Sign & Digital Graphics

January '17

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72 • January 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • Choose your successor • Develop a formal training plan for your successor • Establish a timetable • Prepare yourself for retirement, and • Install your successor That seems simple enough. Now, let's broaden the effort and approach it from a slightly different perspective. Heaven forbid, something were to hap- pen today to one of the key contribu- tors to the success and growth of your enterprise. What would you do? Try this exercise…pull out the business's orga- nizational chart and identify—by title or position—the essential employees that make the business hum. Start with yourself, the owner, and head down the chain of command—asking yourself this question for each position: "If this incumbent employee were suddenly unable or unavailable to perform his/ her duties and responsibilities—for an extended period of time—what would his/her replacement have to know and/ or be able to do in order to fill in satis- factorily and get the job done?" In years past, corporate America's human resources department would rely on written job descriptions and formal performance evaluations to ascertain the specific job skills and work traits needed for each position. In smaller businesses, the practice of talent devel- opment is much more informal, if done at all. Nonetheless, consider asking every vital member of your shop's team to list the five most important and/or most frequently performed task or skill they are expected to do. Meanwhile, ask that person's supervisor to do the same. Typically, this exercise yields a list of about six to eight critical elements for each person's job. Next, try to identify one or two people, other than the incumbent, who could either fill in capably or could, in an established and reasonable amount of time, be cross-trained to assume the role in a pinch. If you come up empty, in-house, to appoint an understudy or you don't think anyone has the aptitude or potential, you will need to start looking elsewhere. Still, it's better to realize now that, should a key contributor in the business go down or leave the company, for what traits and abilities do you start looking, in a new hire or contracted temp, to fill the void. Repeat this step for every position that you deem mission critical. If you find that even the incumbent falls short on some of the job skills needed to perform at a higher level, get that person and his/her potential suc- cessor some training in that area. Don't make the mistake of sending them off for training and then not reinforcing, recognizing and rewarding their efforts to improve, once back on the job. When your plan is well-developed and ready to launch, don't just pull the ripcord and expect the successor to land softly and safely. Seize opportunities for a dress rehearsal. When any key employee goes on vacation, get your succession plan out and have that person pinch hit, but give them some latitude to do things "their way," within reason. It's a great time to be a hands-on coach, mentor and cheerleader for your people, and do it at your own pace and choosing. Final thoughts Not every business, family-owned or otherwise, will survive and many do fail, primarily due to differing interests and the inability of the next generation to grow the business. Following the afore- mentioned five steps now is bound to save money and time in the long-run, and will help assure the continued success of your business. While succession planning is a chal- lenging task, it is worth the reward of watching your business grow and succeed with the next generation. As you work on your succession plan, be sure to seek the assistance of outside advisers such as your accountant, attorney, business coach and your investment or insurance profession- als, since your succession plan will have far reaching impacts from a tax, image, investment and legal perspective. Good luck! SDG Make it Your Business C O N T I N U E D Sign & Digital Graphics MARKETPLACE 90 • March 2016 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ADVERTISING FLAGS ADA SIGNS BANNER FRAMES BANNER PRINTING CORRUGATED SIGNS GET THE WORD OUT! Contact by calling 800-669-0424 x297 or email BANNERS March 2016 (800) 669-0424 MARKETPLACE CHANNEL LETTERS SBMAR_Marketplace.indd 90 2/15/16 10:25 AM Contact Diane Gilbert at 800-669-0424 x297 A low-cost solution to gain attention for your company.

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