Changing managers and key people as painlessly as possible
Changes in managements are natural: some people will leave for a better job, some will come and offer their services, some will retire and some may even be fired. By you. But what can you do to ensure that your business is not waiting for a new person to accommodate?
First, establish a plan of action. You should always be aware that somebody may leave and you can't afford to be unprepared. Your business must not stop because you left one employee. It may sound cruel, but you should always have a plan what to do when a workplace is left empty and how to delegate responsibilities until a new team member is in place.
Next, designate a person in charge for change. In other words, designate a person who will make a plan what to do if somebody crucial to your company leaves. That should be, naturally, somebody in your HR department, and if you don't have it then delegate the job to someone from your closest team of managers. And above all, be always aware what the plan is because that delegate may leave too.
Third, clearly communicate in your company what happens when somebody leaves. Be sure that your people know that the exit of even the most experienced and trusted manager will not interrupt your workflow. Be sure to have teams that know what to do even without their team leaders for a while, keeping the production going.
And finally, think about promoting somebody from your company to a managerial position. One mistake that can happen is to think "Wow! We must bring somebody!" but stop for a while and think. It is not necessary to search for an outsider if you already have quality people in your company. A nice side-effect, if you promote an insider, will be even more trust in you as a leader and you may expect your people to work even better.
The point is simple: In any case, you must have a plan. If you wake up thinking "She left, what now?!" then you're in a big trouble. And not just you, your whole company will be in a bad position and competition won't wait for you to sort out things, they will see the opportunity and they will try to take your positions. And then you'll have many problems instead of just one. ■
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