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Grow Your Bench, Grow Your Business: 8 Simple Succession Planning Tips

May 27, 2016 Kaylene Eckels

How prepared is your business to capitalize on opportunity? Without a strong bench you could essentially be limiting your growth potential. Take this quick quiz:

  • Do you feel if you want something done right you must do it yourself?
  • Is there nobody on your team you trust to get the job done?
  • Do you scramble to have coverage in your center?
  • Do you have high leader turnover?
  • Do you drop balls because you are doing other people’s work?
  • Are you overwhelmed?
  • Would you like the opportunity to do something different?
  • Do you fail to hold people accountable because you do not have a replacement?

If you answered yes to any of these questions…it’s time to look at your succession planning tactics. Here are a few tips to take ownership of where you are and implement change:

  • If you don’t have a succession planning strategy, begin now. The cycle you are in will not be broken without an investment in change. Draw a line in the sand and break the cycle. You cannot afford to wait any longer. Own the problem and the solution.
  • List and define the critical roles within your center. This will give you a framework to work from.
  • Prioritize based on impact to the business, and other known variables (pending promotions, center growth, retirements, resignations, etc)
  • Identify who has potential for upward mobility. Focus first on your high potential people, those with consistent results and demonstrated ability to learn quickly and thrive on challenge.
  • Who is important…what, how, when are equally important.
    • What will they need to know?
    • How will they acquire those skills?
    • When will this be complete?
  • Enroll your team…You’ve already proven one person cannot do everything. Break the cycle and involve others in being part of the solution.
  • Map it out…don’t keep plans in your head. Take ownership of ensuring there is a mapped out plan with timelines that can be executed on.
  • Finally, find an accountability partner to have check points with. This should be someone you can trust to not accept excuses from you. It’s easy to make excuses for ourselves…but not as easy to explain to someone else why we’ve failed to hold ourselves accountable.

Not only will you begin to build a strong bench, but engagement, performance and morale will all improve as a result. In the words of Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, “The journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.”

I encourage you to start your journey today!

Kaylene Eckels

Kaylene Eckels is the Chief Operations Officer for Etech Global Services. Kaylene has been associated with Etech Global Services for past 14 Years. Kaylene held numerous leadership positions at business information leader, Dun & Bradstreet. Kaylene believes a servant leader’s greatest priority is to add value to others; selecting, equipping, developing and supporting individuals and teams to reach their full potential.