There are many kinds of activists.
Consumer activists act on behalf of consumers to improve product safety and quality. Environmental activists look out for Mother Nature and making sure that she is protected. Social activists are cause-based, hoping to bring about tremendous social change to improve the world we live in.
In these and other activism roles, people inject their energy and passions to bring about change and improvement (or at least how they see it). In terms of employee engagement, activism exists inside the companies we work for.
I love this term. Why? Because it gives us a new way to look at employee engagement. In the past, other research groups have put employees into three simple buckets:
- Actively disengaged
These categories really don’t delve into the type of engagement or reflect trends or interests that employees have. A new report from Weber Shandwick does just that Rather than break engagement into three areas, researchers have taken a look to see what characteristics employees possess at the activism level.
Here are the six categories:
Why is this helpful? Because you can dig into each segment to see what the personal characteristics are at each activism level.
For example, the proactivists in your company are your ideal employee. They have high levels of engagement and rarely take any negative actions. They are typically in a managerial role, are highly educated and use social media at work.
Truth be told, I knew I wasn’t a proactivist; I’m too cynical. I thought I would be either a hyperactive or a reactivist. Fortunately, Weber Shandwick has a simple five-question test you can take to see where you fall on the Employee Activism Spectrum.
I took the test, and I am a hyperactive. No surprise here. We hyperactives are highly engaged, are active on social media, and work long hours; however, we tend to be wildcards. We can be negative about a situation, but that negativity doesn’t carry over into our engagement. My fellow hyperactives and I tend to be “ladder climbers.”
I recommend taking the test to see which employee activism best describes you. If you manage a team, have team members take it, too. It’s interesting to see who makes up your team.