It’s no real secret that there are some employees that seem more difficult to manage than others; and that’s being polite. In our valiant attempt at benevolence, and some pitiful justification we have made a good choice in recruiting, we schedule coaching, workshops, seminars, break-out sessions, etc. ad nauseum. We’re quite happy to keep running into the same brick wall because it’s what we’re “supposed to do”. For those still uncertain, yes I’m being extremely sarcastic.

I can appreciate the need to develop people and heck, it’s a great idea that supports quality engagement. What development can’t be is the giant band aid that cures everything that seems wrong in the universe. It’s important that we recognize the real problems and they aren’t all rooted in poor development/training/coaching. Sometimes the best approach is accepting that we made an error in judgment during the recruiting process and this person is simply not a good fit for the culture of the team/organization.

No matter how many “programs” you can throw together, no amount of training or coaching will overcome a mismatch in culture. Would it have been easier to catch this during the recruiting process? Sure it would, but you’re not in the recruiting process with this individual. Sometimes we just have to hit what’s pitched to us, even if our impatience and marginal due diligence is the one who has been doing the pitching.

If it’s a team cultural difference, see if there is an opportunity for this person to move laterally and still utilize their skills to meet the companies objectives. This isn’t to suggest you should shove a problem onto another department/team. The move should only happen if the culture of the team seems to be a natural fit for the individual.

If it’s an organizational cultural difference, the best option may be to coach them into leaving the organization. All of this is assuming your organization has developed a purposeful culture that is an expression of your values and vision. If not, sorting out your culture would have a much better ROI than trying to sort out 1 or 2 employees.

Once your culture is purposeful and in alignment with your values and vision, incorporate that culture into the recruiting and onboarding process. Don’t over-hype your culture for the sake of getting top talent. If you do, they could either see through it or (even worse) feel they were lied to and leave after only a few months of employment. Worse yet, they could decide to become disengaged and stay. Yikes! Top talent that doesn’t fit into your culture becomes disengaged workers with no desire to exert any discretionary effort towards their job. Serious productivity hit.

Showcase your culture in a way that is an accurate expression of the true company culture during the recruiting process. People who are excited about that type of culture will love to work for your organization and be more likely to be engaged employees. If you are embarrassed to let candidates see the true culture of your organization, then some changes need to be made to the culture…not how you recruit talent.