11 Shades Of Employees

Last week I did a post on 12 shades of bosses. I am sure some of you could relate to it. Today, I will do a follow up post, only this time I will be turning the tables- 11 shades of employees.

In every work place there are good and bad employees. Sometimes, we try to give reasons for a bad employee; maybe he is going through a crisis, maybe it’s his boss, or maybe he’s having trouble managing the work-life balance. The truth of the matter is that there will always be that bad or good employee irrespective of the circumstances they might be going through at that point in time.

Using reports from Salary.com, Forbes, and Entrepreneur, I identified some of the best and worst types of employees. Of course, no one is a perfect fit perfect for any of the categories, but which one sounds the most like you?

Mr. or Ms. Motivated

mr succes

I call this employee the office overachiever. He has a reputation for been a high achiever — in school, in church, throughout his life – and he has a knack for always excelling beyond the standard. Maybe it is as a result of his upbringing, or it may be something else that inherently drives him, but those who know him call testify to his drive and motivation. This employee is almost always eager to take on new projects and tasks.

Don’t get me wrong, this person is not usually the best or the most talented, but he is always willing to take a chance. He is not afraid of making the first move, or being wrong. He has a great level of self-confidence.

Mr. or Ms. Reliable

You can go to sleep knowing that this person will not fail you. You can always count on the reliable one. She is always punctual and always turns in assignments on or before her deadline. This type of employee hardly ever takes sick days off and is usually the boss’s go-to person.

Mr. or Ms. Problem Solver


This employee is almost always the one to figure out solutions to difficult challenges. He evaluates his work environment and finds areas in which the business can be run more efficiently. He is a deep thinker. I do not refer to someone who simply goes on and whines about how this or that about the organization isn’t working — no, the problem solver calmly and rationally assesses each situation, finds weaknesses, and develops an appropriate solution.

Mr. or Ms Leader


A good leader motivates and inspires others; he is always thinking ahead, is flexible and adaptive. She is skilled at delegating responsibilities to others based on their individual strengths.

Business owners and employers always seek out responsible leaders who’ve developed their skills and honed their talents to manage people successfully. Talent is one thing, but if as an entrepreneur you don’t have someone who can harness the talents of the people who work for you and manage it to achieve the best results then you’re in trouble.

Mr. or Ms. Total Package

perfect leader


I call this person a potpourri. She possesses the total package-a mix of all of the best qualities: she is a reliable and motivated leader with strong problem-solving abilities. She is also a creative-head, very positive but realistic, and also a strategic person. Employees who truly possess all of these qualities are generally the most successful individuals.

Mr. or Ms Magician

ow you see me

She is skilled at the disappearing act. Now you see her, the next hour you don’t. The Magician always finds reasons to miss work, she hardly arrives to work on time, and when she does, she most often looks for ways to avoid doing what she’s supposed to complete.

I am not trying to be insensitive here; I understand that sometimes employees have personal, health or family issues that cause them to temporarily miss work for periods of time. But this is not the case for the magician. She puts up a good behavior for just long enough to get her foot in the company door, and then she shows you her true colors.

Mr. or Ms Negative


Everything is so bleak to this kind of employee. There is little or nothing anyone can do that will please him. He is unhappy with almost all the company policies and protocol. You’ll even hear him complain about the structure of the office building or even the outfit someone wore to the office.

Not only is he a discouragement, but he bad-mouths the company to his friends, family, and virtually anyone who will listen. This type of employee is bad for business and for morale.

Mr. or Ms Rebel Without a Cause


The rebel considers herself as the “truth teller.” In her head, she’s the only one who has the courage to be honest, and also, the only one who has the guts to say what everyone else is thinking. She thinks of herself as the one with the interest of the masses at heart.

She might be right in some instances; however, this type of employee is capable of causing some serious trouble. Most office rules are not convenient but everyone has to obey them, most of the time. When someone sets a “challenge the rules all of the time” tone in the office, disorder can quickly become the order of the day.

Mr. or Ms. Shady


You cannot and should not trust a shady employee. This type of employee is selfish; she manipulates everybody, is quick and good at lying, and maybe even steals from the business. When he is working on a shift, other employees are not very comfortable.

Mr. or Ms. Lazy

Lazy employee

She does not like to be bothered at all. She does not skip work like the magician but you’ll always find her sitting at her desk doing the absolute bare minimum. She has very little (if any) drive or motivation, and she will almost never volunteer to take on new projects or tasks. She will only do what she needs to in order to keep her job and nothing more, nothing less. She does her best to keep quiet, because if someone notices her, she fears she may be asked to complete additional work.

Mr. or Ms. Old School


These are those employees who have been in the company long enough to remember the days before computers, or the days when before the internet. These might be the veteran office accountants who sit down each day, punch numbers and track spending in a familiar, but perhaps inefficient ways because they are intimidated, confused or just have no interest in their company’s newly implemented technologies. They are stuck up in the old ways and have refused to learn.


Are there other types of workers roaming about your office – perhaps some challenging, interesting or simply fun personalities that have a major impact on your day? Let me know in the comment section below!

About Stellamaris Obomanu

Loves to read, loves to write, loves to laugh, loves life and yeah, she's as real as they come.


  1. saratu says:

    Lovely write up. Keep it up. Don’t forget to write about the those who go to the office to show off their new wears.

  2. Stellamaris Obomanu says:

    Thanks Sarat. I understand what you mean by ‘those who go to the office to show off their new wears’. If I do a follw up article, I’ll be sure to include that category in the mix.

  3. Harry says:

    The rebel without a cause can be supported by “the advocate”. The person who does not stop colleagues from doing wrong but always advocates for them when a punishment should be meted by bosses.

    Also, “the old timers”, those who were there when the company went through its earliest stage or roughest patch and would not allow you forget it. They use every opportunity to remind you of how much they sacrificed for the company but they are not willing to adapt to new changes and work with newer superiors.

  4. Stellamaris Obomanu says:

    You are right Harry…with the additional shades you guys are bringing up, i just might do a follw up on the shades of employees. Thanks for your contribution.

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