The importance of employee personas

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Written by Peter Wilde

Since no two employees are the same, it’s essential to create customised employee experiences to maintain an engaged workforce. However, to design successful employee experiences, you first need to gather helpful employee feedback.

Employee personas help you tailor your feedback structure to get valuable data to build the best employee experience for each person.

Here we talk about employee personas, how to build them, and how they can help you gather the most helpful employee feedback to better understand the whole employee experience.

Carry out these exercises in full with our toolkits.

What are employee personas?

Marketing teams have used personas for decades as a way of understanding the customer experience and customer journey. As a result, they’ve helped marketing teams relate to customers better.

An employee persona is a semi-imaginary representation of a group of employees that share similar qualities, experiences, goals and manners.

It’s semi-imaginary because it’s based on data and insights you have about the people that make up your staff. It builds on this information by building a story about them.

How do they help you understand the employee experience?

What better way to create excellent employee experiences than truly stepping into the shoes of employees and understanding their views, goals, challenges, needs, and pain points? Organisations that design their workforce solutions around employee personas discover that these solutions are more readily adopted than solutions that don’t.

Find out how to build your own employee personas with our toolkits.

Aside from more successful adoption of workforce solutions, here are some other ways employee personas help you to understand the employee experience:

1. Builds empathy

Empathy is the ability to step into another’s shoes, aiming to understand their feelings, thoughts, perspectives and experiences.

Creating personas help you be empathetic because they require you to gain deep insights into your employees, understanding their needs and wants so that you can make decisions that align with their desires and goals.

2. Improves profitability

Companies that invest in creating more personalised experiences for employees are four times more profitable than companies that fail to create these experiences.

And employee personas are at the heart of creating these customised experiences.

3. Creates focus

Building employee personas ensures that organisations don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach for all employees. Your company comprises more than one type of employee, and using personas to represent the different types will help you hone in on intended targets as you improve employee experience across the board.

Segmenting your employees using personas can also help with your continuous listening strategy as you can tailor surveys, questions, discussions, and other feedback channels to the experience of each group.

Learn how to feed this into your listening strategy with our strategy sessions.

How do you build employee personas?

Now that we know how essential employee personas are, let’s see how you can create them.

1. Be clear on the business challenge you wish to solve

Before beginning with your persona creation, you need to know the business and workforce challenges you want to tackle. When you know the key challenge faced, it will help you to identify the most important personas to create.

2. Gather feedback

Start by identifying a small number of employees who you can gather feedback from.

Here are some questions that can kickstart conversations:

These open-ended questions encourage people to talk.

3. Verify continually

After gathering the data and using it to create a set of personas, one of the most critical steps is to verify the accuracy of the personas. You can do this by using employee survey data and continuing to have conversations with key employees.

Conclusion

After creating your employee personas, it’s time to use them to improve the employee experience. With these personas in place, you can create accurate employee journey maps and identify the moments that matter most to each employee group.

Our employee experience software can assist you every step of the way by helping you to ask the right questions, interpret data, roll out solutions, and measure their effectiveness. So book a product tour today and get a customised experience for your organisation.

Employee Experience Toolkit