Who Are MisFits?

Stick Figure with question markA “MisFit” doesn’t mean the person isn’t talented, skilled, or someone that has a bad personality.  The term “MisFit” means: “Having someone in a Job that is simply not suited for the Job in YOUR organization.”  “YOUR Organization” is an important distinction because someone may be successful in a Job at one company, can struggle when they move to another company in a similar position.  This occurs because a person’s skills and knowledge are not the only factors that impact performance.

Along with skills and knowledge, a person’s performance is impacted by the company’s culture, the hiring manager, as well as the soft skills required for the Job.  Be clear about the behaviors, motivators, competencies, and the workplace environment prior to talking to candidates.  Otherwise you may find yourself falling in love with a candidate only to discover later they are not a RightFit for the job.

What Are The Impacts of MisFits?

There are obvious costs of having MisFits.  Depending on the type of job, poor performance can include:  work not getting done, mistakes and rework, lost sales, lost customers, time spent dealing with the problems they create, along with a number of performance related issues.

There are additional impacts of MisFits.  MisFits can be the weak link on a team, thus drag down the entire team’s performance and long with that, the team’s morale.  It is found that one person’s poor performance can derail great teams.  Employees once engaged and high performing, may transcend into marginal performers.

Worse yet, is having MisFits in leadership roles.  Leaders that have the right technical skills and knowledge, but lack in leadership skills, kill off employee engagement and negatively impact performance.  Remember, one of the most common reasons for employees leaving their job is a direct result of differences with their manager.  As Job responsibilities grow, so do the impact of having a MisFit.

Where do MisFits Come From? 

MisFits don’t only come from bringing in someone from outside the company.  We often see high performing employees move into new positions that they are not suited for.  There are a number of reasons that result in an internal move to go bad.man in doorway

One situation is when a hiring manager is blinded by the employee’s personality and the great performance they are having in their existing job.  The assumption is if they are doing well in one position, they will do the same in the new job.  However, if it is not the right fit, the high performing employee turns to a MisFit.  The impacts stated above are amplified because the company feels vested in the employee.

Another common situation where internal moves go poorly is when poor performance is not dealt with head on.  Rather than addressing the poor performance and making tough decisions, the problem employee is moved to another department, hoping the problem goes away!  Some companies even promote poor employees hoping the promotion makes a difference!  Ultimately these moves only prolong the inevitable.

How To Turn MisFits Into RightFits? 

matrix shapesIt is possible to turn a MisFit into a RightFit.  A few things must be in place.  First, define the Job.  Defining the Job is more than reviewing or creating the job description.  Create a Job Benchmark that includes:  Key Performance Metrics of the Job, Behaviors, Motivators, Competencies, Skills, and Abilities.  For example, if the Job requires, Customer Growth, then include specific abilities needed to achieve customer growth.

Once the Job Benchmark is defined, then it’s time to assess the person in the Job.  Use a combination of things to assess the person, such as:  360 Degree Surveys, multi-science assessment instruments, and actual performance results.  Comparing the person to the Job Benchmark reveals why there are performance gaps.

Next step is to develop a targeted training and development plan.  The plan can include, self-study, mentoring, one-on-one coaching, group training, etc.  The key is to provide training specifically to address the gaps.  Make certain to establish dates and milestones for the measurable outcomes you expect.

In Summary

Now you can see that it takes more than having quality employees for your organization to be successful.  Quality people in the wrong jobs is just a Quality MisFit.  Now that you understand the Who, What, Where & How of MisFit employees you can take effective actions to improve performance.