Fire those managers who don’t fit

talent retention

It is no brainer that employees who fit your organization’s culture stay longer and hiring the right match assures continued success.

Organizational culture is civilization in the workplace – Alan Adler

I read this interesting article on HBR.org, ‘Culture is a social control system. Here the focus is on the role of culture in promoting and reinforcing ‘right’ thinking and behaving, and sanctioning ‘wrong’ thinking and behaving‘.

That is true, and sometimes the whole business model can be your culture. For example – the friendly and open culture in organizations like Disney, Zappos, Facebook etc. And most often it is the consistent pattern of behavior in the organization. So beware of the risk of having someone continue working with you who is detrimental to your organization’s culture. Not only can he influence others negatively, his actions can also effect your brand. I talked about why hiring a culture fit is important over a post here, and now I wanted to highlight why you should be willing to let go of those who don’t fit. Especially the ones who are in leadership or managerial roles.

I talked about how HR is pressured by managers to hire top talent from their rival companies. Well, that is only one side of the story on where managers can go wrong while hiring candidates.

Be it hiring or firing, Managers play a pivotal role in making those decisions and HR plays our own role in orchestrating that. When it comes to hiring, Managers are the ones who decide and give you a green signal to hire a candidate or not after the final interview. Also when it comes to firing someone, HR rarely gets a say when manager make their performance based termination list.

  • Now what if Managers failed to make the right decisions?
  • How about if an employee continues to stay when he has entirely different values than your organization’s?
  • Now how about if the Manager himself is not a right fit to your culture and he brings in and nurture his own tribes that are suitable to his personality but detrimental to your organizations culture! Eventually this cancer can be epidemic and can break down the culture.

So to save your Organization from spreading this culture cancer, fire those who don’t fit. But how do you do that?!

Make it part of the Performance Management

Performance reviews should be based on whether an employee embodies the company’s culture. Skills can be trained but not attitude and character. If you review an employees performance based on just key result areas you are focusing more on competencies. But culture trumps competencies and closing your eyes to any wrong cultural clues that an employee, especially a manager, exhibits, can poison the entire team and will harm your organization’s existence.

Have a culture check

Even though your organization has an established culture and values that are well defined and communicated across all the stakeholders, each team has its own behavior and personality. That would depend on the leaders of each individual team. So having a culture check with the team members by asking what’s it like being a part of the team and the organization would give you some clues and see what the manager portrays as a leader.

Try the person in team settings

Well, a manager can inspire the team with a human compassion by respecting each other and getting results… some others achieve results through mediocrity, playing politics and awful competition. But that is destructive to productivity and morale. A person who works in a team atmosphere can react in a different manner than when he works individually. We being a human, our differences can make us harder to work with each other. Someone who can embrace the differences of each team members and keep the ball rolling together can have a longer run in your organization.

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