Hiring the right talent and helping those people thrive in their positions is one of the biggest challenges any leader, CEO, or founder has, especially since job hopping has become the norm. You not only need to find incredibly smart people, you also need to make sure they stick around, rather than jump to the next best thing around the corner. 

The single most important key to this is to make sure that your people are in the right roles for who they are. Often, performance issues are misdiagnosed. If you have someone on your team who’s not working enough, who isn’t performing the way that they should, or who seems bored and disengaged, the issue isn’t always a matter of that person’s ability. Sometimes, it’s a matter of fit. If a job isn’t aligned with someone’s strengths, values, and personality-;it’s pretty impossible for them to succeed

How can you tell whether your employees are in the right roles? It’s often incredibly subtle, so you need to pay attention. For starters, look for these 10 signs. 

  1. They are often bored or disengaged, and you regularly get the sense that their head isn’t in the game. 

  2. They just can’t master the tasks they’re assigned, despite lots of feedback as to how to do them better or differently.

  3. They often don’t share their ideas with you or other colleagues. Or, when they do, what they have to offer feels completely off base and unhelpful. 

  4. They seem to be struggling with confidence. They rarely participate in group discussions or share their perspective with others. 

  5. You can visibly notice that they get frustrated easily. 

  6. What is needed for them to perform does not seem to be aligned with their personality or strengths. 

  7. You’ve had a sneaking feeling for a while that something just isn’t working. 

  8. They communicate that they don’t feel valued, despite feeling that you’ve done everything you can to make them feel valued. 

  9. Despite efforts to provide feedback, coaching, and support, their performance doesn’t shift.  

  10. They’ve approached you saying that they aren’t happy with the work they’re doing or that they would like a different role. 


If you see several of these signs in one of your employees, it’s time to make a change. Navigating transitions are always difficult, but know that you can start the conversation with empathy and compassion. 

When you realize that someone on your team isn’t in the right role, ask them to tell you more about who they are, what they’re best at, and what they ultimately want out of their career. It could be that there is another place in the business that they could contribute to that would be a better fit for both of you. 

Or, if not, then knowing that they aren’t right for your company is a great thing. It won’t only be good for your business, it’ll ultimately be a positive shift for that person’s career. After all, no one wants-;or can succeed at-;a job that isn’t the right fit for them.