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Principles for Healthy Business Finances – The right people in the right job

This month, I’m sharing the importance of having people in the position that makes best use of their skills. Sometimes what may come across as poor performance in a role might actually be disengagement caused by a lack of passion or understanding for it. That’s why trying to avoid square pegs in round holes makes good business sense.

Why an employee may be in the wrong role

How do people end up doing jobs that might not be right for them?

Perhaps the rewording of a job description following a team restructure has left a team member feeling confused about their new responsibilities. Or it could be that someone applied for a new job, which they got, but that role doesn’t quite fit their expectation. Maybe a younger family member has taken over the responsibility for a business following the retirement or sad passing of a relative.

This last example is something I talk about in my book, ‘Your Bigger Future’, after a long-standing client of mine experienced exactly that. You can read more about his experience in detail in the ‘Principles for Healthy Business Finances’ chapter, but the long and short of it is that he was the son of the founder of an engineering firm and took over the running of the business after the passing of his father. His unhappiness in his new role was clear to me when I visited him, but following my suggestion that he return to his roots within the company on the shop floor, the positive change in him when I visited again 12 months later was remarkable.

Spot the signs

An employee may decide to be open and honest in telling you that they no longer feel their role is a good fit for them. However, many may not feel comfortable doing this and you could start to notice their unhappiness in their job for yourself.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of some of the signs that a team member might be in the wrong position[1]:

  • They seem bored or disengaged with their work

  • They can’t master the tasks assigned to them, despite feedback or support on how to complete them

  • They don’t share ideas with you or their wider team

  • Their personality or strengths don’t appear to be aligned with what is needed to perform in the role.

Start a conversation

It’s a great thing to be energised by and engaged with your work, and this, along with talking positively about your job, are signs that you’re in the right one.

If you feel that an employee may be unhappy in their current role, it could be worth having a conversation with them about where their interests lie and what they feel their strengths are. Listening to their concerns and coming to a solution together will help them to feel valued and is a step towards making sure you have the right people in the right job.

Next month, I’ll be looking at my next Principle for Healthy Business Finances: ‘Persistency wins the prize’.

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