We talk about building personas and defining buying cycles. We target our customers with increasingly specific content. All in the hope of building a customer experience that will make them want to come back….to retain them.
But one of the greatest impacts on customer experience is the experience those customers have with your employees. This means it is imperative to hire and train the right people for the job. And you need to pay just as much attention to this as to getting and keeping customers. You need to build a great employee experience to create a great customer experience.
First, you need to know what kind of environment your company has, what culture, and how it works best. Can it be productive with employees on flexible work schedules? Does it need non-heirarchical management structure to get the best work?
Once you know this you can determine what kind of employees fit best. And, of course, how to manage your current employees so they are in positions that fit their employee type.
What are the employee types? You’re in luck, Harvard Business Review ran an article in March 2007 called What It Means to Work Here. The authors, Tamara J. Erickson and Lynda Gratton, published study results showing that there are six types of employees that correspond to six different roles within an organization. Useful to produce an employee persona for each position you need to fill.
In other words, a way to define your target employee.
The six types of roles you need to hire for are like the niches you define for the ideal customer. The Employee Types and the Roles(1) they are comfortable in include:
- Expressive Legacy
- Work is about creating something with lasting value.
- Secure Progress
- Work is about improving one’s life ande finding a predictable path.
- Individual Expertise and Team Success
- Work is about being a valuable part of a winning team.
- Risk and Reward
- Work is one of multiple oppportunities to live a life filled with change and excitement.
- Flexible Support
- Work is a source of livelihood but not yet (or not currently) a priority.
- Low Obligation and Easy Income
- Work is a source of economic gain.
Different activities and environments are needed for each type and role to keep them engaged and happy in the work. You have to find a way to figure out what types of employees you have now, what kind of environment your company offers them, and whether you need to fill some holes with different types of employees than you have now.
For example, the “Expressive Legacy” prefers autonomy. Micromanage this employee and you will lose him. Meanwhile, a “Low Obligation and Easy Income” type does best with well-defined work routines. “Secure Progress” needs stability while “Risk and Reward” needs flexibility.
What if you have employee types that don’t mesh well with the roles you need filled? That’s up to you. You can try steering them into a better fitting job if needed. Or you can help them find work that will be a better fit, even if it isn’t with your organization.
Or you can just keep in mind that these roles and types exist and addressing any issues as they occur, coaching the employees toward productive behavior regardless of the type they are and the role they are in. You can’t be everything to everyone but you can’t really just sweep house and start over.
Somehow, you need to find a way to mold your organization into a productive place with employees who are great because they fit. As employees leave have care in replacing them. Make sure you know the role you need to fill and then look diligently for the appropriate employee type. Over time your company will become outstanding as the work and the employees begin to embrace each other.