HOW TO DEVELOP THE SKILLS OF STAND-INS
Stand-ins are members of staff who may assume the roles of supervisors on any occasion required. For an organization to run effectively, it is important to ensure that regardless of the circumstances, operations may continue at all times without delay or confusion. Towards this end, it is essential to develop "stand-ins".
If competent stand-ins are available, it may leave more time for supervisors to attend to important issues, and take up new challenges. Stand-ins, themselves, would feel motivated by the challenge of assuming higher level jobs, and appreciate these rare opportunities for their own future growth.
In developing the skills of stand-ins, supervisors must provide them the necessary experience, and equip them with the necessary knowledge, skills, etc. It is also essential to develop their judgment skills and sense of responsibility, and enhance their analytical, leadership and negotiation skills. Ample training opportunities must be given. The following methods are examples of ways in which to develop the skills of stand-ins.
1 Make them Understand the Job
・Supervisors must familiarize stand-ins with the organization's functions, future business directions, etc.
・The role of supervisors must be explained, and where necessary, stand-ins should be allowed to understudy the job in practice. Key points should be highlighted in the process.
・On matters that supervisors have decided by themselves, stand-ins should be provided clear reasons for the decision.
2 Provide Hands on Experience of Taking over in Advance
・Stand-ins should be asked to supervise the OJT of younger and less experienced staff.
・Stand-ins should attend meetings in place of their supervisors and be given ample opportunities to speak and explain issues to other employees.
・Stand-ins should be given opportunities to deal and negotiate with external parties.
・When supervisors are absent, stand-ins should be let to take over; areas for improvement may then be pinpointed when they are making their reports.
3 Provide them with Opportunities to Undertake Research
・Supervisors should ask stand-ins for their opinions (and the reasons behind these opinions) over various issues and problems.
・Supervisors should make stand-ins research job improvement methods and strategies.
・Supervisors should recommend useful books, magazines, etc. on management.
・Stand-ins should be let to handle or tackle real issues.
4 Empower them
・Not only must supervisors trust their stand-ins, they must ensure that their stand-ins have gained the trust and confidence of the other staff as well.
・Stand-ins must be given all the necessary authority.
・It must be made clear in advance that supervisors will bear the final responsibility for the work undertaken by their stand-ins.