My Key person is leaving…… now what?

What makes a key person so key? Is it because they have much experience and know to solve all issues? Is it because they have skills that others do not have? Is it because they have a relationship with your customers that makes you vulnerable when they would leave? Read this again, these are all bad things! Although you can be very happy with the key person, the truth is that you have failed to spread the experience evenly, or have failed to ensure the key person trains other people in your organization, or you have failed to stay in contact with your important customers.

In all of these cases, you have failed to secure the longer term survival of your company and by relying too much on one person, you have not done the company a favor.

Experienced reliable employees are a true asset to the company but failing to use them to build capacity for when they would not be available is a management failure.

So think about when your key person would leave. See this as an opportunity to shore up your company resources and find out exactly what you have in place to continue your services, when that person would unexpectedly not be available anymore.

Also review what exactly makes the key person so key. Is it the lack of policies, processes and procedures that requires heroic deeds every now and then that build the legacy of your key person? Well, read up about our views on process and get busy.

It is great to have key people but remember, you as the responsible person for the business always needs to be the key-holder and ensure the continuance of the company.

Politics in the workplace

It is a worldwide issue; should you allow or encourage or discourage politics in the workplace?

There may not be an election at the moment but there are always things happening and being decided and so the question is always relevant as your employees will have an opinion on everything.

A related question is if the company can or should have a political view?

Another related question is if the company can have moral values or beliefs? What does that have to do with your business?

One answer could be that all is well and allowed as long as it does not interfere with business, but that may not satisfy some owners who founded the firm and have some opinion on moral values and want to keep the workplace in sync with how they view the world.

If thousands or millions of shareholders own the company it will be difficult to find one set of values that needs to be highlighted in the company, unless the history of the company has created that.

So there isn’t an easy answer and much of what happens will be a function of views and history, ownership and severity of the issues at hand.

Clearly, if something in the nation’s politics has the potential to hurt the company it will be understandable and allowed for the company to use all their options to oppose the proposed measures. Companies do that often by hiring firms who will lobby on their behalf with the politicians.

Also by giving support to certain politicians who seem to understand the company’s views influence can be applied.

Discussions among the workforce though of politics should really stay outside the workplace, as are discussions about sex, religion and when important matches are in view, maybe even sports. Does that artificially stop the debate? Well yes but you are at the company not to convince other people of your political, religious or moral beliefs but to accomplish the goals of the company.

So unless you are an owner, and unless the company’s mission is in danger due to some political action, stay away from bringing politics into the workplace.