Navigating the Challenges of Loving an Employee Who Isn’t a Good Fit

by | Aug 8, 2023 | Management

You know that one employee that you really have a soft spot for, but you know are not performing as you expected.  But it is difficult because she is really a nice person, and you get along with her very well.  Loving an employee is a testament to the strength of the relationships that can form within a workplace.

I get it, when you witness an individual’s commitment, growth, and contributions to your organization, it’s only natural to develop a deep fondness for them. These emotions can lead to a strong desire to see them succeed, both personally and professionally.  And I know we always say you can walk a path with someone that is willing to learn.

Yet, as a responsible leader, it’s crucial to temper these emotions with a realistic understanding of what’s best for the TEAM and the COMPANY. This involves acknowledging that, despite their admirable qualities, an employee may not be thriving within their current role or may not align with the company’s evolving objectives.

Addressing the Mismatch

Here are some steps to navigate this challenging situation:

  1. Reflect on Objectives: Evaluate your business current and future needs. Consider whether the employee’s skills and contributions are truly advancing the company toward its goals.
  2. Open Dialogue: Initiate an honest conversation with the employee. Express your appreciation for their dedication while discussing any concerns you may have about their fit within the company.
  3. Offer Support: If the employee expresses a desire to grow or improve, provide them with resources and opportunities for development. This could involve mentorship, training, or reassignment to a more suitable role.
  4. Monitor Progress: Regularly assess the employee’s progress and determine whether the changes implemented are having the desired impact.
  5. Consider Alternatives: If it becomes evident that the fit is still not improving, explore alternative roles within the company that may be better suited to the employee’s strengths and interests.

As much as I hate these words, sometimes, it is what it is.  There I said it.  Sometimes the best you can do is to let go and that does not make you a failure.