You are currently visiting, would you like to visit a LifeWorks regional site?


What these 6 personality traits say about employee well-being

Published by: LifeWorks,

Between rent, student loan payments, credit cards, and a car loan, Eric is struggling to make ends meet. Even with a competitive salary and a modest lifestyle, he feels stressed about his debt nearly every day.

Eric is just one of many of your employees who quietly manage an ongoing issue in their personal life. There are several aspects of health, including financial, that hurt overall employee well-being.

Unless an employee approaches you with a well-being concern, it can be difficult to really determine how happy or healthy an employee is at any given time. However, certain personality traits can be very telling of an employee’s potential state of well-being. Knowing this can help you better cater to your team’s individual well-being needs.

Here are what common personality traits say about employee well-being:


Employees exhibiting leisureliness tend to be very cooperative. They listen and take direction well. You notice them agreeing to projects and nodding along with leadership. You might even describe them as relaxed and easygoing.

However, the truth is beneath the surface. In reality, at times, they’re actually irritated and stubborn. Despite putting on a good face, they’re likely resisting cooperation and feeling frustrated, which can spike their stress levels.

In terms of socialization, employees who are leisurely likely engage well with their colleagues. However, their passive aggressiveness and tendency to backstab makes it hard for them to develop a positive rapport with others.


These employees are calm under pressure. When they face big workloads, they show little emotion.

While this can be a benefit, it can also be detrimental. Very similar to how leisure employees suffer in silence, employees who are reserved tend to steer clear of conflict and social situations. They usually seem distant and even cold to their colleagues.

They tend to show indifference to the feelings of others, which is an issue for socializing. They also struggle to speak up when they need help so they’re less likely to jump at the opportunity to participate in wellness program activities.


Confidence is a great trait to have, but boldness is a step too far. Employees who are too bold act entitled and inflate their sense of self-worth. They are less likely to take advice or constructive criticism from others.

Your go-getters, the employees who are assertive and driven by their convictions, are excellent performers at times, but they can also be destructive to your culture. They don’t stick to the conventions of etiquette and often come off as pushy.

They are less likely to confront health issues, even if they’re chronic. The stigma of treating mental health will likely deter those who are arrogant.


The to-do list types tend to exhibit diligence with a careful, persistent work ethic. They are focused deeply on investing their energy into completing the tasks they face. Your top performers are the most likely to show this trait.

However, this has a dark side known as perfectionism, which is becoming a major employee well-being obstacle for younger generations. In fact, a 2017 study published in Psychological Bulletin found that college students are harder on themselves, demand more of others, and feel higher levels of social pressure.

Along with perfectionism, diligent employees are hyper-focused on small details and become petty. Diligence is where micromanagement comes from — leaders who are preoccupied with the smallest details will often dictate every small action their employees take.

This high level of focus on work makes it hard for employees who exhibit diligence to find a healthy work-life balance. They run high on stress levels and can even develop hypertension.


This trait is most often seen from employees who show loyalty and are compliant with rules and changes. Obviously, having employees who feel committed to your company is great, but being excessively devoted can lead to diminished employee well-being and performance.

For example, if your dutiful employee disagrees with a project, they will struggle to speak their mind. Their submissiveness can lead to bigger issues with their close circle because they won’t speak up when they have better solutions.

Their eagerness to please makes them forget about their own personal values and opinions. Eventually, this leads to burnout. They will always put work before self-care.


Passion is vital for employees to feel engaged and invested in their work. Your enthusiastic workers are the first to jump in to help.

However, their tendency to be overly excitable can lead to outbursts. Their mood dictates how they behave and interact with others. While excitable workers can generate a better mood for their team, they struggle to regulate their own emotions, which hurts their emotional health.

When you can identify these personality traits, you’re able to create a targeted employee well-being strategy that fits each employees’ unique needs. Once you have a wellness program in place, group your employees into segments based on their personalities and wellness needs, then promote specific activities and initiatives to them.

For example, Eric is still living paycheck to paycheck. He’s reserved, so he won’t take the initiative to join your financial wellness program. He won’t speak up to seek help with his money management. So, bring the help to him.

Instead of waiting for him to respond to your email promotions, build a financial management workshop into his workday. Free up an hour of his day to join the group event, where financial specialists lead your employees through basic money management exercises, like creating a budget and making a plan to pay off debts.

Improving employee well-being requires a strategy that speaks to each person’s needs and personality. Employees like Eric don’t need to suffer in silence anymore.

Make your employees feel loved