Companies that don’t take steps to plan for future talent needs at all levels will face certain disruptions when key employees leave.
Succession management used to refer to the process of replacing a CEO when the position became vacant. These days organizations understand the importance of implementing a succession plan for more and more roles across the company. Succession planning is also an important way to identify, develop, retain and allocate key members of your workforce long before any talent gap occurs. Where do you start?
Identify Leadership Qualities
Most managers believe certain skills and attributes that can be recognized in a non-managerial role are predictors of managerial success. To develop targeted leadership programs and identify employees with leadership qualities, organizations must determine the competencies required for success at key positions.
Designate Top Candidates
Another important aspect of succession planning is identifying whether or not you have a pool of qualified candidates ready to assume critical leadership positions.
Difficulty may arise in identifying top candidates for succession to a specific job because the role often changes when a new person is selected to fill it. Once a job becomes available, many view this as a good time to revise the job as it has been filled previously and revise the job description.
Develop Candidates for Leadership Roles
Retention research indicates that individuals tend to stay longer where they are experiencing personal and professional growth. However, it may take time to develop even one viable candidate for top level positions. There are a few ways to develop your employees with an eye for succession planning.
- Training: Encourage employees to attend on- and off-site classes with targeted training that enables them to acquire the knowledge necessary to move to positions with increased responsibility.
- Increase responsibilities: Assign work goals that are related to the increase in responsibility necessary for advancement within the company in a somewhat controlled environment.
- Retain Key Employees and Attract High-Potentials
Identifying your employees as “high potentials” in the succession planning process can be a motivating factor in their retention. The two-way information flow allows employer and employee awareness of what is wanted and needed from one another. Expectations are clear. Companies know where they need leaders, and employees are realistically aware of how they fit into the corporations’ bench strength requirements and succession plans.
All organizations should incorporate a robust development program to be a part of the succession planning process. This will ensure that the right people with the right skills are available at the right time to meet current and future business needs.