Why should organizations plan for what’s next?

Change is the only constant in life. Just like people, organizations change. Is someone retiring? Will new people join the team? Does someone need to fill in a spot temporarily while an employee goes on leave? All of these scenarios need to be thought of and planned out before they actually happen. Why? Roles still need to be filled and tasks still must be completed. The organization doesn’t stop running because one person leaves or two people join. Organizations must be prepared for these changes to ensure their business can run as smoothly as possible with little interruption to the services being provided.

Jennifer Goode, a human capital improvement consultant and college professor, hosted “Changing of the Guard: Leading Successful Succession” on day three of the 2021 STC Technical Communication Summit. Right away, Goode asked attendees to picture their own organization and think of what changes they can see coming in the future, no matter how near or far, and prompted them to start thinking about how to plan for it.

Prepare for Succession

How can organizations prepare for succession without becoming overwhelmed? What actions can they take to successfully onboard a new employee? Goode provided a list of eight action items that attendees can use, add to, and bring back to their organization, including:
  1. Schedule time for an employee to shadow the position they will be taking.
  2. Allow time for them to perform some of the tasks that will be expected of them once they step into the role.
  3. Make sure they have all the necessary login information for technology needed to perform their job.
  4. Provide a key contact list so if new hires need help, they know who to turn to.
What role do technical communicators play in these situations?

There are four areas in which having a technical communicator is beneficial to success. The first being that technical communicators are good at just that: communicating. “You know when to write, how to write, how early, how frequently, and you know whether oral or written communication is best. You know who to write and who not to write to,” Goode said. Technical communicators are also good at being assessors. Documenting status before and after the change, or using checklists to guide the organization through the change are areas where technical communicators are vital.

It’s easier to handle change when a plan is put in place. Every organization experiences change but it’s how these changes are handled that propel organizations to greatness.

About STC Summit OnDemand

STC’s Summit OnDemand includes access to all the recorded education sessions, Featured Speaker Sessions, copies of the presenters’ slides, and even access to the virtual exhibitors. Plus you can earn up to 8 CEUs toward CPTC currency!*


Access to the Summit OnDemand is available through 30 September. If you invest only an hour or two each day you’ll be able to view all the sessions presented. Viewing is unlimited, so you can watch your favorite sessions over and over again!


Don’t let time run out on this opportunity. Register for the Summit OnDemand now! View the Summit Program for information about each of the sessions presented. You’ll receive your login information the next business day after you have registered.


For more information, and to register, visit summit.stc.org
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