Broker, trader, hoarder or squanderer - what’s your type?

New survey pinpoints different information sharing personalities for employees


Are you a broker, a trader, a hoarder or even a squanderer? Chances are that you fall into one of these four personality types - at least when it comes to dealing with company information. 

A new survey from Microsoft Ireland has pinpointed the main behaviours of people who have access to company information, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. 
The most desirable employee is a broker, which the study said are the most effective at sharing and using data. At the opposite end of the scale, squanderers have no idea of the value of data, while traders may give it away too easily, losing the company a possible competitive advantage. 
“There is no reason why every employee couldn’t be a broker,” said Microsoft’s Mike Hughes, who is business group lead with its Office division. However, this can often require a change in company culture from the leaders down in a business. 
But the different personality types are attracted to specific types of organisations, with brokers looking to work in small organisations they believe reflect their working style, and hoarders - those who gathers but do not want to share company information - attracted to the hospitality and tourism industry. Squanderers, who neither use nor shares company information, are more likely to work in retail or technology, while traders, who are more savvy and tyend to be younger than the other personality types, are likely to be at an early stage in their career, possibly in the not for profit sector. 
And just because you think you are a broker, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your colleagues view you in a similar way. According to Mr Hughes, the survey revealed that although 82 per cent of people believe they are an information broker, their colleagues had a far less rosy view of their abilities, with only half agreeing with the assessment. 
Close to 80 per cent of those surveyed felt company information should be shared equally within their organisation, but 57 per cent said colleagues hoard information for personal advantage. 
How companies share information was also examined in the study, with face to face sharing most popular, followed by email. However, many of those surveyed felt these methods were not as effective as they could be. 
“I think face to face and email have their place,” Mr Hughes said. But Microsoft is hoping to encourage Irish companies to adopt enterprise social technologies, such as its Yammer network, to give employees a shared resource to access information. The advantage of such shared resources is that it encourages collaborative working, but also means people can access prior communications even when an employee has left the company. 
However, many Irish firms are suspicious of “social” technologies, classing them with recreational social networks rather than a way of sharing information in a more controlled manner. 
The survey was carried out by research firm Amarach for the tech giant, and took in more than 600 companies.