A manager said to me, “I’m concerned about Jacob. He has really struggled during the last few months.”
“How long has Jacob been with you?” I asked.
“Almost fifteen years.”
“What is Jacob’s performance history?”
“He’s been a pretty good performer, not great but reliable. The volume in Jacob’s job has increased dramatically and we have become very dependent on technology.”
“Have you trained Jacob sufficiently?”
“Yes, we’ve offered extensive training. In reality, the job has probably outgrown Jacob’s abilities.”
“Do you have other tasks that you could assign to Jacob?”
“Not really. We are fully staffed and I’ve shifted tasks as much as I can.”
When a job outgrows an employee’s abilities, I think the company should try to reassign the employee to other tasks. However, as in this example, reassignment is not always practical.
Another option is to continue coaching and training and hope to get the employee up to speed. However, this usually does not work.
As tough as it sounds, the better option for both the organization and the employee is to compassionately remove the person from the organization and assist him/her in finding a better fit with another company.