Have you ever thought someone else was after your job?

Have you ever thought someone else was after your job? Well, you might be surprised.

Some interesting statistics [1] I read in this month’s CIPD magazine:

87% of people believe they could do their immediate superior’s job

53% say they wouldn’t take it if they were offered it

39% say they don’t know what it actually entails.

I’m not sure who were the targets of the questionnaire, but I think these figures raise some interesting points.

First, the people who believe they could do your job. Some will be right and some won’t, but a large part of your responsibility as their superior is to bring them on and help them to be the very best they can be. Have you checked through your targets and goals for the coming year to be sure that you’ve built that into your plans? And have you made sure that in their development and performance review or appraisal (you do do those, don’t you?) they can see a progression path ahead of them?

As to the ones who wouldn’t take your job if they were offered it – why do you suppose that is? Is it because they’re happy and fulfilled as they are, or is it because you project such stress or unhappiness or weariness that they wouldn’t want to be in your shoes? If you are unhappy or weary or stressed, are you getting the help and support you need from your superiors? And if you’re at the very top of the tree and the buck stops with you, do you have a peer support network or a coach to talk things through with?

Finally, the last figure. I recently retired from a senior management position and had made a very real and concentrated ¬†effort to ensure that the person stepping into my shoes would be well prepared, would know what the role involved and would have at their disposal all the necessary resources to be successful. Despite my best efforts, my colleague was surprised at the breadth of things I had dealt with, so no, my efforts weren’t a complete success, but I’m confident that the work that both I and other senior colleagues put into succession planning are easing the transition.

Succession planning is fairly common in business, but not always so in higher education. If you had to be replaced tomorrow, how would your colleagues, department or business cope?

[1] source: www.protecting.co.uk