Finding Your Replacement


No two training departments are alike, so the search to find a replacement for an outgoing training manager can be quite a challenge for your Human Resources recruiting function.  In the full spirit of succession planning, every training manager ought to be looking for their replacement before they leave.

Some employees will tell you that it is the responsibility of the company to find a replacement for every employee that leaves the company, whether it is voluntary or involuntary separation.  While technically this may be true, most training managers are quite invested in their training function and worry about what will happen to this environment after they leave.  No doubt your replacement will want to make some changes, but how would you feel if they came in and completely dismantled your department?

This happened to me after I resigned from a leadership role without finding a replacement that would carry on from the point we were at when I left.  Now I did have three very competent managers that could have stepped in and taken over, but I failed to secure the succession prior to leaving.  I had not sold my manager on the merits of any of the three enough to sway his opinion, and so he recruited a brand new person to replace me.

While this person was very competent, he didn’t feel anything we had been doing was a best practice and over the course of 6 months dismantled every corner of the operation.  He “upgraded” the function, and lost support from both the training staff, but more importantly the client.  While I was focused on results, he became focused more on offering the most current solutions available.  Not that his choices were bad from a learning standpoint, but they didn’t fit the culture as well.

For those that run the training function, you must be aware of your impact and your partnership with the other departments in your company.  They have depended on you for a level of service that too abrupt of a change can throw out of sync.  Finding a replacement, if at all possible from your team will assure a smooth transition.

If you have no one from your team to draw from, spend a little time recruiting candidates for your company to interview.  Let’s face it, you know your culture better than anyone, and know who will work best to fit in.

Bottom line, if you want to preserve your legacy, find your own replacement!

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