What\’s Your \”Hit By a Bus\” Plan?

Would your business be able to function (and function well) if you or other key employees were unexpectedly taken out of the picture? If you don’t have a plan for this possibility in place, the answer is likely, “no.”

As a leader, it’s critical to be prepared for the unexpected, both the good and the bad. Let’s look at a few reasons why a relied-upon employee may suddenly be gone, and why your business needs a \”hit by a bus\” plan.

First, consider generational motivations.

Currently, there are five generations in the workplace, each motivated by different things. Traditionalists are motived by respect, recognition and providing long-term value to the company, so they usually don’t just disappear. Baby Boomers are motived by company loyalty, meaning they too are very unlikely to leave your organization with no notice. However, members of Gen X are motivated by diversity, work-life balance and put their personal-professional interests first, rather than the company’s interests. Millennials are motivated by unique work experiences, and members of Generation Z are motivated by personalization, individuality and creativity.

This is key to understand because if, at any point, a member of Gen X, a Millennial or a member of Generation Z loses what motivates them at work, it’s very likely they will leave a company, and with little or no notice.

Second, sometimes things just happen.

Employees get sick and can’t work. Or maybe they win the lottery. Or, what would happen if they got hit by a bus? You must think beyond the present and have a sound succession plan for your position, as well as standard operating procedures, systems and strategies that ensure everyone in your organization has a plan for their position too.

Walk through this checklist to create your plan:

  • Is someone a single source of knowledge on a certain project? Is what they do documented or in their head? Document all important business processes!
  • Implement “Train the Trainer” programs where employees work alongside seasoned professionals, learning the necessary knowledge and skills needed for the job so they can create training manuals for the position.
  • Pair people up. Identify rising star sand pair them with key leaders to learn the ropes so they are prepared to step up incase of emergency.

The reality is, every employee will get hit by the metaphorical bus at some point; they will quit, retire or leave for some reason. Make sure you have a plan built on documenting, cross training and mentorship.

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