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How well have you built the bench strength of your organization?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How well have you built the bench strength of your organization?

  • Very well — the talent pool is deep and prepared to step into vacancies: 7.57%
  • Well — I’ve got talent ready to go for key positions: 45.68%
  • Not well — we have a lot of gaps that need to be filled: 40.54%
  • Poorly — no one is ready to step up into the next role: 6.22%

The bench is pretty bare. We often fail to think about replacing a member of the team until that team member leaves. Then it’s a scramble to fill their chair and when we do so, we’re not setting their replacement up for success because we haven’t been building their skills and preparing them for the role. If you were in the 46% who said your bench is pretty sparse, you need to spend less time on day-to-day operations and invest instead in preparing your team members for their next role. They’ll thank you for setting them up to be successful.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”