DO you “work to live” or “live to work”? Research at Yale, Jessica Stillman mentions in an article in Inc.com., says that people can be divided into those who see work either as a job, as a career, or even as a calling that is central to their identity.
That is why when employers are looking for a type, but hire another, big problems arise.
Global Management consulting firm Bain & Company recently spent a year surveying 20,000 workers in 10 countries, including the US, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, China, Brazil, Indonesia, and Nigeria, as well as conducting interviews with more than 100 employees.
Stillman highlights the report in her article, New Report: There Are 6 Types of Workers. Understanding Them Can Help You Beat the Great Resignation. She mentions that Bain concluded that there are six worker orientations or what they call archetypes, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
“These archetypes help us better understand what it takes for different individuals to find a sense of purpose at work,” the report says. In short, “if you know who you are dealing with, you’re better placed not only to hire the right person for the right role, but also to help your existing team stick around.”
So, what are these archetypes? Here’s how the Bain report describes them, along with the strengths and weaknesses of each type.
Operators are traditional work-to-live types who find meaning and self-worth primarily outside of their jobs.
When it comes down to it, the reports say, “they see work as a means to an end. They’re not particularly motivated by status or autonomy, and generally don’t seek to stand out in the workplace.”
Preferring stability and predictability, “they have less interest in investing to change in their future compared to other archetypes.”
At the same time, they are one of the “team-minded archetypes, and often see many of their colleagues as friends.”
Strengths: Team players. Weaknesses: Not proactive. Easily disengaged
The authors of the report describe Givers as employees who “often gravitate towards caring professions as medicine and teaching, but also can thrive in other lines of work where they can directly interact with others.”
As such, “they find meaning in work that directly improves the lives of others, and are the archetype least affected by money.”
While their empathetic nature makes them natural team players with deep personal relationships at work, at the same time, “their more cautious nature means they tend to be forward planners, who are relatively hesitant to jump at new opportunities as they arise.”
Strengths: Selfless, help build trust within an organization. Weaknesses: Sometimes impractical or naïve.
As their name implies, the report says Artisans “seek out work that fascinates or inspires them. They are motivated by the pursuit of mastery, and enjoy being valued for their expertise.”
At work, Artisans “desire a high degree of autonomy to practice their craft and place the least importance on the camaraderie of all the archetypes.” Although they may find a higher purpose in work, “this is more about passion than altruism.”
Strengths: Well-positioned to solve the most complex of challenges
Weaknesses: Can be aloof and lose sight of bigger objectives
Free-spirited explorers, the report says, “value freedom and experiences. They tend to live in the present and seek out careers that provide a high degree of variety.”
Explorers “place a higher-than-average importance on autonomy. They are also more willing than others to trade security for flexibility.” As their name implies, they often explore multiple occupations during their lifetime, and tend to adopt a pragmatic approach to professional development, obtaining only the level of expertise needed.
Strengths: Will enthusiastically throw themselves at whatever task is required of them. Weaknesses: Can be directionless or lack conviction
Strivers “are motivated by professional success, and value status and compensation. They have a strong desire to make something of themselves.” In short, it’s all about them.
They are the very driven colleagues who “tend to define success in relative terms, and thus can be more competitive and transactional in their relationships than most other archetypes.”
The report describes them as “forward planners who can be relatively risk averse, as they opt for well-trodden paths to success. Strivers are less willing to tolerate less variety so long as it is in service of their long- term goals.”
Strengths: Disciplined and transparent. Weaknesses: Their competitiveness can degrade trust and camaraderie within teams.
Pioneers, the report says, “are on a mission to change the world. They form strong views on the way things should be and seek out the necessary control necessary to achieve that vision.”
The most risk-tolerant and future-oriented of all the archetypes, they identify profoundly with their work. Their vision, which can be altruistic, but is distinctly their own, matters more than anything. And they are willing to make personal sacrifices accordingly.
Strengths: Infectious energy that can bring about lasting change. Weaknesses: Can be uncompromising and imperious.
PR Matters is a roundtable column by members of the local chapter of the United Kingdom-based International Public Relations Association (Ipra), the world’s premier association for senior professionals around the world. Millie Dizon, the Senior Vice President for Marketing and Communications of SM, is the former local chairman.
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