Empty Seats

Empty Seats

It's not enough to fill the seats on the bus.

But if you've ever worked in an organization in which key positions remained unfilled, you know the strain those empty seats can cause.

When seats are empty, it is very difficult to maintain your organization's previous level of service, quality, or output. 

We might make excuses: We're shorthanded here. I'm doing two jobs right now, so… This is a time of transition for our department. We're catching up to our growth.

When positions are open or leaders make plans for expansion, they
make sure they have talented people in place before they start new
initiatives or move forward. 

Leaving those important seats empty can be costly to the health of
the organization. Of course, hiring and training new employees is also a
time-consuming and expensive process, so it is important to fill
positions thoughtfully, ensuring a proper fit between the person and the
position. 

Here are some questions to consider during personnel transitions:

How will you reorganize your department to ensure that critical tasks are completed?

How will this transition effect other team members? Your customers?

What can you do to minimize negative consequences for your team? For your customers?

What effect do those empty seats have on your organization's ability to fulfill your mission? To the bottom line?

Leaders cultivate talent within their organizations with a plan of succession for key positions so to ease the strain of personnel transitions. Also, leaders communicate with their team about how responsibilities will be shared during transitions.

Join the conversation!

How does your organization handle personnel transitions?

What other factors are important for leaders with organizations in transition?

Filed As:  communication, transitions

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

  • Balancing a team’s “collective personality” through the growing process is crucial to negotiating future transitions gracefully. To this end, I think that Laurie Beth Jone’s construct of typifying personalities as “earth”, “wind”, “fire” or “water” is brilliant. For example, “Earths” are characteristically stable and nurturing, but they change ever so slowly. Getting them to move can be as cataclysmic as an earthquake. Imagine a team of them! For transitions, having a few “Winds” or “Waters” around would be good, and for innovation, a “Fire” or two is essential. I highly recommend Laurie Beth’s book titled “The Four Elements of Success” including “The Path Elements Profile™”.

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