If you think you’re indispensable at work, imagine you got hit by a bus at lunchtime. Not a pleasant thought, of course, but consider what would happen back at work. In most cases, work would go on. In rare cases, the company would collapse. To ensure your company goes on, consider replacing yourself. How? Let’s look at three steps to help replace you and make you an asset to your company.
- Have great up-to-date processes and procedures. Most companies have processes and procedures and a good portion are out of date. I once worked for an organization where we kept quoting a policy. One day the boss asked to see what the policy said. No policy existed. We couldn’t even find the policy book. The policy was an office myth. We had lived long enough with the myth that we believed it.
- Have an update definition of your job. Make sure that someone else knows what you do and how you do it. A definition on paper will help but nothing will help replace you better than the knowledge of someone else. If you’re paranoid someone is going to take your job because they know too much, that’s a personal problem you need to deal with on your own. If you’re truly worth the salary you are being paid, no one wants to replace you and you can share information with qualified persons.
- Communicate well and delegate well. Everything about your job that’s in your head is a tremendous resource for your company. If you’ve kept good records, held productive meetings, delegated to your team, and communicated well on a daily basis, you set the scene to replace yourself. Even if your team doesn’t have all the information that’s in your head, they will know you well enough to make a very educated, calculated decision as to what should be done in any situation.
In one of my positions, I had the luxury eight weeks off. Because I had delegated to my team, communicated to them what needed to be done, and provided them with resources that would help replace me, they did a beautiful job during those eight weeks. I came back refreshed and ready to get back to work and there wasn’t a lot of catching up to do. I had replaced myself in advance.