6 Prevailing Worker Archetypes Uncovered by Analysis of State and Work Career Success Study

Newly published research from Connie Steele outlines the 6 faces of the American workforce, along with their motivators and desires

New research around the American workforce provides a detailed look at the 6 prevailing archetypes based on where they feel they are in their work and career. These findings highlight who is struggling, who is succeeding, and what they value, and they are outlined in the 2022 State of Work and Career Success brief named What Workers Want: The 6 Faces of the American Worker.

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The segmentation analysis uncovered the following six worker profiles:

  • Entrepreneurial Planners (39% of the workforce) are successful, forward-thinking workers who strive to get the most out of their careers. They are strong at career planning activities but they also expect their employers to prepare them for career growth. Entrepreneurship is a goal for many of them.
  • Career Pivoters (18% of the workforce) are less satisfied workers who are actively searching for a career that has meaning for them. They are unhappy with their work culture and struggling to get promoted to the job they want.
  • Highly Skilled & Collaborative (13% of the workforce) workers are ambitious and goal-oriented, with a drive for learning and working together. They are eager to advance and prioritize skill development both in and outside of their job.
  • Social Impact Communicators (13% of the workforce) are driven by their personal values and strive to create an impact in their work and career. They’ve been more successful with using their technical skills to perform meaningful work.
  • Flexible Contributors (9% of the workforce) are independent thinkers with a desire for meaningful work. They value flexibility when it comes to working when and where they want.
  • Lost and Struggling (8% of the workforce) are dispirited workers who feel stuck and need more experience and company support. They’ve been unsuccessful at mapping out their career plan given their lack of support from a career sponsor or mentor that advocates for them.

The study was produced by Connie Steele, Principal of Flywheel Associates, in partnership with Rockbridge Associates.

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“Now more than ever, it’s imperative for companies to understand the voice of the workforce just like they do for their customers,” Connie said. “As current and potential customers aren’t all the same, neither is talent. What motivates and moves them will inevitably be different based on who they are, what they believe, and where they want to be. Garnering that fundamental understanding will help foster a stronger relationship in the end between employers and the people who work for them.”

Findings from the study provides insights to help business leaders and HR professionals work towards bridging the employee experience gap that commonly exists. With people being a company’s greatest asset, learning how their work and career perspectives and goals relate to employee engagement and retention can ultimately guide the development of programs, processes and environments that optimize worker and company performance.

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