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Without the right people in the right seats at the right time, a business can't be expected to drive forward. Leaders must be able to recognize the right seat for each of their employees. More importantly, they have to know whether such a seat even exists.

Sometimes, very talented employees who are fully committed to the mission of the organization aren't performing at their peak because they are in the wrong position, or have been tasked with projects that don't suit their individual strengths. When an employee isn't in the right seat, it can cause that person to feel disengaged and dissatisfied with their work. Their productivity will suffer, an impact on the effectiveness of the entire team.

Assessing Employee Fit

An assessment tool, such as the Business DNA assessment, can be extremely valuable for both managers and employees. This behavioral tool gives an employee insight into where his or her strengths truly lie. When those strengths (and weaknesses) have been identified, managers can determine whether a position is truly right for that individual.

Assessments also give employees a tool to open a dialogue with their manager. They may not have been able to put their finger on just why they weren't feeling connected to their work, and an assessment can help connect the dots. For example, an employee may have, over time, become more responsible for generating spreadsheets. If that employee is not a detail-oriented person, those spreadsheets could be a source of extreme stress or dissatisfaction. With the results of a validated assessment in hand, that employee may feel much more comfortable approaching their manager about the situation. Together, they may be able to determine that another team member is better suited for managing the worksheets of the department.

Is There Room To Move?

Many times, especially in smaller organizations, managers will attempt to develop an employee by offering the employee more responsibility. Added responsibility could add to the employee's workload and stress level, it may not address the reasons why that employee isn't feeling engaged in their work. Smaller organizations will offer less opportunity for employees to shift positions, and it is important that leaders recognize those limitations. Adding new responsibilities or forcing an employee into a new position does not always equal a win for the employee.

The Secret to Finding the Right Fit

There is no magic formula for getting the right employees into the right seats. Every organization is unique, and every situation is different. No matter what your organization's size or culture, however, leadership is what will make the difference.

In order to ensure that team members are in the right seats at the right times, leaders must first understand an employee's strengths and weaknesses as well as their career goals. They need to have the ability to pick up on cues from talented yet potentially ineffective or dissatisfied employees. So they need to have a level of emotional intelligence, EQ, as well. Not all people are suited for certain tasks. Savvy leaders will be able to identify talent and potential, and together with their employees, they can find the right seat on the bus that will complement the team and drive business forward.


Larry Hart

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