Studies show that companies with high employee engagement outperform companies that score poorly. As a result, companies invest in employee engagement surveys, training & retreats, and other initiatives in order to engage employees with the hopes to maximize employee performance.  However investments on employee engagement initiatives will not achieve breakthrough performance if the organization is not at the source of the engagement issue.

Getting to the Source

Surveys, retreats, and other initiatives can improve employee engagement and may improve performance.  The problem is that these improvements can disguise the real issue and prevent an organization from achieving breakthrough performance.  To truly achieve breakthrough performance, an organization must start with having the right people in the right jobs.  Too often, people are just not a match for the jobs they are in.  It’s that simple…when people are not a right fit, performance suffers.

How to Detect a MisFit vs. Right Fit

There are clear indications that a person is not a right fit for their job.  One clear sign is that a portion of the job is worked on, while other portions are ignored.  People tend to focus their energy on things they like and do well.  For example, some people hate to do detail work.  Something that requires deep concentration, working alone, and may take hours to complete.  They may put off doing this work while doing a bang up job on work that involves working with others.

When someone’s performance is great in one area, and poor on another, chances are they currently are not a right fit for the job.Employee engagement

Can a MisFit become a RightFit? 

A person is not doomed simply because they do not fit their job today.  It depends on what the gaps are between the person in the job and what the job requires.  Some performance gaps are trainable.  For example, a sales person may not be making quota.  Their sales manager spends time with them and observes that the sales person is doing more talking than listening.  The sales manager provides coaching and feedback to ask more questions, rather than spewing all the product’s features and benefits.  Once the sales person practices these skills, sales increase.  This is a case where the gap was resolved through training.

However, take another salesperson who is not making quota.  The sales manager observes the same problem…the sales person is doing more talking than listening.  The sales person receives the same training, and performance does not improve.  The sales manager spends more time with the salesperson and results don’t change.  Sales continue to suffer, and both the manager and sales person are frustrated.  In this case, the gap could not be closed with training and coaching.  The sales person was a MisFit for the job.

Avoiding MisFits? 

MisFits in a job can be avoided.  Whether you are hiring from within or seeking someone from outside your company, it is important to know the answers to the following:

  • What are the Key Performance Metrics for the job?
  • What Behaviors, Motivators, Competencies, and Personal Capacities are needed for the Job
  • What is needed to excel in your Company’s Culture
  • What things can be trained?  What things can’t be trained?

A practice you can utilize to uncover whether you have the right people in the right jobs is to review job requirements every year or so.  As your company goes through growth and change the job requirements can change too.  Many times, the people holding the job do not grow and change along with the job.  What once was a RightFit, becomes a MisFit.

Utilizing assessment tools improve

By using employee assessment tools a company can assess both their current talent and new hires to improve the likelihood of getting a RightFit.  Once an organization has the right people in the right jobs there is a strong foundation for employee engagement. Now the investments made in employee engagement initiatives will help them achieve the breakthrough performance they are looking for!