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Maximizing Employee Fulfillment & Performance: Finding the Right Fit

people analytics people problems talent strategy Mar 01, 2022

When it comes to choosing between a hammer and a pick-up truck, the decision depends on whether you need to drive nails or haul wood. Each tool serves its intended purpose effectively. Similarly, many workplace issues stem from having the right person in the wrong role. Even the most talented individuals can become stressed, unproductive, and burned out if they're placed in a job that doesn't align with their natural strengths. In fact, performing tasks that go against one's natural flow requires 12 times more energy. While it's tempting to attribute people problems to talent mismatches, the real issue often lies in job fit.


Identifying the Problem

When dealing with underperforming employees, it's essential to ask yourself the following questions:

1. Does the person fit the role?
2. Does the person fit the manager?
3. Does the person fit the team?
4. Does the person fit the company culture?


Addressing Job Misfit

1. Role Fit:

Job misfit can lead to burnout, low morale, and disengagement. It's crucial to recognize when employees are struggling in their current roles. Shockingly, only 16% of employees worldwide are engaged at work, according to Gallup, highlighting the severity of the job fit crisis. To mitigate this issue, it's important to identify individuals' natural strengths and find ways to align their responsibilities with their abilities. 


2. Manager Fit:

The saying "People leave managers, not companies" holds true, as 57% of employees leave their jobs due to their managers according to DDI. A misfit between an employee and their manager can create a toxic environment, resulting in tension, communication breakdowns, and wasted effort. 


3. Team Fit:

Poor team fit can be detrimental to company culture and productivity. Two common issues to address are groupthink and polarity. Groupthink occurs when teams are composed of similar individuals, leading to stagnation and poor decision-making. On the other hand, polarity arises when teams consist of opposing members, fostering an "us versus them" mentality and hindering productivity. Balancing diverse perspectives and problem-solving approaches within a team is crucial for success.


4. Company Fit:

Company culture plays a significant role in employee satisfaction and performance. Organizations need to deliberately shape and maintain a desired culture that aligns with their goals and values. A poor cultural environment can result in conflicts, internal disputes, and distractions from achieving the company's vision.



To ensure that the right people are in the right roles, follow these actionable strategies:


1. Objectively assess the expectations of each role within your company:
  • Clearly define the responsibilities, required skills, and desired outcomes for each position.
  • Regularly review and update job descriptions to ensure they accurately reflect the role's requirements.
2. Evaluate the talents and strengths of your workforce:
  • Conduct comprehensive assessments, such as skills inventories and performance evaluations, to identify individual strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Consider using objective measurement tools, like competency frameworks or natural strengths assessments, to gain deeper insights into employees' capabilities and needs.
  • Look for patterns and consistencies across teams to identify potential areas of misalignment.
3. Be open-minded and willing to reassign responsibilities:
  • Foster a culture of flexibility and adaptability within your organization, encouraging employees to explore new roles and responsibilities.
  • Consider conducting internal job rotations or cross-functional projects to expose employees to different tasks and teams.
  • Engage in open and transparent conversations with employees to understand their interests, career aspirations, and areas where they feel their talents could be better utilized.
  • Provide training and development opportunities to support employees in acquiring new skills or expanding their knowledge base, enabling them to take on more suitable roles.
4. Cultivate a supportive and inclusive team environment:
  • Encourage collaboration and open communication among team members to foster a sense of belonging and shared purpose.
  • Facilitate regular team-building activities and create opportunities for cross-team collaboration to enhance cooperation and understanding.
  • Promote diversity and inclusion by building teams with a mix of skills, backgrounds, and perspectives, avoiding excessive homogeneity.
  • Provide resources and training on conflict resolution and effective communication to address and overcome any potential team dynamics issues.
5. Continuously assess and refine your company culture:
  • Clearly define and communicate the core values and desired behaviors that align with your company's vision and mission.
  • Regularly solicit feedback from employees through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one discussions to gauge their perception of the company culture and identify areas for improvement. We've had great success using Engagement Multiplier with our clients. 
  • Encourage leaders and managers to serve as role models for the desired culture, demonstrating and promoting the values and behaviors you seek to cultivate.
  • Celebrate and recognize individuals and teams who exemplify the desired cultural attributes, reinforcing the importance of cultural alignment.



By focusing on finding the right fit for employees, you can unleash the full potential of your workforce. Don't attempt to drive nails with a pick-up truck. Allocate tasks based on individuals' strengths, and watch your company thrive.

If you're grappling with people problems at work, we're here to assist. Our expertise lies in matching people to the right roles. Contact us today to learn more and optimize your workforce performance.


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