Great leaders, especially great entrepreneurs, always have an exit strategy in mind. So if you’re hiring exceptional employees, why wouldn’t they have their exit strategy mapped out? And that strategy may not mean leaving the organization, but it probably considers elevated roles, broader responsibilities, and greater job satisfaction. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead and begin building succession plans for your staff members from the start.

Gone are the days we work for the same company for 30 years and retire happily ever after. Businesses evolve differently now and employees have learned to evolve also. I remember reading an article a few years ago about how people work for an average of seven different companies over the course of their career. And I then remembered a conversation where an HR Executive explained that companies do not see more production from an employee than in the first nine months of their hire. When I put these two tidbits together, I find it helps make sense of two typical challenges I am constantly asked about- how to maximize employee production and how do you properly address succession planning in an organization.

The trade-off is that you acquire an amazing staff member and they are afforded a stepping stone for their ultimate ambition.Dr. Bruce Dunams

It can be very easy to forget that people have ambitions to do more than just work for us. As entrepreneurs, if we enter the hiring/on-boarding process knowing that people stay in their initial roles for the short-term, we can reap long-term benefits. The trade-off is that you acquire an amazing staff member and they are afforded a stepping stone for their ultimate ambition. When I hire, I believe in the two-year rule which is that no employee is hired with the intention of keeping them in that role for more than a couple of years. They may remain with you in the organization, but there should be growth opportunities if you want them to stay. Otherwise, you should feel great about preparing them for their next opportunity somewhere else.

Many people will appreciate this concept and are willing to then overextend themselves to help with role transitions and brand promotions. Another benefit that is often overlooked is that when you help expedite careers for employees, they eventually graduate to leadership positions in other organizations where they become your peers and expand your professional network and potentially add to your client portfolio. Furthermore, operating under this premise keeps your staff fresh and aggressive. If you are getting the most from an employee in year 1, then you are constantly getting the most from your staff positions on an ongoing basis which is why the best employees are temporary. 

I hope this bit of insight helps you in your journey towards your successful destination. Best of luck to you!

Successful entrepreneurs have expansive networks and tap into amazing resources. If you are an entrepreneur or head of an organization that has found a challenge you just cannot seem to overcome, reach out to us at The Innovative Advisory Firm. We know your plight because we are entrepreneurs also. Let us fill in the gaps where many MBA programs, capacity-building workshops, and master classes don’t quite get it done. Feel free to request a 15-minute consultation through our website or our social pages.

The Innovative Advisory Firm is a management consulting practice that specializes in strategy development, organizational assessments, and capacity building. Dr. Bruce Dunams is a global consultant who often shares his thoughts and notes to assist entrepreneurs, small business operators, and SME’s with both common and complex business challenges.

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