Three weeks ago we revealed the eight most common personality types found via the Hogan suite of assessments. We have already taken an in-depth look at Rebels and Marketers. This week, we continue our dive into these personality types by closely examining the personality profile of Proletarians.
Proletarians make up approximately 14% of the working population. Their Hogan profile is highlighted by mostly average scores on the MVPI with a slightly lower than average score on Affiliation; a flat and normative set of scores on the HPI with slightly lower than average scores on Sociability and Inquisitiveness; and high scores on the so-called moving away cluster of the HDS, which includes the Excitable, Skeptical, Cautious, Reserved, and Leisurely scales. See Figure 1 below for the full profile.
Figure 1. Proletarians Hogan Profile
The Reputation of Proletarians
We had eight Hogan consultants with a combined 82 years of experience provide independent, written interpretations of the Proletarians profile shown above. Some of the words our experts most frequently used to describe Proletarians were “flexible,” “adaptable,” “consistency,” “safe,” “grey,” “steady,” and “balanced.” Additionally, we examined the workplace reputation of Proletarians by drawing on Hogan 360 data gathered with Hogan distributor Peter Berry Consultancy.
Colleagues, supervisors, and subordinates said Proletarians “treat people with respect,” “behave to very high ethical standards,” “are positive role models,” and “are polite and considerate, never rude or abrasive.” At the same time, Proletarians’ work colleagues also said that Proletarians do not “have strong influencing and negotiation skills and are “not assertive and energetic” or “competitive and driven.” In other words, Proletarians are seen by their coworkers as respectful and trustworthy but not particularly motivated or ambitious.
Lastly, our job performance archive also tells us that Proletarians score high on managing conflict, attracting talent, caring about people, team building, and driving performance, but low on handling stress. Overall, Proletarians are interested in stability and a simplistic lifestyle. They are hardworking, reserved, and careful, making them solid employees who want to work without being bothered.
Common Careers for Proletarians
Proletarians prefer careers involving clear objectives and can work without much oversight or supervision. They are not looking to climb the corporate ladder, preferring roles that offer stability. They tend to see work as a necessary part of life and rarely complain. Our data show Proletarians are overrepresented in administrative and clerical jobs as well as in the military, both careers that offer stability and predictability.
We also found that Proletarians are slightly overrepresented in entry-level supervisory roles and underrepresented among executives. Their supervisors see them as above-average performers at work. In popular media, characters such as the Scarlett Witch (Marvel), Ron Swanson (Parks and Recreation), and Mrs. Potts (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast) are prototypical Proletarians – hardworking and preferring the simple things in life.
Advice for Proletarians
If you are a Proletarian, you should be aware of your tendency to fade into the background of most work situations. Although your manager will likely see you as a competent and steady worker, you are unlikely to be recognized as a high performer. If you aspire to move up in the company, you will need to do more to stand out and get your ideas noticed.
In leadership roles, you may tend to manage your reports rather than lead them. That is, although you will direct your reports as to what they should do, they are unlikely to find you particularly influential and will view you as more tactical than strategic. In meetings, you will tend to keep to yourself and not speak up. It will be important for you to find ways to make sure your opinion is heard, especially when you have expertise on the topic.
How to Deal with Proletarians
If your boss is a Proletarian, recognize that he or she is more likely to provide hands-on support but not much in the way of long-term vision or future direction. You will be viewed as productive if you meet deadlines and accomplish specific tasks that are assigned to you. Be aware that your business unit may not receive wider recognition in the company because of your manager’s tendency to stay out of the company’s strategic direction.
If any of your employees are Proletarians, the good news is that performance management is unlikely to be a big issue. With clear tasks and assignments in front of them, Proletarians tend to work hard and do not need much guidance. Furthermore, your Proletarian employees will likely have little interest in developmental discussions, perhaps even finding them to be a waste of time. They are typically quite happy in their roles and not looking to move up. Still, you will likely need to address the Proletarian tendencies to be uncommunicative and withdraw from conflict. You won’t know when Proletarians have something to say, so you will have to draw it out of them.