Succession Plans Can Help You Get Through The Flu Season

Only a couple of months into what is already being called the worst flu season in a decade, leaders around the country are undoubtedly feeling the financial effect of increased health-care costs and widespread absenteeism.  Citing U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates, Challenger, Gray & Christmas said that, on average, seasonal flu outbreaks cost the nation’s employers $10.4 billion in direct costs of hospitalizations and outpatient visits. That does not include the indirect costs related to lost productivity and absenteeism.  Your direct report’s succession plans should protect you from the lost productivity and absenteeism.

We’ve all heard the admonitions about being prepared in the event a worker never showed up to work again, but what if they were out unexpectedly for a month, or 6 months? You should have a succession plan in place for each of your direct reports.  The plan should include:

  • documentation of critical tasks
  • backup and cross-trained resources
  • new hire search options to replace the direct report

With this approach, when a direct report is stricken with flu, you are not stuck and have a peace of mind knowing there is a plan in place.

Empower your team to develop their succession plans and you’ll experience success even during flu season.


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