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  • Writer's pictureJaclyn T. Badeau

Pulse Point – Have the Courage to put People in the Right Role

We’ve heard of the “Great Resignation” / “Great Reprioritization” for months now. One of the factors contributing to the turnover has to do with the fact that many people are not in the right role to begin with. The Predictive Index recently published it’s 2022 State of Talent Optimization Report stating, “a staggering 76% percent of executives indicated they don’t have the right people in place for their strategy, while only 24% said they do.1” When people are in a role that plays to their strengths, not only is the employee happier, but the Organization reaps the benefits as well. In fact, the same study found, “companies with the right people in the right roles have 42% lower turnover.1” Now that’s a big number!

When thinking about the reasons why people are not in the right role, one thing is clear – sometimes you must have the courage to speak up and make a change. Here are steps you can’t miss in the process:

1. Communicate Clear Expectations (in the interview, on Day 1, and often)

  • Being transparent in the interview about roles and expectations is a must for potential employees to understand what is required of them and if they (and you) feel like they want and can meet them. Quite surprisingly, some Organizations do NOT do that! How can the employee and Organization be successful if communication on such a basic area is not there? The answer – you can’t. Sometimes it may “work” for a short period and you can go through both parties complaining and so on, but in the long-term there’s nothing appealing to this approach.

  • Therefore, communicate in the interview, on Day 1, and as often as possible to your team about each of their expectations.

2. Understand Each Employee’s Strengths and Motivations

  • Every single person is an individual human being. Seems straightforward, right? Then why doesn’t every supervisor spend time understanding and discussing their employees’ strengths and motivations…? I can state all the “excuses” I hear like “we don’t have enough time” but I’ll skip all of that (since in the long run you spend more time dealing with the negative consequences of not doing this in the first place).

  • When you understand a person’s motivations, you know how to inspire them to reach their goals which in turn helps the Organization reach their goals. And when you learn a person’s strengths, you can better align responsibilities and projects with the people who enjoy them the most and do them the best.

3. Provide Feedback to Each Employee on Leadership and Technical Skill Contributions, Gaps, and Growth Opportunities

  • Providing feedback is a no brainer but so often it doesn’t occur, or what needs to be said or heard isn’t clear. People leaders need to provide specific, direct, and timely feedback that includes contributions, gaps, and growth opportunities. This will help employees know how they contribute to and their potential within the overall organization.

  • This process also allows people leaders to understand and assess their gaps and plan for what they need today and in the future and how to get there.

4. Evaluate Organization Needs

  • Organizations (just like people) change; it’s normal. When organization needs are changing based on current and future strategies, clear communication to all employees is imperative.

  • If your Organization has followed all the above items and when organization needs change, you can evaluate who is best in what roles.

5. Make Needed Changes

  • A pitfall of many is keeping someone in a role for which they are no longer suited (or perhaps they were never suited for it). Maybe the expectations were elevated and/or the organization needs changed, but you didn’t communicate those new rules. Or that person is an awesome high level individual contributor who doesn’t thrive with or want direct reports, but the Organization has never had a “Manger” or higher title without direct reports. Whatever version (or another version) is the case, you let that person stay in that role and now you look back and don’t know what to do.

  • First, go through Steps #1-#4 above. Then have the courage to step up and make a change.

  • Ask yourself: What strengths does that person have? What roles are suited for those strengths? Then ask yourself: Is there an opening for that role? If so, move them into it. If not, is there an opportunity to create a role? If so, do it. If not, it may be time to help that person find their happy place somewhere else. In the long run, the employee and Organization will be better off if employees are in roles for which they get to play to their strengths.

I know you may be saying “easier said than done,” but this is a process, and you should take one small step at a time. Start with #1 and really get to know your people, then go from there… Doing nothing and/or complaining about how “things will never change” are ineffective and can cause many mental health and other issues as well as eventual turnover/the continuation of “The Great Resignation” (or worse yet, people quit but stay in the Organization).

I challenge you to consider what small step you can take to lead with courage and work toward making sure people are in the correct roles. This work is about Organizational Employee Engagement and Leadership, and it takes time.

If you are interested in learning more about Organizational Employee Engagement, I encourage you to download my “Culture Pulse: Employee Engagement Questionnaire” here to assess where you and your organization are in your employee engagement culture journey.

I look forward to providing monthly pulse points to help you stay up to date with how the workplace culture scene is evolving.

About Jaclyn T. Badeau, CPA, CGMA, MBA, EQ Certified

Jaclyn Badeau is the Founder and President of Badeau Consulting. She specializes in employee engagement initiatives that help companies inspire confidence back into their team for innovation and growth. Jaclyn’s background in cultivating high performing teams, delivering coaching and mentoring, serving as a global business risk advisor, and facilitating internal and external leadership training to a global workforce gives her the unique perspective of what employees need and what works. She is also a multi award recipient and passionate about sharing her expertise and knowledge in volunteer advisory and leadership positions roles for many associations and not-for-profits.

About Pulse Point

Pulse Point is a monthly blog to stay up to date with how the workplace culture scene is evolving.


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