When it comes to segmentation, marketers are brilliant in targeting content at customer types, but not so good when it comes to employee engagement. Internal campaigns are still built around hierarchies rather than how people think and behave. It’s all about cascades for line managers rather than richer personality types and demographics. At best, we tend to group employees together into broad groups like Millennials, Baby Boomers and Gen Z.
But employees, like customers, are driven by many different motivators, a theme touched on by a 2011 report from Bain & Co – one of the few you’ll find on employee segmentation.
In December, we shared our Christmas card with clients. We created a 12-question profiler which generated a Christmas personality profile. The questions were developed in partnership with the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre – with whom we’ve worked on a number of similar projects with other clients to help them bring their brands to life for their employees. These are great ways for clients to better understand the make-up of their employee base, how employees like to digest communications, and for employees to better understand the difference they make in bringing their brands to life. In a world of endless internal communications, the simple human truth is there’s nothing more fascinating than ourselves.
Based upon that insight and our profiler science, we asked ‘What sort of Christmas person are you?’. We had 483 people complete our profiler, and what we’ve discovered is that as an agency we need to understand how we can best interact with Fairies- the perfectionists, and how we might be more attractive to Santas- the champions, Elves who are the troopers and Reindeer- the challengers. None of that will make any sense unless you’ve played the profiler.
The data shows us our client base is overwhelmingly comprised of Fairies- they are precise, focused and immersive. They work through problems one step at a time; avoid distractions and like getting to the point. They are somewhat different to Reindeers, who are big-thinking, inquisitive and originators. They are always asking how they can make things better; ask why instead of when and have bold ambitious ideas. The data also reveals we have fewer reindeers amongst our client base – although we do have a spike when it comes to radical reindeers (those with bold, ambitious ideas).
Of course, this data is all based upon a Christmas card. It’s not robust enough. But it does paint an interesting picture of how we might better communicate with clients. The question is simple – are you building your employee campaigns around real insight into how your people think and behave? Or, are you building them around your perceptions of who they are?