Michael D. Green

Blogger, Consultant, Technologist and Very Opinionated.

The 3 Types of Employees

14 Jul 2015 » careeradvice

In this blog I wanted to talk about what I believe are the 3 types of employees in an organization.

As I gain more experiences in the workplace, one aspect of interest to me has always been why some employees fail or are consistently stagnant and others have great success. Many times I have seen two or more individuals start their career with the same level of experience at the same company and a few years later, I have observed that their careers went in completely opposite directions.

With several years of experience under my belt working with people, observing the progression of my career and co-workers and interacting with management, I have come to the conclusion that from management’s perspective, there are basically 3 types of employees in an organization: the employees they don’t like, the employees they like and the employees they love.

The Ones They Don’t Like!

The first type of employee that I have observed some employees fall into are those that management does “not like”. These employees are the ones that are considered bad hires, many are on some type of PIP (performance improvement plans) and their managers are waiting for the chance to fire them or hoping that they will quit. These types of employees tend to struggle completing their work, struggle to do quality work, don’t play well with others or simply just have a bad attitude. They will be typically given the worst work, other employees may have to consistently pick up the slack for them and very little is expected of them. The biggest problem with being labeled by management as this type of employee is that these types of employees have very little allies in management and most likely on their way out of the organization.

The Ones They Like!

The second type of employee in an organization and probably the type that most workers fall under are those that management “likes”. These are the workers who do a good job, their positives far outweigh their negatives, they have a good work ethic and have a good attitude. They are the employees that management wants to keep around and in generally, want to try to keep happy. These are the type of employees that when they put in their resignation, management may try to keep to them by matching an offer but in many scenarios I have seen, will let them go.

However, some of the negatives of being viewed as this type of employee by management is many of these employees have no mentors and advocates working on their behalf in management. For a myriad of reasons, many of the decision makers in an organization know very little about these employees and therefore, when positions become available, their names are not brought up. Because these types of employees have very few advocates in management, they can get passed over for well deserved raises, promotions and great projects in favor of someone that hasn’t put in as much time or an employee who is less qualified but better at getting themselves noticed by management.

The Ones They Love!

The third type of employee in an organization are those that management “loves”. These types of employees are the ones that are clearly on the “fast track” and are on the “inside”. Employees who are loved by management have done a good job of getting themselves recognized by the decision makers in the company. They have accomplished this by some combination of self-promotion, great work ethic, high job acumen, high success at their job, networking and/or consistently getting above average results.

These are the type of employees who have advocates in management and thus, find out about promotions, raises, inside politics and other organizational news before all other non-decision makers in the company. They are also the employees who are taken care of in the organization and if they happen to want to leave, management will go the extra mile to try to retain them.


To conclude this blog, I just wanted to state that if you are not in management and/or not on the fast track but feel you should be, to take a moment and analyze yourself and try to understand how the decision makers in your organization view you. Organizations will always reveal how they feel about you by their “actions” and not their “words”. You should take some time to ponder all the actions that the organization has taken towards you and to find out if these actions translate into the organization not liking you, simply liking you or loving you.

Obviously, you do not want to be in the “don’t like” category but it can be very stressful and it could negatively affect your career if you are consistently in the “like” category because you could possibly be underpaid, undervalued, passed up for well deserved promotions and raises.

Personally, I believe that if you are not the type of employee who is loved by management and you want to grow, then you are on borrowed time and you should be working to get into this category or looking for an organization that does “love” you and see you as an extremely valuable resource.