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How Recognition Impacts Different Employee Personalities

Each employee’s personality type reacts differently to different modes of recognition at the workplace. Hence, it is important to understand how recognition impacts different employee personalities to build a recognition program that effectively mixes and matches different forms of recognition to different personality types.

What are the Common Employee Personality Types and How Do They Respond to Recognition?

Top Management Role in Employee Rewards and Recognition

Every workplace has a diverse mix of employee personality types, with their particular working styles, behaviors, habits, and preferences.

Employees of different personality types respond differently to employee rewards and recognition programs.

Here are the most common employee personality types and how they are impacted by recognition:

How Recognition impacts different Employee Personalities?

1. Solitaires

Work from Home

This type of employee generally prefers to operate solo rather than in a group. They do not like to socialize much and even when they take up leadership roles, they prefer operating solo.

Such employees are less likely to feel comfortable in a hyper-social environment which might impact their efficiency and productivity.

They tend to do well in roles that involve a significant component of individual contribution or working in smaller teams rather than collaborating with a large group of coworkers.

Preferred Roles for Solitaires:


They most often prefer to work behind the scenes and are quite passionate about their work.

They are steady, and persistent, and produce quality work without needing frequent recognition.

Their names might not crop up too many times on the company’s digital recognition platform although they like to be appreciated by their managers once in a while for their often flawless work.

However, this too needs to be done subtly with minimal publicity and social fanfare to avoid embarrassing them.

Preferred Recognition for Solitaires:

2. Workhorses

This type of employees are usually high achievers as they constantly strive for excellence in everything that they do. They are generally well-organized, reliable, and consistent in their performance at work and have strong work ethics.

These employees tend to work well in team environments and carry the team along with them. They collaborate well with coworkers and help drive the effectiveness of the team.

Preferred Roles for Workhorses:


Though typically self-motivated, they like to be acknowledged by their supervisors from time to time for their contributions and achievements at the workplace.

Regular recognition can boost their motivation and help drive their performance to the next level.

The best method of employee recognition for such employees is to appreciate their efforts and achievements during team meetings.

They should also be provided opportunities for advancing their career goals, expressing their opinions, and challenging roles and projects.

Preferred Recognition for Workhorses:

3. Socializers

Technology Drives Successful Employee Recognition Programs

This type of employee is generally a natural leader. They like to connect with others at the workplace. They like to be part of large teams and lead them or play significant roles in them.

Socializers typically spread positivity and work well in team settings.

Hence, they do well in roles where their achievements can give them visibility within the team or the organization.

They are generally well-connected and popular in the workplace.

Preferred Roles for Socializers:

Incentivize Kaizen, Lean and Six Sigma Projects

Recognizing such employees publicly boosts their productivity and efficiency significantly. Hence, individual recognition works best for them rather than being recognized as part of a team.

Also, these employees feel motivated when they are recognized by their co-workers. So, they are like it when receive peer appreciation on the company’s employee recognition platform.

In fact, such employees should also be appreciated for their positivity and for making the workplace lively and interesting, apart from their on-the-job performance.

Preferred Recognition for Socializers:


It is quite clear that different employee personalities have different needs and preferences for recognition. Hence, organizations need to develop a broad framework for employee recognition that caters to these different personality types.

Learning about how recognition impacts different employee personalities can be quite crucial for developing a balanced employee recognition framework to create a highly productive and dedicated workforce, which in turn can enhance business growth and success significantly.

Sagar Chaudhuri

Lead author: Sagar Chaudhuri, the Co-Founder and CEO of HiFives. He is an HR Tech Evangelist with over 25 years of experience in the corporate world and entrepreneurship. In the past, Sagar has worked with companies such as Genpact, Infosys, and ICICI Bank, in leadership roles. He has an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Connect on LinkedIn

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HiFives is a global employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. It is used by 100+ large enterprises, small businesses and startups in manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media, across 25+ countries.