October 2017
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Key Staff – Who Are They and What Are They Worth?

Analyzing the risk of losing key staff can yield surprising results. Sometimes the perception that an employee is essential is simply that – a perception. Specialty staff members are frequent examples, often because their tasks and responsibilities have not been clearly defined.

The opposite can also be the case, and far too often, there is no answer to the “what if” question. What if you had to make do without the person you cannot do without?

Identifying the potential losses associated with losing key staff in terms of knowledge, customers, growth, network and sales, as well as potential financial and legal liabilities helps give impetus to contingency planning for what to do if the risk should occur.

Prior analysis also helps when the risk does occur. Identifying the potential loss makes it much easier to set the value of an employee and price a counter-offer, for example, if the key employee announces that she has received a better offer from a competitor.

A thorough analysis also assists in replacing the employee, because the staff member’s role and responsibilities are identified and more clearly defined.

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Not all of your key staff will be obvious. An interesting tool for identifying key staff leaders is Gary Hamel’s  “Nine Ways to Identify Natural Leaders”. Find it online at his blog on the Wall Street Journal

http://blogs.wsj.com/management/2009/05/14/nine-ways-to-identify-natural-leaders/

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