“T” & “V” Shaped Employees: Differences and Benefits in the Workplace

Sabiq Sabry
3 min readFeb 10, 2023

“T” Shaped Employees vs “V” Shaped Employees: Understanding the Differences and Their Value in the Workplace

As the job market continues to evolve, companies are seeking a new breed of employees who can bring a unique set of skills to the table. In this context, the terms “T” shaped employees and “V” shaped employees have become increasingly popular. These terms refer to the way in which employees develop their skills and expertise, and they can have a significant impact on a company’s success.

“T” Shaped Employees

“T” shaped employees are individuals who have a broad range of knowledge and skills across multiple disciplines, but also have a deep level of expertise in one specific area. The vertical stroke of the “T” represents their deep expertise, while the horizontal stroke represents their general knowledge. This combination of broad and deep skills allows “T” shaped employees to bring a unique perspective to problem-solving and cross-functional teams. They have a strong understanding of the big picture and can use their expertise to drive solutions that are creative, innovative, and effective.

“V” Shaped Employees

On the other hand, “V” shaped employees are those who have a deep understanding of multiple, related areas of expertise. The “V” represents the two areas of expertise that intersect, allowing the employee to bring a unique combination of skills and knowledge to the table. For example, a “V” shaped employee may have a deep understanding of both marketing and data analytics. This combination of skills and expertise allows “V” shaped employees to offer unique insights and solutions that are not possible with employees who only have expertise in one area.

Photo by Nicolas J Leclercq on Unsplash

The Value of “T” and “V” Shaped Employees

Both “T” and “V” shaped employees can bring significant value to a company. “T” shaped employees are well-rounded and can bring a fresh perspective to projects and cross-functional teams. Their broad knowledge base allows them to see the big picture and drive creative solutions. On the other hand, “V” shaped employees bring a unique combination of skills and knowledge that can lead to innovative and effective solutions.

In conclusion, companies should aim to have a mix of both “T” and “V” shaped employees to create a diverse and well-rounded team. While “T” shaped employees bring a generalist perspective, “V” shaped employees bring specialized skills and knowledge that can drive innovation. In today’s rapidly changing job market, companies must be prepared to adapt to new challenges and opportunities. By having a team of “T” and “V” shaped employees, companies can be well-equipped to meet these challenges head-on and drive success.

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