Management Matters

7 Types of Employees and How to Motivate Them

Date Posted: 11/20/2017

As someone who is a leader and in a position of management, you will find that throughout your career you will meet a variety of diverse employees. These employees all work differently and want to achieve different things. At the same time, it is vital to motivate all employees. A highly motivated workforce is a happier, more productive team. It is important that you are able to identify the types of employees, so that you can better cater to the specific methods of motivating them.

Here are 7 types of employees and how to motivate them:

The creative

They are imaginative and creative, driven by core values. They seek creativity and innovation, and therefore love working on the cutting edge and in companies that innovate. Involve them in the idea generation process and delegate them to projects that need a creative boost. To motivate them, make sure that you are tapping into their creative ability. Use it to solve problems and further the company. You can also get them motivated by encouraging them to solve problems from fresh and different angles.

The security seeker

This type of employee is most concerned about job security, as well as job stability. They want a predictable work environment that does not contain drastic and unexpected changes. Managers should aim to communicate a lot with these types of employees, especially any positive news about the organization and how it is doing. Help convince them that this is a long term job, and that their loyalty will be rewarded through promotions and job benefits.

The extrovert

These employees values friendship and building meaningful relationships in the workplace. They work well in teams, are great when it comes to social activities, and are usually there to lend a helping hand to colleagues who need it. They are best motivated if you create a social work environment. They also get motivated by social events and socializing. Be sure to stop by and have a chat with them every once in a while just to socialize.

The performer

Best describe as “builders”, these employees are materialistic, seeking rewards in terms of money, above-average-living, and material satisfaction. They are building their dream life. They typically aim for jobs that are above average pay with clear promotion paths. They also expect a strong correlation between performance and reward. To best motivate the object-oriented types, make sure that they have clear career paths with chances for promotions and increased responsibility. Have regular progress reviews with them. Reward their hard work as appropriate. Set them clear goals and clear rewards for achieving those goals.

The star

This kind of employee wants recognition and respect. They also want to be number one, and seek power and influence. They typically enjoy management roles, where they can direct others. They are also motivated by status increases within the organization. They value constructive feedback and love some good publicity about themselves.

The knowledge-seeker

These employees heavily seek knowledge and mastery of skill. They like roles that are highly specialized. They expect their personal developments that lead to higher expertise to be recognized. They get motivated when this expertise is recognized and appreciated. Encourage them to mentor other less skilled employees, while at the same time connecting them with other experts so that they can build their skills even further.

The free

This worker seeks most of all freedom. They are independent and autonomous. They prefer roles that offer the freedom of controlling their own time and making their own work related decisions. You can best motivate them by sharing what the company vision and goals are, and then delegating responsibility in a way that lets them work autonomously. Support them by understanding their independance and giving them the freedom they seek. Try to avoid micro-managing them, but at the same time set clear boundaries.

This list covers the majority of employee types and their specific motivations, however there are no doubt those few out there that are motivated completely differently. In these cases, better communication is key in order to finding out what drives them the most.

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