The 4 Kinds Of Employees In Organizations and How To Manage Them

 The 4 Kinds Of Employees In Organizations and How To Manage Them

Types of Employees in Organizations

The 4 Kinds Of Employees In Organizations and How To Manage Them

A lot of times, organizations have employees in the character of its leaders. People tend to take on the character of their leaders after a period of time.

On the other hand, people tend to develop habits in response/reaction to the leader’s character as well. Accordingly, I have found out that organizations have different kinds of employees who work for different reasons. As mentioned earlier, some of these reasons are in response to the management’s leadership style while others are strictly developed by the employees even before they got into the organization or just following their life’s plan.

This is one of the reasons a policy or instruction can mean different things to different members of the team or organization . . . depending on their personality types.

In this post, we would be looking at the 4 kinds of employees in organizations and how to manage them.

Reasons An Organization Should Know The Types of Employees it Has

There are several reasons an employer needs to know the mindset compositions of its workforce, but let’s look at these few points here:

  1. HR Policies Management: No matter how fantastic an organization’s product, PR or marketing policy is, without a good human resources management policy, consistent success could elude the business. A good grasp of the kinds of employees under the employ will help as one of the underlying factors in determining your HR policy direction.
  2. For designing compensation and employee motivation strategies: As you would see in the later part of this article, there are are 4 major kinds of employees and knowing how to manage them in regards to compensation and motivation is vital. Different things motivate different people and the best way to serve each kind well is to understand what motivate him/her.
  3. Performance Management Strategies: While it’s pertinent that the organization’s vision is the bedrock for designing its structure and directing its core policies, no one does such today without considering the employees for will execute the policies. The response of employees to performance appraisal and other performance management tools is largely as a result of their mindsets. Knowing the 4 kinds of employees in an organization and how to manage them will therefore be of immense help to the decision makers.
  4. Career Management and Succession Planning: While one employees are keen about growing in the organization following the right paths, another could only be interested in getting to the top through the back door just to get titles and move to another organization. Truth is people do things for different reasons. Identifying these reasons will go a long way in helping organizations in career management and succession planning for its employees.

From the points above, it’s obvious that knowing the 4 kinds of employees in an organization and how to manage them to achieve the organization’s objectives is very crucial.


Explained below are the 4 types of people you see in organizations and how to manage them:


He works to earn a pay; to make ends meet. As far as he’s concerned, all that matters is that he gets his salary at the end of the period.

He has limited interest in the general affairs of the organization; present and future. Just keep him on the job and never deny him his remuneration, he would be fine.

You don’t trust such people with big responsibilities because they hardly take initiatives no matter their age and longevity of service in the organization. People like this only take instructions and rarely have big dreams.

They can be very loyal as long as the money keeps coming at the end of the period.

Can you think of that secretary, clerk or Gateman who has served for donkey years and yet sees no reason for additional qualification or little self-development? He is an economic staff member!


These are career oriented members of staff in organizations.

They often have a tall career ladder to climb and nothing would deter them from reaching their goals. They know how to work ‘smart’ and are very good with office politics.

They need to enrich their CVs with plump titles and big achievements no matter how they come by it.

They would step on any toe and do just about anything to get promoted. Some of them don’t like staying long in one organization as they strive for bigger titles with every new organization they come into even if the pay is not as big as the title.

In many cases, their CVs carry titles like: ‘Executive Manager, Chief Operations Manager, Regional/Country Manager/Director, Controller, Senior Director, Executive Director; Chief Strategist, Vice President, and so on and so forth. Please note that there’s nothing wrong with the titles, the point here is that the job functions rarely match those titles in the case of the group being discussed.

Employees in this category are always undertaking one professional course or the other primarily to get more ‘certificates’ and wide work experience. Once they have gotten their desired title (s) in a particular organization, they move on.

I once interviewed a 37years old guy who had worked 12 jobs in 8years. His reason? Directly related to this subtitle!

Give the employees in this category projects to handle and watch them excel even if it means not doing things the right way. Since they love laurels and titles, work out things for them that creates win-win situations.

In analyzing the 4 kinds of employees and how to manage them, let me quickly state here that not clearly identifying the pros and cons of each category can spell a big challenge for the organization.

Check out this article:


This is the dream employee of every business owner or manager. They work so hard and are committed like they jointly own the business.

Employees of this nature strive for good work ethics and do more than they are paid for as pay is hardly their primary motivation.

People in this category hardly get stopped by obstacles in their drive to achieve set goals for the organization. They are referred to as ‘management pikin’ in some offices (Nigerian slang). You can’t say or do anything against the management in their presence; they either report you to the boss or walk away from you tagging you a bad influence.

The job of the Human Resources department is to move every staff into this class but sadly, the number of employees in this category is daily declining for different reasons.

Some of the people in the other categories were once here until time and chance happened to them. . .


The number of employees in this class is increasing around the world especially in Nigeria by the day.

Their primary reason for working is to raise funds to start their own business. In some cases, they resign to start exactly the business they just left off.

Some don’t only work to raise funds, they also work to gain business experience then become competitors with their former employer. Very interesting!

Once they have adequate funds and sometimes experience to start up, they are gone.


This is very important but simply depending on the kind of leadership style you operate. Here are a few recommendations:

a. Open door policy

b. A good internal feedback system

c. An interactive performance management system

d. Creation of ownership/partnership relationship between top management and employees.

e. A culture of equity and equality.

Check out


“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” Richard Branson

 “What if i train them and they leave?” “what if you don’t and they stay?” Richard Branson

 Effective employee engagement practices will help reveal these details about your staff to a useful extent.

Since employee turnover might not be zeroed like I would always say, applying Sir Richard Branson’s counsel as stated above is recommended.

There are times you need to encourage (directly or indirectly) certain employees to leave the organization for the good of the business and of course theirs too. At a certain time in an organization’s life, it must do away with certain kinds of employees if it truly desires to reach its time-bound strategic goals without attaching sentiments.

This is after all effort has been exhausted in helping such individuals.

In the same vein, there are others that you must do all that is humanly possible to retain if you are to make headway at a given time. It’s simply all about identifying the 4 kinds if employees and how to manage them for the good of the organization.


Strategic Human Resources Management will also do a lot of good at this point.

In a nutshell, once you can successfully categorize them to the best of your ability, engage them like everyone will stay, then leave time to take care of the rest!

See you at the top!


Richard Uwamari – Richardizm

About the author

Richard Uwamari – Richardizm is a certified management consultant and leads the team at He is also the consulting partner at Richystar Consulting limited, a business advisory and management consulting firm based in Lagos Nigeria.

Having been in the HR industry for over a decade now, with experience in several areas in the field, he’s contributed his expertise in servicing several local and international organizations. Asides his great knowledge in other areas of the management consulting field, Richard remains one of the best names to mention when it comes to employee engagement.



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