When Your Employee Isn’t A Fit

when an employee isn't a fitAs a Minnesota resident, I often find myself dreaming of warm climates this time of year.

The temperature hovers around freezing and I can picture the arid deserts of Arizona or the lush rainforests of Hawaii. Both climates offer respite from the Minnesota winter, but they are decidedly different from one another in flora and fauna.

A cactus can’t survive in the rainforest, and ferns can’t grow in the desert.

Not All Your Employees Will Grow Where They’re Planted

You wouldn’t think companies are similar to plants, but like a fern in the desert, not all people will thrive in your culture.

When you have an employee in your organization who is negatively impacting your company, it can be hard to face the reality they may need to leave. Even if they’re in the right “seat,” they won’t be successful if they aren’t also an environmental (or cultural) fit. Your company’s Core Values define this environment in detail, and you must be willing to hire, fire, review, reward, and recognize your employees based on those values.

If you’re wondering whether or not an employee is a wrong person for your company, use the People Analyzer to rate them on your Core Values and on the seat they’re in. If they’re given the chance to improve and over time they don’t, you’ll need to let them go for the greater good of the company.

Letting an employee go can be a challenging decision, but you must do it if you’re serious about having a thriving company culture.

When It’s Time To Transplant An Employee

The metaphor above stands: no matter how hard you try, a fern can’t grow in the desert. Neither the plant nor the environment is at fault, they simply aren’t supportive of the other’s growth and health. People are the same way – no amount of time, effort or money will change that. If a person isn’t a fit, you’re hurting both the employee and the culture by keeping them around.

It takes courage to put what’s best for everyone before retaining anyone. Think of it as “transplanting” your fern. Once you do, your culture will thrive as it retains its nutrients, and the fern will be free to thrive in the right habitat; both are better as a result.

Next Steps:

Previously published on the YESS! blog.

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