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How to Train Someone to Take Over Your Job

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Have you ever had to train someone to take over your job? Perhaps you had just gotten a promotion, or you were leaving the company. No matter the scenario, it is a challenge for many reasons. One is that you are focused on what you are doing next, and possibly pressured. Another is that you want to allow your replacement to enjoy some independence when taking over for you. Just because you developed systems to get the job done, you want the new guy or new gal to beat a new path.

So, how can you do a good job of teaching your replacement to do your job without stepping on his or her toes?

We like the advice that David Livermore offers in “How to Easily Train another Person to Do Your Job,” a post he wrote for the ToughNickel Business Blog. If you’re tasked with training your own replacement, you’ll want to read it from first word to last.

Here are some of the tips that he offers:

  • Show your replacement around, and show them everything, even if he or she already works for your company.
  • Ask your replacement how he or she prefers to learn, and shape your training approach accordingly.
  • Start by teaching “small bits” of how the job is done, then add more parts to it.
  • Shadow your replacement if you can, and offer suggestions and advice.
  • Ask how he or she is doing.
  • Instead of explaining how to do everything, allow your replacement develop his or her own solutions.

And Here’s a Tip We Especially Like . . .

Mr. Livermore advises trainers to avoid the temptation to take over difficult or challenging tasks during the break-in period. Instead, allow your trainee to plan his or her own solution, try it out, and adjust and correct as needed. After all, the only way your replacement will learn to excel in your former job is to take on and solve difficult problems.

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