Remember the character of the Key Keeper in the Matrix movies? He held the secrets to helping Keanu Reeves succeed. While this character was important for “The One’s” success having only one person in your company be responsible for certain tasks I feel is a flawed strategy.
Let me ask readers a question about your employee training where you work. Do you have your own version of the Key Keeper? Are you putting all of your eggs in one basket by only having one person trained to handle specific responsibilities?
I see this happen many times as I consult with businesses. For example they have a digital marketing manager that they have designated to handle their marketing strategy. This person has invested time and effort into their own training and the company has invested in sending them the conferences to get more education to make them stronger at what they do.
Now all of this employee training is really important and I applaud these companies and their leadership. But where I see the flaw in this strategy is that all of this training focuses on one person. The company is proud of the work that is being done but I am not sure the company ever thinks, “What happens if this individual decides to leave?”
Employee Training for Transistions
Let’s go down that road for a moment. Your marketing manager leaves so leadership now begins to scramble to fix this void. What may happen is that this scrambling leads to emotions getting into play and vendors being hired without the proper screening, or employees internally are given the responsibility without the proper training thus wasting money. Not effective planning.
So how can this be avoided? I recommend these three steps
First: Have a succession plan. Just as many companies have a succession plan for upper management roles, you should have a plan in place for all team leader responsibilities in your organization.
Second: Invest in training for all employees in each department. Make sure that there are multiple people who can take over duties in case someone is ill or leaves. Many times you can find great online training courses available to assist with this training. The beauty of online training courses is that everyone can complete the training at their own pace, versus bringing a trainer in for a one shot event.
Lastly, allow multiple people to execute the responsibility. This will allow you to make sure your training investment has worked and also saves time in case someone needs to step in to handle these tasks. The last thing you want is to find out that someone did not really take training seriously when a crisis is at hand.
Remember that to have a strong business, you need to have all of your team focused on executing their responsibilities. But it is your job as leader to have multiple people who can execute key leadership roles instead of finding out you have a room full of key keepers.