The Importance of Employee Personas, Part 2

We’re hearing more HR leaders talk about the importance of employee personas. To help you develop your organization’s own personas, we’ve put together this simple 3-step plan.

Every company’s workforce is different, so I can’t tell you what your company’s employee personas are. However, here are three steps that you can take to begin to develop your company’s employee personas. In addition to developing these personas with your colleagues in HR, we’d recommend involving other department leaders who know their staff personally.

Step 1: Look at Your Demographics

You probably already have all of this data, but gathering it and putting it into one place will be helpful for your conversation. Personas are more than just demographic groups, but knowing how many people fall into each group and where there are overlaps can help you start to think about different personas.

  • Age
  • Job function
  • Years of experience
  • Engagement level
  • Parent or non-parent
  • Manager or not
  • Personality type (if your company does personality assessments)

Step 2: Ask Questions

With your demographic data on hand, start to pose questions to your committee that will help you identify segments within your workforce. The goal is to collect difinitive answers, for example, “This group would do X but that group would do Y.” Here are some questions that you can use to kick-off your discussion:

  • Who are the early birds vs. the ones who stay late?
  • Who attends company social events?
  • Who participates in volunteer events?
  • Who participates in company clubs?
  • How do employees prefer to receive information?
  • Who are the most well-connected employees?

Your answers to these questions should help you shape 3-5 general employee personas.

Step 3: Talk with Employees

Employee Persona ExampleOnce you have your first draft of employee personas, try to connect with employees that you think fall into each of these categories.

Whether it’s in person, email or via survey, try to ask them questions to see if your hypotheses about the employee personas are true. Of course, these personas are broad generalizations, so not everyone will meet every description, however talking with various team members should give you an idea of how accurate your personas are.

Ready to make your own employee personas? Use our example above as a starting point!