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42% of your employees are keepers. How do you ensure the other 58% don’t run them off?

In today’s rapidly evolving work landscape, organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of employee experience (EX) as a key driver of competitive advantage. Understanding and measuring EX has become paramount, and organizations are turning to the intersection of behavioral science and A.I. to uncover valuable insights into their workforce.

McKinsey’s recent report on the six employee archetypes sheds light on the significance of this approach. This type of work allows leaders to segment their workforce into meaningful categories, and to recognize that what works for some people may not work for others. It also accounts for the fact that situations matter as much as personality. Let’s take a look at each one.

1. The Quitters: Headed for the door

Around 10 percent of the workforce typically falls into the “Quitters” category. These individuals may not be the lowest performers, but they are often dissatisfied and less committed, which can ultimately impact their performance and lead to attrition. To prevent the loss of high-performing talent within this group, organizations should proactively identify and re-engage disillusioned employees. Exceptional individuals in this cohort, although content, may be enticed by better opportunities elsewhere.

Sentiment analysis can identify employees at risk of becoming quitters. A.I.-driven solutions can recommend personalized interventions, such as one-on-one conversations, growth opportunities, or rewards and recognition, to reignite their commitment and find what may be stopping them from being successful and fulfilled.

2. The Disruptors: Demoralizing others

According to McKinsey, approximately 11 percent of employees fall into the “Disruptors” category. These individuals not only exhibit low satisfaction and commitment levels but also have the potential to negatively influence their peers. Their behavior, coupled with how the organization treats them, can have far-reaching consequences.

High-performing employees may lose motivation if they perceive a lack of equity or fairness. Companies can mitigate this by addressing disengaged employees’ needs, focusing on career development, and connecting work to a higher purpose.

3. The Mildly Disengaged: Doing the bare minimum

Comprising about 32 percent of the workforce, “Mildly Disengaged” employees exhibit below-average commitment and performance levels. While they may fulfill their job requirements, they lack proactiveness and are generally dissatisfied. Companies can boost their engagement by offering flexibility, autonomy, and opportunities for development. Recognizing their value without micromanagement can lead to increased morale and productivity.

4. The Double-Dippers: A growing phenomenon

Around 5 percent of employees are “Double-Dippers,” who hold multiple jobs simultaneously, often without their employers’ knowledge. These individuals are dispersed across the satisfaction spectrum, with some being engaged and others disengaged. Leaders should focus on dissatisfied double-dippers, improving compensation, career development opportunities, and role clarity to reduce this behavior.

Workforce data strategies can analyze aggregate level data to understand the motivations behind double-dipping and the double-dippers. Organizations can then adjust compensation packages and offer benefits to reduce the need for multiple jobs. A.I. can help create career development plans and role clarity, keeping employees engaged in a single role.

5. The Reliable and Committed: Going above and beyond

The “Reliable and Committed” archetype constitutes about 38 percent of the workforce. These individuals are satisfied, committed, and willing to go the extra mile for their employers. Companies can further enhance their performance by providing meaningful work, flexibility, and a supportive workplace environment.

6. The Thriving Stars: Creating value and elevating others

Approximately 4 percent of employees fall into the “Thriving Stars” category, representing top talent that brings exceptional value to the organization. These individuals maintain high levels of well-being and performance and create a positive impact on their teams. However, they are at risk of burnout due to high workloads.

Organizations can protect these valuable contributors by limiting project involvement, promoting work-life balance, and nurturing a sense of purpose that is long-term and sustainable. The mantra for these is, “slowing down to speed up.”


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