Is "Lack of Fit" Causing Stress in Your Workplace?

Is "Lack of Fit" Causing Stress in Your Workplace?

By Maureen Ennis on Apr 25, 2016 12:04:21 PM |




Stress is a detriment to any work environment. This widespread epidemic costs businesses nearly $300 billion every year in medical expenses and lost productivity. Many managers and CEOs believe stress is a natural part of the business world, and because of this antiquated mindset, they don’t take action to reduce it. But the anxiety your team feels is not necessary--it’s often a product of job fit, or misalignment.

Simply put, your company may not have the right people in the right roles, which is creating stress among your employees. The good news: there’s a way to fix it.

Clarify Expectations by Benchmarking the Role

The root cause of the problem dates back to the hiring process. When evaluating applicants, did you have realistic and clear key accountabilities?   Did you use a predictive process to connect the most critical capabilities for success to what you were looking for in a candidate?  If not, that’s where you left the window open for stress to sneak in.

Benchmarking the role is a process that helps leaders define the position and the ideal person to fill it, removing the guesswork.

Not only does this streamline your recruitment and hiring process--benchmarking can limit or prevent stress before it even starts. Proactive solutions are significantly more effective than reactive ones.

By combating workplace stress through clear expectations before a new hire’s first day, you put your employee--and your business--in a position to succeed. Clearly define the role and the responsibilities associated with it. This will help both your new employee and his or her managers understand expectations, creating optimal job fit and an environment with minimal stress.

How to Benchmark the Role

Benchmarking a role involves work. Strategy and collaboration are necessary to produce a clear, focused role with measurable--and attainable--goals. Depending on the levels of stress within your organization and your company’s role-employee compatibility, you may need to completely redesign roles before you can find the ideal fit.

You may also need to develop or restructure training processes--to ease new hires into their positions and limit surprises during their first days on the job. For an effective role benchmark, you must do your homework. (That’s right, homework!)

  • Clarify Purpose and Context. Why does the job exist and how is success measured? What is the history of the position and how does it fit the company’s strategy?
  • Identify Subject Matter Experts.  Who are the people within the organization that have a direct connection to the job and can develop a predictive model to guide selection?
  • Define Key Accountabilities.  What are the critical goals and what does the job require for success?  What are the relative priorities and time requirements?
  • Let the Job Talk.  Which capabilities, style and values are most important for this specific job? What are the company values that are important for organizational fit?
  • Assess Candidates.  How do your candidates stack up against the predictive model developed by the SMEs?  How will you assess and match candidates to the job requirements. 
  • Pull Through Onboarding.  Are the new manager and employee aligned?  What needs to be clarified?  What are the specific goals for the first 90 days?  Use the job benchmark documents and assessments to create the employee’s first development plan.

Contrary to what many business owners think, you can do something about stress. By benchmarking the role before you launch the hiring process, you can find the right person for the job--effectively limiting the problem before it exists.   

Contact us for more information about our proprietary Job Benchmark process, and learn who you adopt it at your company for less stress and greater hiring success.  

HR hiring Stress development Predictive analytics

Maureen Ennis

Written by Maureen Ennis

Maureen Ennis is a dynamic change leader with significant accomplishments in business transformation. She leverages a unique blend of competencies spanning strategic planning, human resources, technology and leadership. Maureen has over 25 years of corporate experience at Honeywell, Prudential and other Fortune 100 companies leading transformation herself and now serves as a trusted advisor to leaders driving real change.