve employee performance according to individual work styles

When helping your teams perform to the best of their ability, a one-size-fits-all approach may seem tempting, but it won’t be effective in the long run. 

Use these four points to evaluate and assess how you can support your team members individually. 

1. Consider the extrovert and introvert equation

While you might want to improve the performance of all your workers at the same time, you need to understand that your employees have a diverse set of personality traits. 

While extroverts are often outgoing, outspoken, and easy to approach and get their attention, introverts are a bit laid back and love spending time in solitude. Introverts and extroverts can perceive the goals and objectives of an organization differently and perceive overall life differently.

Most employees tend to be extroverts, and you might realize that your organization has more extroverts than introverts. While this may look great, balancing these personality traits can add significant value to your organization. 

Extroverts are often confident and have traits typically associated with strong leaders. Of course, extroverts have their weaknesses, like being emotional and making judgments using their emotions. 

On the other hand, introverts tend to be more detail-oriented, and they don't rely on encouragement from others. Introverts make great leaders because they are typically better at taking a step back and making leadership decisions based on logic instead of emotions.

Coaching your employees to embrace different personalities and leverage each other’s strengths can help maximize productivity and collaboration, leading to better overall performance.

2. Discuss and establish a workplace culture

Every department and office has its norms, and this can help maximize productivity and minimize unnecessary distractions. Discuss and decide on your workplace norms with your employees so that communication won’t distract others while they're busy.

Extroverts’ interaction with other colleagues can act as a huge distraction to the introverts, hurting overall productivity and focus. 

In-office settings

Extroverts often work better in social settings, and they may want to interact with their colleagues during work time. Introverts typically thrive in less social settings and often prefer quiet working spaces. To combat this in an in-office environment, you can introduce signs on each employee’s desk that indicate if they’re busy or open to talking.

Hybrid and fully remote settings

Consider when and how to schedule meetings, use messaging apps, and more for remote and hybrid organizations—encouraging introverted employees to add work blocks to their digital calendar apps while also leaving time dedicated to meetings. This allows introverted employees to focus on critical work, while still leaving room for collaboration and communication.

In addition, your teams can update their work status on messaging apps like Slack to quickly let others know if they’re in a work block or they’re open for meetings.

Transparency and expectation setting is critical -- just make sure everyone is on the same page and understands these conventions. 

Establishing standards like this helps cater to both sides of the spectrum and make sure that work environments aren’t hurting performance and productivity. 

3. Coach on work styles

Every employee in your team has a unique, important role to play for your organizational success. Coaching your team members according to their different work styles can help leverage their skill sets and meet organizational objectives.

To do this, begin by observing your employee's work patterns across: 

  • Time management
  • Strengths
  • Areas of improvement  
  • Communication skills
  • Organizational skills

If you realize that your workforce is more saturated with specific work styles than others, evaluate how you can balance this by adding new employees to your team. This balance, in turn, will help you achieve a higher level of performance in the workplace. 

4. Implement the right digital tools

In addition to establishing work norms, your digital tools can facilitate how and when you communicate. Your employees can use collaboration tools like Slack, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams based on their work styles to help them manage your team and improve their performance.

Pattyrn’s user-tailored pop-ups can also empower your employees by collecting data across your management tools, then giving you insight into your organization's performance across projects and timelines. 

Digital footprint tools like Pattyrn actively engage your workforce by providing suggestions to improve digital adoption, optimize tool usage, and meet performance expectations with their current resources. They’re also designed to help your employees manage workloads by prioritizing based on your specific organizational goals.

With a digital adoption tool like Pattyrn, you can apply recommendations from the gathered data to help your teams work smarter, not harder. You also gain insights into improving employee performance by directing resources and attention where necessary.

Finally, these digital tools should help better manage time and encourage employees to find a healthy work-life blend that allows for both personal and professional productivity.

Improve your employee performance with personalized insights

The success of your organization relies on the performance of your employees--and if you don’t take care of your employees, others will.

To help your workforce achieve personal and organizational goals, approaching productivity from an individual employee level will help you get the most out of your workforce. 

To learn more about setting up your workforce for success, learn how to improve employee performance with employee productivity dashboards. 

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