“We need to talk,” are the four words no leader wants to hear because too often they’re followed by some version of, “I quit.” Your palms get sweaty, your heart starts to pound…not again. Sigh. Once you’ve calmed yourself, the grim reality sets in that you are going to have to:
- Do their job while you find a replacement
- Spend time finding their replacement
- Onboard and train the replacement
- Keep doing your own job
It’s going to be a tough few months and it will be next level tough if your team is small because the redundancy just isn’t there.
The thing is, this will happen. Guaranteed. You could be the best leader in the world with the most wonderful environment and the highest engagement ratings. Eventually, everyone leaves their job, either because they quit, retire, get promoted, or get carried out in a wooden box. We 100% know this. So do what you can to keep them; but prepare for their departure by having these tools already built and only needing minor adjustments to activate:
1. Organizational Structure
An organizational structure names the positions needed to effectively run the business. A common mistake leaders make is designing the structure around their existing people. Focus should instead be on the roles or positions that are needed. It’s not “Joe” or “Jane”, it’s “Sales Manager”. Another reoccurring error is in designing the structure for today’s business – what you currently have. Ideally, your organizational structure is designed with a three-to-five-year time horizon. With that structure in place, when someone leaves you can quickly reassess the position they were filling and right-size the job to the state of the current business.
2. Job Description
With that context in mind, a job description can be reviewed and revised in three critical areas. The qualifications (education, experience, skills, personal characteristics), the duties (the activities of the job), and the performance metrics (the end results expected from those activities). It’s possible that knowing what you know now and given the changes the company has gone through since you last hired for the role, you might want to update the job description to reflect the lessons you’ve learned.
3. Job Posting
A common error with the posting is in the title. Job seekers are using the title as a keyword to search for work. If you have unusual titles or misnamed positions, it will be harder for potential candidates to find you. The posting should have an easily understood job title, a well-crafted story of what makes your company a unique and valuable place to work, and an easily understood description of what the job entails.
4. Macro Process Flow
A macro process flow is a visual representation of how work flows through the organization from start to finish. It shows the steps to follow and the positions that do them. Now that the structure has named the positions, the macro process flow is particularly helpful in getting new people up to speed on the company’s process. It also uncovers the checklists, procedures, and templates that help with training. Even if that documentation doesn’t exist, the process flow finds what is needed. That way, when onboarding the new hire, you can teach them how to do the work and have them write the procedure at the same time. It will save you time to just correct their draft rather than write from scratch, and it will deepen their understanding of how to do what is necessary.
Ideas into Action
Book an off-site with your team to start (or complete) these tools. Or give Bellrock a call. We can help. The effort will not be wasted…no one stays forever.
Bellrock is a management consulting and change management firm where remarkable is expected. Our purpose is to lead people through transformational change that enables them to achieve their goals and realize their dreams. We do this because we believe in the potential of our clients to achieve more, much more, and that work can positively impact peoples’ lives. When our clients succeed, we experience deep satisfaction.
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