How to create employee personas

You’ve heard enough about customer personas, haven’t you? Every big marketing project starts with identifying them. Employee Experience (EX) is now becoming more and more like Customer Experience (CX) in terms of its business importance and the psychology behind it. Hence the need to know how to create employee personas.

Personas help you conceptualize your employees’ needs and provide insights about motivating them and enabling them to reach their full potential. That’s why understanding and mapping your audience is key to successful EX. But how to do it right?

How not to do it

The biggest misunderstanding of personas is that it is simply a set of characteristics such as age, possibly gender, job, income level, marriage status, hobbies, and so on. Nothing better illustrates the failure of this approach as this notorious meme:

Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne same personas

How to get started

The truth behind personas is that they are not about demographics but about unique personal needs, strengths, and challenges. Another essential aspect of employee personas is that they need to be tailored to specific EX need.

For example, to understand your employees’ onboarding needs, you need to create personas that provide insights on how your (potential) employees absorb information, build working relationships and deal with uncertainty, etc.

Creating employee personas for onboarding and learning

Here’s an example that will help you understand how you can approach personas mapping in your organization. Our goal in this case is to understand onboarding and learning needs for a mid-sized online supermarket chain.

1- Ask questions to collect information for creating employee personas:

  • What role do they have?
  • How long have they worked in this industry?
  • What do information do they need to get started and deliver value in the first weeks/months?
  • What do they need to feel fluent and motivated in their job?
  • What is their learning style (visual, aural, reading, kinesthetic)?
  • How do absorb information (study at once, study in chunks, only screens information, only in the flow of work)?
  • How tech-savvy they are? Have they worked with your software (CRM, etc.) before?
  • What challenges they might face?
  • What kind of support their need (from HR & their manager) on their onboarding/learning journey?

2- Cluster the answers into groups based on repeating patterns. Personalize your employee image by giving them a name. Examples: 


  • Department: Technology
  • IT support specialist/IT admin
  • 10 years of experience
  • 5 years of experience in e-commerce
  • Needs clear and concise instructions on how processes work
  • Learns mostly in the flow of work, needs well-documented written wiki. Scans information selectively and dives in some parts
  • Might find explaining things to other people difficult, might require extra training on user support
  • Needs brief but consistent contact with his manager throughout his onboarding


  • Department: Technology
  • IT support intern
  • <1 years of experience
  • <1 years of experience in e-commerce
  • Need clear instructions and consistent guidance on the job with extra support during the first weeks
  • Learns mostly in the flow of work, needs well-documented written wiki, FAQs and contact with his colleagues and manager
  • Due to the lack of experience, might get overwhelmed and confused. Needs extra training on how systems work, communication and user support


  • Department: Customer service
  • Customer service manager
  • 12 years of experience
  • 3 years of experience in e-commerce
  • Has a solid background in management and customer service. Might find it difficult to supervise employees on the technical side. Need extra training on the digital aspect of the business. Needs consistent contact with the head of department
  • Learns both in chunks and on the job by either (or a combo of) listening, reading or observing


  • Department: Customer service
  • Customer service agent
  • 3 years of experience
  • 2 years of experience in e-commerce
  • Needs clear instructions combined with examples (preferred service behavior). Benefits from short visual content strengthened by written scenarios
  • Needs consistent contact with her manager in the first weeks


FourVision solutions

Put your personas into action by streamlining your HR process. Choose HRM software that helps you keep an eye on all personas and satisfy your employees’ unique needs. For example, to cover your onboarding needs, FourVision provides the Boarding Web App that is natively integrated with Dynamics 365 Human Resources. Request your demo today!

How to work with employee personas the right way

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