Don’t Try to Fit a Square Peg in a Round Hole
You want your employees to be more productive. Helping them improve upon their weaknesses is simply part of your job. But it’s equally important to recognize when the ROI is simply not there, most likely because someone lacks the natural skills to perform the duties he or she has been assigned. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never fit that square peg in a round hole. Instead, put your efforts into aligning employee’s strengths to their responsibilities. You’ll not only cultivate a happier, more satisfied staff but a more loyal, productive one, too. And that will boost your bottom line!
If you’ve been guilty of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, you’re not alone. It happens all the time in business. Case in point: Superior sales people are promoted to top sales management positions every day. While they’re big producers when it comes to selling a particular product or service, they often lack the critical skills that are required for managing employees, product development, customer service and operational systems. It’s simply not their forté — and you’ll know it when certain side-effects present: a subsequent drop in revenues, employee morale, productivity, profitability, customer satisfaction or all of the above.
Understandably, even after a thorough selection process there is always a risk that the position will not be a good fit for the employee. How do you assess how well the employee is performing in the new position? Develop an objective system of accountability that measures performance and management competencies. Make sure to build a communication feedback loop to the employee so they clearly understand how they are performing against your expectations. Of note, if you’re spending more of the feedback time focusing on what’s negative or not working, you need to ask yourself whether you’re just forcing this person to be something they are not. If that’s the case, then determine if this employee has other strengths and skills that can benefit the company and try to enable this staffer’s success by assigning responsibilities that play into his or her natural talents.
As a leader, you have to ask these hard questions and make tough calls sometimes. But by not forcing people to be something they just aren’t — and then taking proactive steps to address the situation — you’ll be doing everyone a far more “fitting” favor.
How do you maximize your employees full potential?