The 4 Types of Employee Archetypes (Communications Profile)

Posted by: in Corporate and Strategy, executive insights, gary grates, Thought Leadership on May 21, 2012
In working on and studying hundreds of organizational (internal) communicatons efforts including immersion in employee satisfaction research over the last several years, we have coalesced our thinking around four distinct types of employees comprising today’s workforce.
Comprehending these archetypes can be the difference between nurturing an engaged workforce or expending time and energy for little or no return.   Please note that the following archetypes may not be applicable to every organization but can serve as a strategic pivot point for planning.
The Four Types of Employee Archetypes:
  1. Career oriented/strong company pride – respectful of status quo
    This group tends to be long-time employees who have had successful careers in the company.  They are highly engaged but often blind about the opportunities and gaps inherent in the culture and business.  They are also more often than not the ones who state in meetings that “we tried that before and it failed” or “good idea but won’t work here.”
  2. High potential/high achievement – catalyst for change
    The most powerful group in any organization.  High potential, talented and committed to winning.  Can be frustrated by inertia and perceived lack of discipline and commitment to change.  This is the key target for any  leadership and internal communications effort!
  3. Productive/satisfied – 8-5 folks
    A large population of the workforce sits here…come to work every day, do their jobs, and are generally satisfied with the way thing are.
  4. Marginally effective/highly critical – “Victim” mentality
    Typically the smallest group within a workforce but also the  most dangerous in terms of culture deterioration.  These folks tend to gossip the most, work the least and trash every company decision inside and outside the company.

Interestingly, leadership and communications tend to focus on this group believing their views can be changed.

The reality is this group should only be targeted by HR, meaning removing them from the company over time.

The Biggest ROI

Employing analytics internally to uncover specific employee groups comprising your workforce provides a new roadmap for communicators in focusing content/context for internal communities in ways that can move the right people forward.

Getting started hinges on one key question: How much of your internal communications is being directed at the right employee segment?

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