When a new person joins your team they want to know what is expected of them; how long the commute is, what their pay cheque will be every two weeks. Basic stuff. Most people coast through this stage pretty quickly.
Next, people begin to explore how the new job makes them feel. Are they good at what is being asked of them? Are they getting positive feedback? Does anyone care about them or notice what they are doing and how well they do it? This is the self-esteem building phase of engagement.
If a job increases a person’s feeling of well-being and self-worth, then they can move on to even higher levels of engagement, merging their own ambition with that of the organization. If they don’t get this feeling, they are stuck in this phase, just putting in time at work. Many people get stuck right here. Stuck in a job that they don’t have the aptitude to be good at or stuck working for a leader who treats everyone the same, not validating the good work they are doing.
If you are doing great work for a leader who is not interested in you, you need to plan your departure at a time that works for you and not feel guilty about it.
If you are a leader and you can see that you are trapping someone, and all avenues to match their aptitude with the work available have been explored, you need to let them go. Though it may not seem like it at the time, terminating someone who is stuck in a job that they have no aptitude for is a kindness to them and to your organization.