Are you the right fit?: Part One

Fit is ever important for long term success in the workplace…Do you fit?

How we relate with others socially on the job is critical to our success.  Studies show that a majority of North Americans today are not satisfied with their job.  According to a 2012 Survey conducted by Right Management, which is a subsidiary of Manpower Group, only 19 percent of those surveyed expressed job satisfaction.

However, they chose to stay and as may be the case, the employees believe they do not have a choice.  Their job is their lifeline of financial support for the family and they may be living paycheck to paycheck.  Though it may be difficult to work in a setting in which one does not believe they are a good fit, the need for a paycheck often pacifies ones discomfort in an undesirable work setting.

Since a full time employee spends nearly one quarter to one third of their adult life in a workplace setting, it is increasingly important they fit into the organizational culture to have any expectation of long term success.  Ensuring success is not only incumbent upon the employee, but perhaps more so upon the supervisor to ensure their employees are capable, trained, and supported. 

Fit can be described in many ways.  It can be how the employee integrates easily into the day to day operation of the organization bringing value while not creating disruption.  Fit can describe how one gets along with their peers, co-workers, and leadership.  Also, fit can be the two way connection between the employee and the mission and vision of the employer.  If any of these are not in some level of synergy, the fit may not be considered productive.

When an employee’s beliefs and values differ greatly from the mission of the organization for which they work, it becomes a dilemma to the employee of how to handle the situation.  A few of the obvious choices for the employee are to

  1. Move on to another organization;
  2. Be a change agent within the organization;
  3. Be willing to change their beliefs to fulfill the needs of the organization
  4. Or a combination or progression of the above items

These options are different for everyone and are not an exhaustive list.  Typically, the organization will not change.  The larger the organization, the less likely that ideology and culture will change, unless directed from the top, therefore, an open minded discussion to consult with one’s supervisor could be a great start in the process.  If all else fails, it may be time to seek employment with an organization for which the employee may enjoy a better fit. 

In part 2 of this series by Michigan State University Extension we will discuss some potential solutions and best practices that may help overcome these challenges that inevitably occur regardless of the work place.

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