If you've spent any time looking at personality tests, you've likely come across the Enneagram types test. This test has gone viral in recent years because it puts people into one of nine categories while allowing for overlap with other categories. People like the test because it is simple and actionable. If you've been wondering how knowing your employees' Enneagram types could help your company be more productive and collaborative, read on for an Enneagram types description and how these types can be useful in the workplace.
What Is the Enneagram Test?
The Enneagram Test is a personality test that groups people into one of nine different types. The nine types are connected with others in a circle and hexagonal shape so that each person has one dominant type and one or two adjacent types.
The Enneagram purports that people are born with a dominant type that is influenced by their environment, falling in line with the nature vs. nurture theory. People cannot change their dominant type but can change how they behave and express their type.
The purpose of the Enneagram Test is to help people learn more about their dominant type. They can learn about their strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. They can use this knowledge to help them pursue their goals and improve on their faults.
How the Enneagram Can Help in Recruitment and Employee Performance?
Many employers have started to give both recruits and current employees the Enneagram Test. They've found several benefits in giving the test.
For job applicants or recruits, they can get an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and determine if the person will work well with some of the other personality types in the office. While employers don't base their decision entirely on a person's dominant type, it can be a factor.
For current employees, knowing their Enneagram types can be helpful for those in management and the employees themselves. For example, management can better understand how to lead and who to put into teams.
It's helpful for employees to know their types as they can play to their strengths while also being aware of their weaknesses. Sometimes, just knowing a weakness is enough to help someone overcome it.
The Nine Enneagram Types and What They Mean for the Workplace
Below, you'll find the Enneagram types explained and how the types can be utilized in the workplace. You can also learn how the dominant traits relate to adjacent traits.
Type 1: The Reformer
The Reformer is a person with a strong sense of justice and strong moral principles. They'll fight for what they believe is right, and they need to do the right thing in any situation. The Reformer sets high standards for themselves but can be in danger of becoming a perfectionist.
Out of the Enneagram types, 1 tends to want to be right, and they don't want others to find them at fault. They tend to have a lot of purpose. Reformers tend to be the people who change history and are often great leaders.
The Reformer may have a two-wing, which gives them attributes of an Advocate. Their strong sense of justice pushes them to help others who they feel are wronged or in need of assistance.
When a Reformer has a nine-wing, they become an Idealist. These Reformers want to change the world for the better. They believe that anything is possible and use their sense of perfection to enact change.
The Reformer in the Workplace
Reformers tend to make great leaders. They have a high moral code and aren't afraid to take a stand. Their dedication to doing the best job possible can help others stay on the right track.
Type 2: The Helper
With Enneagram types, 2 is the one who puts others' needs above their own. They have great empathy and are good at figuring out what other people need. The Helper is known to be generous and willing to do or give whatever they can to help others.
Helpers can become clingy and too dependent on the approval of others. They may go out of their way just to feel they're needed.
When the Helper has a one-wing, they become a Servant. They are willing to go above and beyond to please others and be of service.
With a three-wing, they become a Host/Hostess. They want to accommodate everyone and make sure their needs are met.
The Helper in the Workplace
The Helper makes a good team member. They often offer empathy, which can be helpful for team members who feel like they aren't being heard. They can also be good at making sure the team has everything they need to move forward. They tend to collaborate well with others.
Type 3: The Achiever
Out of the Enneagram types, 3 is the one that wants to succeed. Achievers tend to be highly ambitious. They have a lot of confidence and can be charming, especially when it can work in their favor. Achievers are hard workers and are motivated to give their all.
The Achiever struggles with how others see them and worries about not achieving their goals. As a result, they're in danger of overworking themselves and may not take time for other things in their lives.
When Type 3 has a two-wing, they take on attributes of the Charmer. They can easily win over others and have no trouble making friends.
An Achiever with a four-wing becomes the Professional. They're committed to their job and focus on rising in the ranks in their chosen industry.
The Achiever in the Workplace
Like Type 1, the Achiever is a great leader and a hard worker. They're highly motivated and want to succeed. They can help others in their team rise to the top.
Type 4: The Individualist
For Enneagram types, 4 is more of an introvert. They tend to be quiet and often look inward. They're more sensitive than many of the other types. The Individualist is a thinker and often has great ideas.
In some cases, Individualists can become a little too melancholy and may cut themselves off from others. They may feel they don't fit in and thus think there's something wrong with them.
When the Individualist has a three-wing, they become the Aristocrat. They may feel they are above others and that they're more refined or intelligent.
With a five-wing, they're the Bohemian. They're unique and creative, willing to do what they want without worrying about others. They don't like to be tied down.
