There are many kinds of people out there who could find themselves working together in a company. Diversity is crucial for innovation and effectiveness. Some people might not fit into any of these types and others might fill various types at the same time.
Here are 10 types of employees that can help a lot if you have them in your company.
It’s good to have people on board who are able to identify any kind of bottlenecks, shortcomings, wasteful activities, and other kinds of problems. To accommodate these people, it’s good to give them a simple and easy-to-use method of red-flagging anything they spot. This could be as simple as a physical suggestion box or as sophisticated as software for structured innovation and continual service improvement.
Sometimes the problem-finder and the solution-builder are the same person, but that’s not necessarily always the case. If the problem-finder is afraid to be tasked to solve all problems on their own, they might not highlight something that they are unable to overcome themselves. In such cases, they are happy to hand their well-defined problem over to a solution-builder who can then collaborate with various people to design a prototype and then attempt to solve the problem altogether.
It’s always good to have people on the team who love numbers and who can dabble in reporting not only to support the management but also to provide interesting insight to users and customers. Often such analysts will also be aware of the current advancements in technology and what’s hot on the market in your industry. They are likely to provide a verbal benchmark between various companies in mere minutes. These folks are your Google for professional search queries.
The fence-jumper does recognize the borders of responsibilities between different teams and areas of the organization but is able to communicate well with everybody beyond that line. This person will be in the know about all kinds of developments and is likely to be found at the water-cooler or in collab tools for the case of distributed teams. People like this are great networkers and often have a good understanding of the problems and weak points of most parts of a company. Some of these acquired this understanding because they already worked in many different departments within the organization. With that knowledge, the fence-jumper can often support the solution-builder.
These are the builders of things. They turn ideas into products and talks into services. The word intrapreneur is made up of the term intra, for everything that happens inside the organization, and the term entrepreneur, which is a common word for a person who starts a company. In that way, they are the startup founders within a company. Some of these intrapreneurs become service managers or product managers, but some are only interested in the creation of things and hand a market-ready service or product then over to others to do the day-to-day operations.
Doers are the workhorses of your staff. They might not be after innovation, and they might not be interested in specializing in uprising subjects, but they work through the process and complete any assignment you give them in record time. These are the people who carry a product or service. Their target is not to come up with new ideas but to provide a world-class performance for their clients, customers, and users.
While the fence-jumpers are more of a verbally active species, the communicator prefers to type away. These people are interested in turning data into information and information into knowledge. Good spots to place your communicators are, for instance, press relations, knowledge management, or taking care of internal communications such as a newsletter or even an internal social media platform for collaboration across business units.
The customer’s pet
Remember the teacher’s pet from your school days? Well, there might be a business counterpart too. Sometimes you will encounter people with excellent social skills, who enjoy being around people, meeting new customers, talking to existing clients, amongst other such activities. They are rather extroverted, and for some reason, the customers just want to talk to their favorite contact. Such a person could do well if you promote them to an account manager or involve them in marketing and sales activities. If the person happens to be an introvert who does not appreciate this type of work, make sure you shield them properly too.
The thought-leader (influencer)
Sometimes you encounter staff who are very informed about what’s happening around them. They are somewhat similar to the analyst but more of the contributing kind than just consuming public information. Such thought-leaders, or influencers, often participate in events and online conversations about the industry. Their opinion and influence can grow to be an authority. You can’t always easily determine what this person should be tasked with, but you can talk about it together with them and find a solution that adds value to the company. Sometimes they will participate in business development and marketing engagements or contribute to the company’s blog or social media channels.
These folks keep asking questions much like a five-year-old, and that’s a good thing. While their permanent doubt seems like they are negative about their work or as if they don’t trust others, questioning certain aspects of the business is a great help in identifying wasteful activities, and it supports the company’s progress on their way to a strong competitor on the market. The inquisitor does not want to argue or undermine your authority, they are interested in how the company’s resources are spent, and they are already satisfied with a logical response and outcome.
Full article: Why Your Company Needs the Inquisition
This article reflects my personal opinion based on the experiences I made and the stories that I’ve heard from others. If you don’t find yourself in any of the following types, it certainly doesn’t mean that your company doesn’t need you. It would just mean that you’re very special and don’t fit a category. If you’re a manager and don’t recognize any of these types for your staff, maybe it’s time to shape some of them up and enable them more to do what they are good at.
What do you think about this listing? Do you know any additional types that you need in your own company? What type are you most like? I’d love to hear from you! 🙂