Is Your Replacement Trained?

May 30, 2010

Q: “Everyone on the team should be continually training their replacement!” Are YOU training YOUR replacement?

A: My question is valid and not rhetorical. Are YOU training YOUR replacement? I advocate to you that from the mail room to the board room, each of us should train the people around us just like they were going to replace us!
A few thoughts to consider;

1. You know your “job” and you are very good in the performance of your responsibilities!
2. In the event of your absence, whether planned or unplanned, who will or is totally qualified to act on your behalf without any disruption in the process of your everyday tasks?
3. How would you feel if your boss said, “I’d like to promote you to the next level in our company, but we don’t have anybody to take your place, so no promotion at this time?”
4. Are you carrying a heavy load while people around you seem to have more leisure time at work?

Here is my logic with this concept;

To begin with, there is absolutely no room for paranoia in the work place. I’ve heard people say half halfheartedly, “soon he/she will know as much or more than me then he’ll want my job.” This is stinking thinking folks and needs to be out of the workplace. All employees want the opportunity to grow.

The best way to grow an employee and improve his/her confidence level, is to continually offer them education and a feeling of being wanted, needed and respected. Making a person stronger by giving them additional knowledge or tools will improve performance and grow your team. Employees will become contributors and not just a warm body going through the motions.

My message today is a direct challenge to you to give this concept a try. Pick one employee and start giving him/her slightly more responsibility. Do this immediately after you take the time to explain to them your goal and plan and that you’d like them to learn more and add more value to the team. And don’t forget to tell them that you expect them to “train the people around themselves just like they are going to replace you.” COMMUNICATE the plan, the process and intended results.

A few years ago, I suggested to one of my clients that he should have several banners for the office and plant area that read, “EVERYONE ON OUR TEAM SHOULD BE CONTINUALLY TRAINING THEIR REPLACEMENT!” And in small print it said, “See your supervisor for details”.

The results were multiple company meetings explaining this concept and low and behold, production went up, employee retention improved, and people even looked happy to be there. What have you got to lose? Give it a try and I’d certainly be interested in your results.
As always, please accept my wishes for a fantastic week and a safe Memorial Day.

Please take time this Memorial Day Holiday weekend to acknowledge and express gratitude to the brave men and women who protect our Freedom!

If I can help you in any way, please call or write and I will respond immediately! Remember, your questions and/or comments are very much welcomed here.

George F. Mancuso, CPC
Gman Business Resources
Grinnell, Iowa