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How To: Get the Most Out Of Your Staff

Are your employees working at their best? More often than not, poor productivity stems from poor work culture. Here's how to fix it.


For all the talk about its importance, many organisations simply don't take employee engagement seriously. There are a couple of reasons for this. First is the perception that it simply takes too much time and effort and the second is that it is a low priority compared to everything else the organisation must contend with.

OK, so they might fiddle around at the edges, say the right things, and create an impression of employee engagement, but that's about it. However, it is easier to get the most out of your people than you think.

It’s all about knowing, understanding, and appreciating their personality type - their chosen way of going about showing up in the world, and their preferred way of conducting their life. Once you know this, real employee engagement starts.

Below is an outline the four different personality types as defined by Personality Dimensions® and ways of how to get the best out of your employees.

Inquiring Green

How to get the best out of your Inquiring Green in the workplace:

  • Give them some form of authority

  • Keep them busy but don’t let them take over completely

  • Acknowledge their need to make improvements but that they need to get permission first

  • Allow them to take charge if everyone else has stalled

  • Appreciate that they don’t take problems personally

  • Give them an intellectual challenge

  • Keep pushing them to succeed

  • Give them the freedom to motivate others

  • Help them listen and be sensitive to others

  • Leave them alone to get on with the task at hand

What to do if your Inquiring Green starts to cause problems in the workplace:

  • Remind them of the limits of their task and authority

  • Ask them to wait for others, be patient

  • They are attracted to winning, explain that not everything is a competition

  • If they are being inflexible ask them to consider yielding on the less important issues

  • If they are quick to anger remind them of the different personality types

  • If they see others getting emotional remind them that not everyone can remain objective and help them see other’s strengths

  • They can become bored with trivia so get to the point quickly

  • Sometimes an Inquiring Green can become a bit of a know it all – agree that they are smart but inject humour into the conversation, challenging them with something they can’t possible know

  • If they become critical of others, get them to write a list of what others have achieved and encourage them to say thank you

Does that sound like you? Find out if you're a Green.


Organised Gold

How to get the best out of your Organised Gold in the workplace:

  1. Let them work from charts, graphs, schedules and spreadsheets – encourage them to help the others in the class understand how to use these tools as well

  2. Some Planners are so organised you should put them in charge of keeping things going perfectly

  3. Keep proving yourself and that they can trust you and you will have their loyalty forevermore

  4. Allow them an opportunity to follow some form of automatic routine, like handing out agendas and paperwork or assisting a struggling colleague

  5. Allow them an opportunity to create codes of conduct, rules, instructions and systems

  6. Let them help you

  7. Allow them an opportunity to reach perfection and complete tasks, even if the rest of the class has moved on. Praise them for completing the task

  8. Appreciate their need for high standards and the pursuit of excellence

What to do if your Organised Gold starts to cause problems in the workplace:

  1. Sometimes Organised Gold can become quite pessimistic. Remind them of what they have achieved and what their colleagues have achieved as a whole

  2. Sometimes Organised Gold can become very critical of themselves and others. Remind them of their strengths and how much they have supported their workplace to come as far as they have in a given amount of time

  3. If an Organised Gold becomes obsessive compulsive about something, get them to take a step back and ask them to really consider just HOW important the task is in the big scheme of things

  4. If an Organised Gold is having difficulty letting go of a past colleague’s behaviour, question them about it. Get them to have a conversation with the other person about how they are feeling and why they aren’t trusting that person

  5. Some other types may see the Organised Gold as ‘sucking up’ to the Manager or being the Manager’s pet. If this is the case, speak one on one with those people who are making these observations. Ask them to identify exactly what it is that is irritating them about the Organised Gold’s actions. Get them to consider how the workplace would be different, good or bad, if the Organised Gold wasn’t taking those actions

  6. Organised Gold need some form of routine. If the routine is thrown out of whack, provide them with some form of normality.


Authentic Blue

How to get the best out of your Authentic Blue in the workplace:

  • Appreciate the uniqueness they bring to the workplace

  • Ask them to keep an eye on others who may need their nurturing or support

  • Give them time and space to reenergise

  • Thank them publicly

  • Appoint them as the representative if you have visitors

  • Make sure they are in roles where they can constantly help others

  • Give them an opportunity to use story telling techniques, have fun and flowery language

  • Give them opportunities to be creative and artistic

What to do if your Authentic Blue starts to cause problems in the workplace:

  • Give them space to let of steam and show emotions

  • Bring them gently back to the task at hand

  • Because an Authentic Blue enjoys being around others, they can become quite distracting. Remind them of the task at hand and set them some boundaries and timelines

  • Check in with the Authentic Blue – they may have taken onboard too much and feel overwhelmed. Helped them prioritise

  • At times they can be very self-critical, remind them of how well they have done and include their colleagues in providing compliments

  • The biggest compliment you can give an Authentic Blue is to listen and show genuine interest

Does this sound like you? See if you're a Blue!


Resourceful Orange

How to get the best out of your Resourceful Orange in the workplace:

  • Invite them to inject some fun into the activity

  • Praise them for getting over grudges quickly

  • Give them space

  • Allow them the opportunity to manage their own time. You will need to gain their respect first so they don’t abuse this privilege

  • Give them a lot of variety

  • Keep them close, observing when they are getting bored and starting to distract others

  • Give them the freedom to support and encourage their colleagues

  • Ask them to give explanations or share information in an entertaining way if things start getting boring

Out of all of the types, the Resourceful Orange will inevitably cause more issues than the other types as they get bored easily and will distract the others. If this occurs you need to do the following.

What to do if your Resourceful Orange starts to cause problems in the workplace:

  • Give them the opportunity to go outside for a while and let of some steam/adrenalin

  • Ask them what’s going on for them. Usually it’s boredom – ask them how they feel they can resolve this issue. Remind them that the task needs to be completed and ask them how they can make it fun for themselves

  • Look for credit and praise them when it’s deserved

  • Keep them busy but not so they feel they are being picked on by doing additional work. Explain to them that what they are doing is necessary to make sure everyone keeps up with them

  • Sometimes a Resourceful Orange will over exaggerate or even lie. Understand that they need attention, and they may also need to speak with a professional if it’s a reoccurring theme

  • Resourceful Orange are usually optimistic people however if they start to bluster and complain, recognise it but ignore it. Unlike the other personality types, Resourceful Oranges get over things fairly quickly. If the complaints persist though, spend time listening to what is wrong and listen with sympathy

After reading this blog you may have decided that you would like to introduce Personality Dimensions® to your workplace. I run full day and half day workshops for organisations to find out the Personality traits of their employees and to build better relationships.

If you would like to make your employees more satisfied at work (and reduce staff turnover as a result!), get in touch.

You can also see my Case Studies here.

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