How employee personas can help to improve productivity within organizations
The importance of staff engagement and morale in the workplace of an organization
Companies are becoming more crowded with communal factors across the board, often advertising similar job benefits and perks. Competition is increasingly fierce and the cost of training new recruits is rising, this emphasizes that it is essential to retain the employees who bring value to the company. As well as retaining valuable employees, companies need to understand and maximize the potential of the diverse behaviors and attitudes of their workforce. This workforce is often multigenerational, consisting of individuals across various nationalities and backgrounds.
What are personas?
In simple terms, a persona is a character created based on research to represent different personalities and segments of individuals who, in this instance, are employed in the workplace of an organization. By creating employee personas employers can better understand, develop and cater to employee needs and aspirations. Whether they may be ‘the high flyer’, ‘the innovator’ or ‘the nerdy one’, should not be taken into account.
Employee personas are created to recognise that there are different segments of people, who are not necessarily characterised by a similar age, background or experience level. Categorisation is more based on different attitudes, behaviours and needs. Once these have been identified, employers are able to better understand their employees and ultimately drive the growth of both the employees individually and the company as a whole.
Why create employee personas?
The key benefits of creating employee personas are as follows:
- Appreciation of the employee – understanding the persona perspective, what goals they have, what challenges they may face, their behaviours and attitudes on a day to day basis and how these have developed. This allows the organization to act proactively upon this, creating committed, loyal and determined personnel. It also allows the company to work collaboratively and make decisions which are mutually beneficial to both employees and organizational growth. This also leads to more effective management, which again only comes from truly understanding your employees and what they want. Appropriate mentoring and guidance are proven to have a higher chance of growing the individual’s core strengths. Combined with appreciation of the employee, this will help to retain your workforce and ensures that both you and your employees have a unified purpose.
- Greater efficiencies – by understanding the different customer journeys each persona undertakes, what their pain points and their core strengths may be, companies can use this information to their advantage and reduce inefficiencies by having employees play to their core strengths. These pain points and strengths will become cues to best communicate with these employees and find out what strategies and methods work most effectively for that employee group. By focusing on strengths and diminishing weaknesses efficiencies will increase.
- Maintaining your company culture (particularly when hiring new employees) – by creating employee personas, employers can choose individuals who have a great fit with existing employees and the organization. As the process of attracting new employees becomes increasingly fierce, advertising employee personas can help you to zero in on the ideal candidate for your company. This goes beyond the usual checklist of qualifications, work experience and skillset It can also incorporate the mindset and character of new employees and help to gain a new perspective for your company.
How to create employee personas?
- Map out the steps each employee takes. From the initial hiring process through to career progression, till eventually leaving the company, whether this be through retirement, a career change, a career break or anything else.
- Gather information about the different job descriptions, aspirations and challenges different departments, experience levels and ages may face.
- Analyse and design the data into personas based on common attitudes, needs and behaviors of employees.
- Remember that one persona may cover those of different ages, job roles and levels of experience, depending on their approach and attitude to the workplace.
- Use your employee persona research to design your solution and your steps going forward.
- Revisit and maintain your employee personas every now and then (six months seems like a valid timespan) to keep them up to date. Personas may change over time from the introduction of new technologies and general working rules and regulation.
Everyone knows by now that the saying ‘one size fits all’ isn’t true, particularly in the multicultural, multigenerational and dynamic society in which we live. Without considering the needs of indiciduals, companies risk employee disengagement and lower levels of productivity. Instead, be proactive and find out what your employee personas are and utilise this to your advantage. By understanding how needs may differ you may be able to improve your organization's engagement levels, loyalty and employee wellbeing.
Author: Natalia Jain
Source: B2B international