CEOs often vividly see their company expansion in their mind long before it's implemented. They can feel the results that occur as a result of bringing in A players, long before anyone is hired. They thrive at the 50,000 foot level.
This rose-colored perspective is exactly why they must step back, pause, and consider the steps needed to deliver the results they want.
One of our clients is a well-known leader in his industry. The Founder holds several patents, and has a laser-focus vision of where his field is going. He is an aggressive leader, and is committed to keeping up with the rapid changes through the expansion of his products, services, and team.
He shared with me that he wants to add a new position. As he was already planning on the results this person would generate, I hit the pause button, stressing that his/her success depends on how we prepare and onboard them.
I outlined 5 steps he must take first.
Outline how this position supports and aligns with the company's overall vision and strategy.
Every decision should ideally clearly link back to the company's strategic plan, mission, and vision. How will this position enable the company to meet its growth targets and fulfill it's mission/vision? My client will need to explain this to his team when he introduces the idea of the new position. Employees always want to know, "how does this affect me?"
Create a strong job description.
The job description is the basis for the employment agreement, and should explain what a typical day will look like for the person that fills this role. It may be someone internal, or it could be a new hire. Whichever it is, the person will need to go through the standard interviewing process to ensure he/she meets all position requirements.
Document the interdependencies.
Once you understand how the position supports the organizational vision and strategy, and you've created a clear and thorough job description, it's time to identify who this person will need inside or outside the organization to succeed. Employees don't fulfill job requirements in a vacuum. Interdependencies are always a key factor in an employee's success.
Outline the reporting structure.
Where will this new position reside in the organization? With my client's organization, we have 2 reporting options. Both will require different commitments from different people. If another leader/manager will need to supervise them, are they willing and capable of doing so? What added responsibilities does this place on others, and how will those responsibilities impact their workload? Every change creates ripples.
Create clear performance expectations.
Now that you've identified the connection to the strategy, you've outlined the job description, you've identified who they will need to be successful, and you've created the reporting structure, you are ready to create the performance metrics. These numbers will give them transparency into how you define their success.
These steps align expectations, minimize chances for miscommunication, and start the new relationship from a place of transparency. In addition. your other employees see that you have thoroughly thought through this change, taking into account how it impacts everyone.
Growth is more likely when leaders invest time up front to plan for any unexpected hiccups, and enroll the rest of the organization from the beginning.