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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

You’re Training the Business’ Future, Not Your Replacement

You’re Training the Business’ Future, Not Your Replacement

Planning for your business’ future is a critical activity to carry out, and we aren’t just talking about next quarter. You need to be sure that you are ready to accept that today’s status quo  isn’t permanent. Your business or your position should grow, which means that you and your employees are going to need to embrace more responsibility and authority, exploring different roles.

Eventually, your business should be ready to pass along to the next generation of management as its current leaders (AKA, you) settle down for a well-earned retirement.

This forward progression is only natural for a successful business, which is precisely why it is so crucial for businesses to prepare for this transition - especially small businesses. Without someone prepared to step into the leadership role, your business could find itself adrift, all the time and effort you have invested in its success effectively wasted.

The Issues with Ego and Self-Preservation

Too many business leaders bristle at the idea of training a replacement. To a point, this reaction is understandable....after all, this person is meant to replace them in the business, and nobody really wants to be replaced. However, this can lead to other behaviors that can actively damage the company in both the present and in the future.

Furthermore, it is important to remember that these behaviors aren’t exclusive to business leadership. Anyone in an organization can be hesitant to teach what they know to another person for fear of making their own employment less valuable.

How Ego Can Hinder Your Business

While you may resist training anyone for fear of reducing your own value to a company, you have to remember that this kind of training acts like a tide, in that it raises all boats. In fact, rather than generating job security, neglecting training can actually hinder the growth (and thereby, success) of the company. After all, if fresh blood is never given a voice, how can it share new ideas?

Furthermore, we have a tendency to learn to do things one way and then associate the way we learned them as the right way.

Take peeling a banana: many of us likely learned to peel them by pulling down on the remnant of the stem, and have done so for our entire lives. However, if we look to the real banana experts, we’ve been opening them totally backwards: monkeys actually open them by pinching the opposite end to split the skin, peeling toward the stem. For many of us, this approach just seems wrong. Our ego simply will not allow us to be the incorrect party, even when presented with evidence - as much is true in either banana peeling or business processes.

In order to avoid business stagnation, you need to accept the input and ideas of others, incorporating these methods into your existing processes, and helping to train others to carry out these processes.

Fighting Your Ego for Your Business’ Benefit

Now that we’ve established that trying to protect your own status in your company is actually a counterproductive measure, let’s explore a few ways that you can help your employees to grow professionally and your business to better serve its evolving audience. There are a few ways to do this with technology solutions and methodologies.

Here at Directive, we completely understand legacy, and appreciate why another business would want to secure their own.

We also recognize, however, that establishing a legacy is almost impossible without accepting that processes will not be able to stay the same in a changing world. Once you have managed to get egos under control in your business, there are a few practices that will not only help your operations and processes in general, but will also help to clarify responsibilities and roles.

Opportunities that Are Often Overlooked

Throughout our client base there are individuals and teams who have a wide variety of jobs, from consultants to sales managers to machinists. As a result, some of the work that gets done is very far outside our IT-centric understanding. That said, we do see processes and tactics that often get lost during training. Unfortunately, these practices are those that can assist businesses from an operational standpoint, which means they are that much more important to preserve.

Documentation Processes

While the value of practical training can’t be understated, keeping (and, whenever necessary, updating) documentation of your processes and procedures is just as valuable. You will want to be sure that your employees can access your documentation and collaborate on it as needed, which means that storing them centrally will be key. Fortunately, this is possible whether you utilize the solutions included in Microsoft Office 365, or in Google’s GSuite.

Website and Marketing Information

This could almost fall into the documentation section, but it’s worth highlighting on its own. At Directive, we appreciate how impactful your online presence can be to your business. As your team embraces greater responsibilities, you will need to ensure that you are keeping its information (and who has access to this information) carefully documented. Who has access to your website’s domain and hosting? Which software licenses are maintained for your website? What about your Google Analytics, or your Google My Business information? What about your company’s social media? Managing these considerations will allow your employees to embrace truly impactful responsibilities.

Managed IT Services and Your Documentation

If your business is in operation today, chances are that it relies on its technology solutions in order to do so. By implementing managed IT services, you are ensuring that someone is not only maintaining your solutions, but also comprehensive documentation into these solutions. This includes any contact information you may need to reach your vendors and other support resources, your software licenses and any warranties, and your other pieces of network documentation.

The future is on its way - has your business prepared? Directive can help you to do so. Give us a call at 888-546-4384 to learn more.