Succession begins with documenting key aspects of HOW critical components of a position are done. However many leaders feel guilty asking a direct report to do this for fear it sounds like “I’m getting ready to fire you, so I need to know what you do and how you do it.”
A direct report may jump to this conclusion, but it can be framed differently. The truth is, not only does each job in the organization need critical functions well documented in case of emergency, but this must be done so direct reports can be prepared for growth and guilt free vacations.
The job that they may someday leave must be documented so someone else can be cross-trained to perform the accountabilities well. The job the promoted employee moves into must be documented so they may be cross-trained and developed to be prepared for success.
Minimally, if key aspects are documented, the direct report can return from vacation prepared to keep the ball rolling, not having to dig through a backlog.
Leaders who empower their direct reports to participate in succession by documenting critical components of a position prepare them for growth.