Employers should give work-based evaluations, not personality critiques. However, an employee’s personality type always influences workplace performance reviews to a certain extent. A personality trait a reviewer sees as positive or negative can then subtly influence a performance analysis. Additionally, an employee’s personality may affect how he or she reads and responds to your review. Fit is an important criteria companies use when hiring, and it is no less important when employee performance review periods role around.

How Much Does Personality Type Influence Performance?

Personality type actually plays a significant role in employee performance. After all, when an employee enters the office in the morning, he or she does not leave personality traits at the door. The company gets the whole person and each party must learn to work with the other in a mutually beneficial manner for the professional relationship to work.

There are several types of personalities, and you can use different schools of psychology to break them down. Whether you ascribe to the Myers-Briggs type indicator test or another form of personality breakdown designed specifically for the workplace, you will find most employees fit on a continuum across personality types, while some stick out as perfect examples of a stereotype.

Furthermore, a personality type will influence how you address the individual during the performance evaluation and how you offer to help that individual improve after the performance review ends. For example, you may not want to approach a shy employee with a forceful attitude and overly blunt language, but that may work well for individuals who have tougher personalities and appreciate straightforward communication. As with many conversations, it’s not what you say as much as how you say it.

Using Personality in a Positive Way during the Performance Review

Soft skills evaluated during a performance review are often personality traits. Some people are leaders, some are driven by ethics, and everyone has a different level of attitude that drives each action they take during the workday.

Understanding and evaluating those soft skills is a great way to understand personality strengths and weaknesses and how to best support an employee in the workplace. For instance, you would not place someone who is perpetually negative in a client-facing role, but it may work perfectly for someone who maintains a positive demeanor regardless of the situation.

For some individuals, a personality trait may not fit well with the company culture or the team dynamics. Managers who recognize the difficulty for an individual may find a better style of communication to address the problematic behavior in a positive and helpful way. Appeal to each employee using the same language and approach that he or she uses.

These minor insights from personality ultimately drive team hierarchies, task delegation, and overall team collaboration. They certainly have their place in the performance review, but focusing on behaviors and activities associated with those traits is often more helpful than focusing on the person and personality. Make sure you identify, evaluate, and optimize soft skills in your employees with a professional performance review template.