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Peacemaker, Pragmatist, Knowledge-Seeker, and Ladder-Climber: How employee values impact performance

Posted by Deb Muoio

Apr 30, 2015 11:10:00 AM

values-listMost managers understand the importance of hiring someone whose values fit the organizational culture. An ambitious and competitive job candidate who places a lot of importance on financial gain for example, would fit well in a cold-calling sales job…and probably less so as an entertainer at children’s parties.

What your employees value can have a significant impact on their performance. Everything from their ability to get along with others, to the type of projects they prefer to work on, to their willingness to work hard is impacted by their value system. So what type of values should you look for in a job candidate?

Using data collected from our VaPro (Values Profile), we sought to uncover what kinds of values go hand-in-hand and frequently coexist in certain types of people. Analyzing a sample of 2,100 people, the following “employee value types” emerged from our study:

The Ladder-Climbers


What they value

  • Recognition
  • Power
  • Career
  • Pride
  • Competition

What makes them great:

  • They love to be challenged with complex tasks and projects.
  • They want to be put to work and like to be kept busy.
  • They aim high – and the greater and more lucrative the project, the harder they’ll work.
  • Independent and confident, they don’t need to be “hand-held” by management.
  • They are always striving to reach their fullest potential.

What could make them a challenge:

  • They hunger for recognition and expect to be rewarded for their effort.
  • Their competitive nature and strong personality can intimidate or alienate others.
  • They prefer to lead than follow, and may not take direction well.
  • They can get impatient with people who don’t work at their pace.
  • Their ego and tendency toward self-absorption could get out-of-hand.
  • Personal success may be more important to them than team success.

The Knowledge-Seekers


What they value

  • Knowledge
  • Innovation
  • Scientific Exploration
  • Intellectualism

What makes them great:

  • They enjoy the challenge of complex projects or learning new skills, and will work particularly hard on projects that appeal to their intellect.
  • They are good problem-solvers and possess strong analytical reasoning skills.
  • They are innovative thinkers and consider the advancement of technology essential.
  • They are very methodical in their work approach.

What could make them a challenge:

  • They need constant intellectual stimulation or they will become bored.
  • They can be impatient with people who are not as “intellectually advanced.”
  • They may need emotional intelligence training if required to work on a team, with clients, or are promoted to a leadership position.

The Pragmatists


What they value

  • Practicality and simplicity
  • Stability
  • Financial security
  • Hard work

What makes them great:

  • They enjoy being put to work and want to be a productive member of the team.
  • They are model employees whose effort, dedication and commitment set a good example for others.
  • They have a steadfast, methodical and efficient work approach.
  • They are likely to be handy and/or good with tools.
  • They are particularly dedicated to projects that they are passionate about.

What could make them a challenge:

  • They need job security in order to feel comfortable in a job.
  • They thrive on structure and routine and less so in a dynamic work environment where their role is constantly changing.
  • They want to be recognized for their hard work with rewards of monetary value. This isn’t a matter of greed, however; they want to create a financially stable future for themselves and for their family.
  • They are much more practically minded than creative or intellectual.
  • They can be good team players, but find it difficult to abide by team members who don’t share their work ethic.

The Peace-makers


What they value

  • Altruism
  • Family & Friends
  • Acceptance & Belonging
  • Community
  • Work/Life balance

What makes them great:

  • Their outgoing nature and caring personality make them an inspiring and affable leader or teammate.
  • They enjoy helping others. They are skilled at developing a rapport and genuinely care about customers.
  • They consider integrity a priority and strive to set a good example for others.
  • They don’t mind being put to work as long as it doesn’t result in long hours or too much overtime.
  • They are motivated by recognition of their contribution and a sense of purpose. They want to make a difference in the lives of others. They want to help and be accepted.

What could make them a challenge:

  • Given their preference for work/life balance, they may not want to work overtime or travel very often.
  • They enjoy the social aspect of work, and are less likely to thrive in positions in which they have little contact with others.
  • Their easy-going nature could be taken advantage of.
  • They may struggle to adapt to a dynamic, fast-paced work environment.

Each of these values types has its advantages and disadvantages. The Ladder-Climbers, for example, are more likely to thrive in dynamic and competitive work environments, while the Peace-makers adapt perfectly to a position in which they work on a team or with customers. There is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes it values – it’s a matter of what works best for the position and the organizational culture.

If you’re interested in using VaPro (Values Profile) or other tests for HR purposes, request a free trial for ARCH Profile here. If you want to take it for fun, click here:

Want to learn more about using psychological tests for hiring, leadership development, career development or talent retention? Download our free eBook loaded with down-to-earth information about psychological testing for HR purposes.

Ready for a test drive of ARCH Profile, the delivery system for PsychTests’ assessments? All you need to do is ask!Request your free trial of ARCH Profile!

Topics: HR Tips, Employee Attitude, Recruitment, Hiring, Retention, Personality Assessment, Pre-employment Testing, Motivation

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