How to help people who no longer fit your team

How to help people who no longer fit your team
February 27, 2019 Linda Murray

Everything changes quickly these days, especially in the workplace. For most people, it’s not an issue. We learn to adapt and develop new skills or processes.

But for some it’s not that easy. They can’t adapt or they don’t want to. Perhaps they took the job because it was a step closer to their career goal and now, they find the changes are getting in the way.

When change in the workplace occurs, it’s something you need to ensure you manage. When we talk about leading people through change, we usually focus on helping them adapt to the new circumstances. It’s not often we think about how to handle the people who no longer fit.

Change is hard.

In general, people will give it their best shot before they give up. They’ll know when their performance isn’t good enough and they’ll know if they don’t like the changes.

It’s demoralising, being stuck in a place you no longer fit.

And who can afford to quit? Not too many of us.

When this happens, the longer you leave it, the worse it gets. You’ll find that your employee becomes stressed and unhappy. The rest of the team become dissatisfied, especially if they have to cover for the non-performing member. At this stage you’ll also find that your productivity drops off.

When this happens, you need to deal with it immediately.

So, what can you do?

  • Offer more training

Sometimes that will be enough to help get the person working again. Don’t assume people will speak up if they need help.

  • Clarify the new expectations

It’s embarrassing to be the only one on the team who doesn’t understand the changes or what’s now expected of them. Have a chat to make sure the person clearly understands what they are now supposed to do. Also encourage lots of questions.

  • Help them find another job

If there’s no place on your team for them, are their skills better used in another team? They still have talents and skills to offer the organisation, so if you can find a path for them to follow, you won’t lose out.

If there’s nothing available, they’ll need to look outside the organisation for a new job. Whether they decide to leave by choice or because their employment is terminated, you’re still their leader until they go.

If they can’t or won’t adapt to the changes, the best thing you can do is to work with them on a career plan. You’re giving them an escape – a gateway to the career they thought they’d lost. It doesn’t matter if it’s with you or another organisation.

When you work on helping them to fulfil career aspirations, the person has something to look forward to and work towards, and you have a team member who will do their best while they wait.

Changes don’t come in a one-size-fits-all arrangement. It’s unfair to expect everyone to fit in.

If you’re organisation is experiencing change or if you are a leader needing help to ensure your team has a clear career path, our Career by Design workshop will ensure that they are clear on goals, clear on strengths and will ensure that they are inspired, motivated and performing at their best every day. Get in touch here to find out more about how Athena Leadership Academy can tailor a program for your organisation.

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