Misaligned Employees: When to Reassign or Release from the Company?

Sep 12, 2017

Misaligned Employees

Business leaders constantly need to evaluate their employees to determine whether they are aligned with the company and their role. There is too great of risk that misaligned employees will negatively impact productivity, team chemistry, and the overall health of the company.

The first important step is looking for the signs of an employee who is not aligned with their role or the company culture:

  • Habitual mistakes in their work
  • Uncharacteristic decline in productivity
  • Excuses for a decline in work or productivity
  • Not getting along with their teammates
  • Absenteeism or consistently late for work or meetings

Good business leaders will discover and document these signs. Then, once you discover the signs, you need to match up the employee's behavior with your company's performance management process.

This leads to a key question: does your company have a process for holding employees accountable for a decline in productivity or overall workplace behavior?

If the employee believes they can miss appointments or put down teammates without consequences because there is no workplace standard, the issue of a misaligned employee could grow into a larger problem affecting your company's overall well-being.

Be sure that your company has a performance management process to hold employees accountable. Then, be prepared to have a critical conversation to determine if this employee is capable of re-aligning with the organization's standards and processes.

Are You Prepared For a Tough Conversation?

One of the most difficult conversations for a business leader is talking about workplace performance or misbehavior with an employee.

However, this conversation is critical to keep your company on-track toward production and profitability because misaligned employees could cause irreparable damage to your company.

The best tool to arm yourself with is an assessment about whether the candidate is following the performance management process. Without this information, you are relying on subjective, disputable opinions that could lead to a heightened sense of discord and misalignment from your employee.

With the assessment, however, you are able to clearly identify areas where the employee is misaligned, creating an objective measurement that both parties can discuss to determine the next course of action.

This brings up an important point about the mechanics of this conversation. Business leaders need to understand the steps of the critical conversation, the message they need to send, how to stay in control of the conversation, the attitude of the receiver, and the opportune time to have this conversation.

If this conversation is handled wrong, it could lead to greater problems:

  • Employee trying to take control over the business leader
  • Employee spreading misbehavior to other employees
  • Breakdown in communication for future important issues
  • Unproductive work environment affecting profitability

Many business leaders need coaching or direction on how to have these critical conversations to maintain a productive work environment. ZERORISK HR offers a solution through our Clear Direction Team and Developmental Training Program.

Then, once business leaders receive guidance on how to address misaligned employees, they need to be ready to make a decision about the employee's future in the company.

Make the Decision: Reassign or Release Misaligned Employees?

Let's follow the path. You discovered the signs of a misaligned employee, you matched up their workplace behavior with your performance management process, and had the critical conversation about how to realign with the company.

Now, you need to determine whether this employee should be reassigned to another role or department, or if you should release this employee from the company.

When to Retain and Reassign: If the unproductive behavior or results can be corrected and if the employee shows willingness to listen to the assessment, then it's a training or awareness issue. This can be addressed. The key is finding a different role or assignment for the employee to utilize their skills and competencies in a more productive manner.

When to Release: If the employee is misaligned because of a developmental issue, you may never be able to correct the unproductive behavior. You should consider cutting bait at this point, using the measurable results of your assessment to ensure proper handling of the decision to release this employee.

For additional guidance on challenging workforce situations such as misaligned employees, read more about the benefits of the Clear Direction program that will increase engagement, productivity, and employee accountability to enhance workplace productivity benefiting your company's bottom line.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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