December is the time that many organizations do performance appraisals. Accomplishments are documented in detail; objectives are reviewed and assigned a rating and summaries are written by satisfied or exasperated leaders. The focus of the performance conversation is on what has been done and how it has been done. There is a rare leader or individual who asks the question: Is this individual still the right fit for this role? The answer may at first seem obvious as the individual has exceeded objectives and been given a very high rating. However, this begs the question if the individual has outgrown the role. On the other end of the scale, an individual who has failed to meet objectives and has been given a low rating may be working way too hard and accomplishing little as the role is too much of a stretch and a challenge.
A FIT assessment gives the leader and the individual the gift of a golden opportunity to have a closer look and an honest conversation about the individual and the role. The problem may not be the individual rather that the role is outdated or the wrong fit for the team, the division or the organization.
Just as a personal trainer does a fitness assessment on a new client so a leader can do a FIT assessment on one of their direct reports. Here is how it works:
1. Facts: Define and list all of the things that you know to be true about the individual and the role.
2. Insights: Gather and elicit timely and relevant feedback from both leaders and colleagues that the individual and the role serve and impact.
3. Training: Brainstorm and document development and leadership opportunities for both the individual and the role.
If the FIT Assessment is done with focus, purpose and discipline, the result will be beneficial to the leader, individual and the organization in these eight ways:
1. The conversation(s) will strengthen the relationship between leader and individual and its foundations will be trust, respect and honesty.
2. The individual will be grateful to recognize that there is still growth and opportunity in this role and will recommit to hard work and excellence.
3. The individual will be grateful to recognize that they have outgrown the role and that it is time for a change either in a role up a level in the same team, to a different role in another area of the same organization or to a new organization.
4. The leader will be grateful to recognize that the individual has outgrown the role and that it is time for them to move on to something bigger and better and will have been proactive in ensuring that they do not have a team member who will become potentially bored, toxic, resentful, negative and disruptive.
5. The leader will be grateful for having a competent, confident and communicative individual in this role and appreciate the challenges and opportunities in performing this role.
6. The team and the organization will benefit from improved performance and productivity from both the leader and the individual.
7. The team will be encouraged to do a FIT assessment on the themselves to see if the chemistry is still optimal and if any changes in direction or personnel need to be made.
8. The organization whether large, medium or small will be encouraged to do a FIT assessment on the business to see what is working, what needs to be improved, what new markets can be entered, opportunities explored and clients/customers grown, pursued or dropped.
There can be resistance to and avoidance of a FIT assessment because it may result in changes both big and small. If the FIT assessment is seen as a rewarding gift that will lead to growth and opportunity then it will be desired and embraced by every individual, leader, team and organization.
Assessing fit is often an important part of the hiring decision for a role yet once the hiring is completed, it is forgotten about until one of two things happens: there is a problem with a client/customer or a problem with the team. Rather than waiting for problems to surface which can be costly in terms of time, money and resources, be proactive instead of reactive and do an annual FIT assessment on each member of your team.
Start the New Year with the right FIT for you, your team and your organization. Take the time to do a FIT assessment before the year comes to a close.