The Individualist in the Workplace
The Individualist isn't always a team player, especially when placed in a group with new or unfamiliar coworkers. The Individualist does bring a lot of creativity, though, and is often a good problem solver. They can see things from a different perspective.
Individualists often work best when given a project to complete on their own. Then, they can let their creativity flow without worrying about others.
Type 5: The Investigator
Out of the Enneagram types, 5 is the most curious. They want to know everything about how the world works. They're persistent and like to solve mysteries and puzzles. Investigators are thinkers, problem solvers, and inventors. They're often the first to try something new.
Investigators are in danger of becoming too isolated. They can get lost in their thoughts and lose touch with others. Their unique way of thinking often puts them at odds in social situations.
When Type 5 has a four-wing, they display traits of an Iconoclast. They may question societal norms and disrupt the system.
With a six-wing, Investigators become Problem Solvers. They're good at finding innovative ways of solving problems.
The Investigator in the WorkPlace
Investigators are valuable team members, as they can often figure out an answer to seemingly unsolvable problems. While they sometimes need time to themselves to think through things, they can work with others and are often good at developing new ideas. The Investigator is often the one who comes up with something completely new.
Type 6: The Loyalist
With Enneagram types, 6 is, as their name suggests, loyal to others, whether that be people or their organization. They're motivated and willing to put in extra work. When they're on someone's side or believe in something, they'll give everything they have and won't say anything dissenting.
Loyalists are great at thinking ahead and foreseeing problems before they arise. However, the Loyalist risks becoming too suspicious, especially if they believe others don't return their loyalty. So, while usually reliable, they are sometimes too cautious and don't make decisions.
With a five-wing, the Loyalist becomes the Defender. They become loyal to a person or cause and will support them/it to the bitter end.
When a Loyalist has a seven-wing, they take on attributes of the Buddy. They're great friends and are willing to go along with what their friends want.
The Loyalist in the Workplace
The Loyalist is often deeply committed to the company and/or their team. However, they may make poor decisions if they're worried about being left out. The Loyalist wants to feel that they have the protection of others. They can be reliable, competent workers under the right type of management.
Type 7: The Enthusiast
For Enneagram types, 7 is the one who is always excited about doing new things. They always seek something new and tend to be optimistic about most situations. They enjoy being around others and like meeting new people, and they're flexible when it comes to plans.
Enthusiasts are at risk of taking on too much. Because they want to do everything, they may not always accomplish much. They can also get bored if life becomes mundane and can head out in search of something new.
When an Enthusiast has a six-wing, they become the Entertainer. Their lively personalities and spontaneity make them great at keeping others enthralled.
With an eight-wing, the Enthusiast develops traits of the Realist. They can see situations as they are without being overly cynical or optimistic.
The Enthusiast in the Workplace
Enthusiasts can be good leaders as long as their need for excitement is met. They can be charming and inspiring. They're great at wooing new clients. Unlike many of the other personality types, they are flexible and have no problem thinking on their feet or throwing plans out the window.
Type 8: The Challenger
With Enneagram types, 8 is one of the strongest. Challengers have a strong will and have no problem with being assertive. They are honest and will stand up for others, especially those who can't stand up for themselves. They're good at making things happen.
The Challenger is in danger of becoming too domineering and intimidating. They can impose their will upon others and may take things too far. They're quick to anger and slow to forgive.
When a Challenger has a seven-wing, they become the Maverick. They may rebel against the system or blaze a new path.
With a nine-wing, they have the attributes of the Bear. The Bear is as dominant as the Challenger but isn't as over the top about it. They're protective, strong-willed, and tend to be of the "speak softly but carry a big stick" variety.
The Challenger in the Workplace
Some Challengers make great leaders. They tend to enact change and inspire others to finish tasks. They can be protective of those they care about. Other Challengers work best with a trusted leader or partner who can reign them in when necessary. They don't need to feel like they have no power.
Type 9: The Peacemaker
Out of the Enneagram types, 9 is the most easygoing. They get along well with others and do what they can to avoid conflict. They often help others to overcome their conflicts and attempt to solve disputes without too much upset. They're easy to get along with and are often optimists.
The Peacemaker is sometimes a little too passive and can be willing to let things go to avoid a fight when a problem may instead need to be confronted.
When Type 9 has an eight-wing, they become the Referee. They keep the peace between others, especially those who may disagree with one another.
With a one-wing, Type 9 becomes the Dreamer. They want things to be right and often have an unrealistic view of how things may be fixed.
The Peacemaker in the Workplace
The Peacemaker is an excellent addition to any team, especially those with clashing personalities. The Peacemaker can keep the team from going off the rails and help them to reach a compromise.
While the Enneagram test can't tell you everything about an employee, it can give you valuable insight into how they operate and what motivates them. You can use this information to make helpful changes within your company.