Linkedin Twitter  YouTube

Your people are not interested in your company purpose!

The reality is that some are, and some just don’t care very much. But I’m a firm believer in having both a company and a personal purpose. For a company, it’s the guiding principle that always helps it navigate as it moves forward. Also, it is the foundation of a company’s strategy and helps leadership set its goals. But that doesn’t mean that it works the same for all! At a personal level, I think that having a purpose enables you to experience more meaning and happiness as you travel through life.


Understanding what drives your people is incredibly important in attracting and retaining the right talent for your business. And today, with the abundance of free money in the market, the power balance is shifting from capital to people. In other words, managing your workforce is very strategic and should be a top priority. It’s where you can differentiate. The consultants from Bain recently came up with six archetypes to capture today’s workforce, based on their global research with more than 20.000 people. What drives people today? The better we understand the drivers, the better we can attract and retain them.


The six archetypes:

  1. The operator. The backbone of your business. Works hard and delivers results.
  2. The giver. Brings a human touch to the company. “How can I help you?”
  3. The artisan. Raises the bar and focusses on performance.
  4. The explorer. Makes the organization adaptable.
  5. The striver. Keeps the firm running successfully.
  6. The pioneer. The engine of change. The intrapreneur with the vision.


Every archetype has a different appetite for risk, for belonging to a group, for seeking status, financial rewards, autonomy and future orientation. I am always hesitant to put people into boxes and colors too much because it oversimplifies reality. Before we know it, we create caricatures. However, if applied correctly and backed up by proper science, it can help companies optimize workforce planning and stay competitive.


So, not all your employees get motivated by your firm's purpose if you have one at all. Some do, some don’t. And that’s all right!! It’s not good or bad where someone gets his/her motivation. There are many ways to be successful. You can set your company up for success by making sure that you have at least a diverse set of personalities on board.


Hope this inspires.



Paul Donkers


Paul P.J. Donkers is a sought-after global business coach and management consultant. More about his work and projects can be found via and via

Do you want to have a confidential conversation with one of our partners about your current strategies? Please reach out to us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Paul Donkers

"my purpose is to help improve strategy execution, to create high performing teams and coach for effective business leaders"

Share this column: