• Andrew Gordon

Want Job Security? Make Yourself Complementary

Mike started at DealerScience as an implementation specialist. He excelled in his role because of his ability to comprehend and solve intricate problems. Naturally, this skillset is desirable in many different areas of the business, and the product management department recruited him to improve and grow our products.


During this transition, Mike felt conflicted because he was managing so many projects and it proved difficult for him to take on new responsibilities and learn new skills. We decided he should make himself complementary.


In order to give him space to grow into his new role, we needed to enable others to do the things only Mike knew how to do. For example, Mike wrote out the steps to create a new customer account in our system. We then asked another team member to follow the steps to set up the next customer with Mike sitting next to them. If they had questions or Mike noticed something that wasn’t completed correctly, the pair could update the documentation. After a few rounds of this, we had a thorough and documented process that a new employee could follow to set up a customer. Mike had successfully made himself complementary to the onboarding process.


It’s common that employees are overly conscious of what only they can contribute as an individual. They call it job security, but, in this case, I would call it job stagnation. If Mike hadn’t taken the steps to reconfigure his priorities, he would not have had the chance to grow within his role and within his organization. By complementing his replacement, he was able to make sure things ran smoothly in his old position while also reaching his full potential in his new role.


Overall, the real job security for Mike was the quality of his work and our desire to have him grow within our company. Make yourself complementary to those around you, so you always have room to grow into additional responsibilities as they arise.


 

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© 2020 by Andrew Gordon.

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