In today's dynamic and diverse workspace, adopting a “one-size-fits-all” approach to people challenges is often insufficient. The average employee does not exist. By catering to everyone, you run the risk of helping no one.
For example, the needs, challenges, and working conditions of a manufacturing technician and a production manager may differ significantly. So when an organization aims to develop effective actions to reduce absenteeism, promote safety behaviors, improve productivity, or retain top talent, it makes sense to tailor initiatives to these specific groups of employees.
The Power of Employee Personas
A starting point for a more personalized approach is the creation of employee personas. This is not new, as our colleagues from marketing and customer service already rely on “customer personas” to better understand and serve their target audience. Hence, extended to the human resources domain, personas are detailed profiles of specific employee segments, capturing their characteristics, attitudes, and needs.
Based on a blend of qualitative and quantitative information, these profiles offer an efficient method to structure employee data and turn them into actionable insights to address specific people-related challenges.
Example employee personas
Steps to Persona-Based Workforce Management
Here's a quick overview on how this can be achieved:
- Understanding Your Workforce:
- Data Collection and Analysis:
- Creating Personas:
- Utilization of Personas:
- Continuous refinement:
Through qualitative methods (e.g., focus groups and interviews) gather insights into the various job roles within your organization and understand the unique challenges, motivations, and needs of different employee groups. For example, when you aim to reduce employee absenteeism, try to understand what potential pain points are for your employees and how these can be addressed.
Based on the initial assumptions that were developed, select and gather data through employee surveys, HRIS systems, and other employee tools that produce relevant data on employee behaviour. Analyze this data to identify common themes and patterns (e.g., segments or clusters of employees).
Based on your findings, create distinct personas representing different employee segments. Ensure these personas are realistic and relatable by including real quotes and observations from your research.
Use these personas to tailor your interventions and policies. Engage in scenario planning to understand how different personas might react to organizational changes.
Continually evaluate the effectiveness of your persona-based initiatives. Refine personas as needed to reflect the evolving dynamics of your workforce.
Is your organization ready to take the leap to a more personalized, data-driven, and action-oriented approach on workforce management?