What is the Energy Rhythm Assessment?

The Energy Rhythm Assessment is Cloverleaf’s assessment of people’s chronotype, or the behavioral manifestation of circadian rhythms and physiological processes (Adan et al., 2012). That probably sounded confusing, but broken down, it can tell us a lot about a person -- what their energy patterns are like over the typical 9-5 workday, what types of tasks are easiest for them to excel at during certain times of day, and what the flow of a team might look like, day-to-day.

Cloverleaf’s Energy Rhythm Assessment draws from research about circadian rhythm and circadian typology. Circadian rhythm refers to the internal processes which regulate the sleep/wake cycle and affect people’s biological and psychological functioning in everyday life, health, and disease (Adan et al., 2012). These internal processes typically operate on 24-hour cycles, or rhythms. Chronotype refers to individuals’ own internal schedule of these processes and the corresponding timing of daily peaks and troughs in their physical/psychological energy (Preckel, Lipnevich, Schneider, & Roberts, 2011).

About 40% of the adult population is classified in one of two chronotypes: morning or evening type (Adan et al., 2012). The remaining ~60% of the population falls into neither morning nor evening type. People’s chronotype is determined by a combination of many factors, including age, sex, birth time and season, cortisol levels in the body, melatonin levels, genetics in general, and more (Adan et al., 2012).

Chronotype matters in the workplace because it affects what times of day they feel most alert, when they focus on tasks the best, and even what types of tasks they do best during certain times of day. Research shows that a mix of different chronotypes on a team (chronotype team diversity) can benefit teams’ productivity and creativity if teammates are aware of their differences and understand how to maximize their efforts as a group (Volk, Pearsall, Christian, & Becker, 2017).

That’s where Energy Rhythm comes in! This assessment helps bring individuals and teams awareness of their rhythms of focus and energy, and how they can maximize their potential in the workplace.

Cloverleaf’s Energy Rhythm assessment categorizes people into three types: morning type (the Starter), midday type (the Pacer), and evening type (the Anchor).

People can be any of these types, but Pacers are the most common type in the American adult population. Starters, Pacers, and Anchors all experience a peak, trough, and recovery period in their day -- having a peak, trough, and recovery is just part of being human!

During their peak, people experience a rise in energy, mood, and vigilance. When people are in their trough, people typically experience a dip in energy, mood, and vigilance. During the recovery period, energy and mood take a sharp rise, but vigilance does not. Peak time is best for Analyzing Tasks -- tasks that require lots of analytical and strategic brainpower. Trough is best for Maintenance Tasks -- those low-brainpower, straightforward tasks like adding to your calendar or answering emails. Recovery is best for Creating Tasks -- like brainstorming new designs and synthesizing ideas. The peak, trough, and recovery occur at different times for people, depending on what “type” they fall into.

Completing the Assessment

After you finish the assessment, you will see one of the three following results on your ME Dashboard. Each part of the result box is clickable and will provide more information once you click on it.

Starters are morning-type people. Starters’ peak happens in the early morning. They experience their trough in the mid-afternoon, right after the typical 12-1 lunch hour. Finally, their recovery period occurs in the late afternoon to early evening, near the end of a 9-5 workday.


Pacers are midday-type people. Pacers have a really similar energy rhythm to Starters, with one key difference -- Pacers’ peak happens in the mid-morning. Pacers have their trough in the mid-afternoon and their recovery period happens in late afternoon to early evening, near the end of a 9-5 workday.


Anchors are evening-type people. Anchors’ energy rhythm is the inverse of Starters’. People who are Anchors experience their peak in late afternoon to early evening, near the end of a 9-5 workday. Anchors may have more variability in the timing of their trough than Pacers or Starters, or they might have a longer trough -- Anchors’ trough happens in early- to mid-afternoon. Anchors’ recovery period happens in the morning, in the beginning portion of a 9-5 workday.


TEAM Dashboard Energy Rhythm Assessment Results

Knowing your own Energy Rhythm will give you great insight into your own energy and focus levels throughout the day. But now it's time to look at your team! Your team's assessment results will look similar to this, changing depending on how many team members make up each part.


Each part of the result box is clickable and will provide more information once you click on it.


Finally, you can explore the times of the day where the peak, trough, and recovery periods are for your team members!