The Impact of High Performers Who Are a Poor Cultural Fit

The Impact of High Performers Who Are a Poor Cultural Fit

Culture writing

In business, performance and results matter when it comes to the numbers; a healthy bottom line is essential to the sustainability of any organization. And a company culture that helps nurture an engaged, motivated workforce is just as crucial for continuing success. But what happens when you have a high-performing employee who is a poor cultural fit? While it may be tempting to focus only on their impressive sales numbers or prodigious output, organizations must take into account the ramifications of negative behavior on long-term success.


Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE, created a well-known Performance/Values matrix to use when evaluating employees. In this model, employees are classified into four distinct groups:

  1. Culture Fit/High Performer
  2. Culture Fit/Non-Performer
  3. Non-Culture Fit/High Performer
  4. Non-Culture Fit/Non-Performer


The Non-Culture Fit/High Performer was identified as the most problematic type because their behavior had such a detrimental effect on other employees. Although meeting or exceeding numbers-based goals is a favorable accomplishment, metrics alone don’t drive long-term organizational success. A positive and healthy working environment where employees feel respected and supported is just as vital. The most damaging result of allowing a Non-Culture Fit/High Performer to remain at an organization will be the loss of good employees who leave as a result of this professional’s toxic presence. This is especially true if the negative behavior is coming from someone in a supervisory role.


Organizations and managers should keep in mind the following questions when dealing with an employee who falls into the Non-Culture Fit/High Performer category:

  • Would their negative behavior be acceptable from an average or poor performer?
  • What message does their behavior send to the other employees about acceptable actions and attitudes?
  • How will their behavior affect the company in the short term and the long term?


At Jordan Search Consultants, we understand the critical importance of cultural alignment when it comes to making successful provider placements. Our team takes the time to understand the needs of an organization and its culture, so we can find candidates who will be a good match on all levels. If you need assistance finding the right fit for your organization, give us a call at 866-750-7231 or email us here.

Share this story:

Are your recruitment strategies working to drive revenue?

If not, we can help. Fill out the form to connect with us and receive a free recruitment assessment or staffing consultation for your organization.