Teach them to "work their way out of a job"

The best team member is the one who understands our business-the industry we're in- and who is passionate about creating value that helps achieve organizational goals!

Successful companies are full of these people.

What's their secret?

Answer: Every team member is learning to master the concept, "work your way out of a job."

The strategy is simple. Master the job we have, and share our best practices with others on the team so they can do the job as well, if not better, than we can. This positive human investment leaves us both qualified and available for our position of the future... even if we're not currently sure what that future position is.

  Examples of "work your way out of a job" in action:

  • The sales person who trades down a list of smaller accounts, to a colleague or peer, to gain capacity to go after much higher revenue opportunities. The sales person stays engaged to facilitate a smooth transition, which creates value for the clients, her colleague, and the organization as a whole.
  • The entry-level trainee who excels beyond his peers, but takes time to share a few expedience tips with his peers (rather than headlining himself and leaving the others in the dust).
  • The division manager who considers every team member a future leader and, as a result, makes sure they are gaining both job and leadership skills. A manager with an opposite perspective may fear a subordinate's success as a threat to her own position. The truth is that managers who cannot produce highly promotable team members, themselves diminish in value to the organization. Too often they become talented terrors who will be liberated from the team altogether at some point.  

It's important to note that "working your way out of a job" is not about quitting your job to do something different. It's not about career change or dropping below the current pay grade to learn something new.

Working yourself out of a job builds on existing career investments as preparation for natural promotion. Without it, people get stuck and experience career-stall. 

Every team member is a superstar in the making. There is always another career level to aspire to.

Teaching our people to work their way out of a job is the best thing that can happen for both the team member and the team.

Have a question or comment regarding how to  "work your way out of a job"? VANTREO is here to help. Just reply here.