Fish Out Of Water

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Albert Einstein

You know, Albert Einstein has a point with this whole fish-climbing-a-tree analogy. It sums up one of the biggest headaches in HR: hiring someone for a specific set of skills, then expecting them to perform a completely different role. No wonder so many hires end up failing.

When was the last time you looked at your organization’s terminations?

Chances are, a big chunk of them were due to employees not meeting expectations for roles that were different from what they were initially hired for. It’s a classic case of mismatched skills and job requirements.

The problem doesn’t just lie in HR; it extends to how we approach training and development. We often expect a brief training session to miraculously transform employees into experts in a whole new field. Spoiler alert: it rarely works. Instead, we scratch our heads wondering why performance is tanking and turnover rates are soaring. But really, it’s not the employees’ fault—it’s the unrealistic expectations we’ve placed on them.

So, what’s the solution? Well, first off, we need to admit that both HR and the organization are part of the problem. You can’t expect employees to seamlessly transition into vastly different roles without proper support and guidance.

Sure, in some extreme cases, it might make sense to part ways with certain employees if the skill gap is too wide.

But more often than not, a better approach involves setting realistic expectations for training and development. Transforming an average performer into a star player takes time and effort—there are no shortcuts.

It’s also crucial to have open conversations with your team about the challenges ahead. Transparency about timelines and expectations will help everyone understand the road ahead, whether it involves retraining existing staff or bringing in new talent.

But here’s the thing: regardless of the path you choose, there’s going to be some turbulence along the way. So, buckle up, brace yourself for a bit of chaos, and stock up on bananas—because if you want those fish to learn how to climb trees, you’re going to need a lot of incentives!

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