5 Quintessential Tips to Boost Succession Planning At All Levels

August 31, 20158:16 am623 views

While people continue to quit their jobs in high numbers, research suggests few employers have well-defined succession planning strategies, should star performers leave the company. While establishing succession plans throughout the enterprise can be complex, small steps make a big difference.

When asked professionals and account managers, “Is there someone at your current company who could easily step in and do your job if you were to quit?,” only 10 percent of accounting and finance professionals reported there was someone internally who could easily step in to fill their role if they quit. These findings are according to a recent survey conducted by Robert Half.

Most of the respondents in the survey said, the company would have to hire from outside in case a star performer quits the company. This number seems to grow up significantly up the employer ranks to nearly account for two-third (64 percent) of companies who said, they would have to look for talent outside the company and search for new hires to fill in the vacant positions.

Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half says, “Having no ‘Plan B’ puts the business at risk, particularly at the executive level, where it can take a significant amount of time to replace someone. Succession planning may feel like a long-term initiative, but the pain felt watching a star employee walk out the door with no backup in place is immediate and costly.”

See: Redefining Career and Succession Management

It is required by executives and managers to make succession plans specific to their teams and job roles, and use input from members of the team to form a broader organisational strategy. Cross-training staffers can also prepare employees to take on new job roles.

McDonald added, “For companies who find themselves with a sudden vacancy in an important role, bringing in a consultant can fill the gap while a search is conducted or an employee is groomed for the position.”

Here are 5 quintessential tips for businesses to enhance succession planning strategies within a company and create a talent pipeline:

  1. Start during the hiring process: In addition to the open position, think about the types of advanced roles job candidates could grow into overtime. Also, gauge applicants’ interest in building a career with your firm and their leadership skills.
  2. Take a wide view: Only looking at the top of the company for succession planning is a mistake. Instead, develop plans for all levels. In the process, you’ll identify up-and-comers aspiring to join the management ranks.
  3. Check with employees: Talk to staff members about their goals, and identify specific steps they can take to reach their objectives. This is also motivational and can help with retention.
  4. Bolster professional development: Building out succession plans will help you more easily identify skills gaps and the training needed to address them.
  5. Communicate openly: Let staff know about your goal of preparing them for roles of increasing responsibility in future, making this a reward for their contributions. Explain the succession process — including what is expected of them and what they can expect from you — and provide prompt updates if there are changes along the way.

It is required for human resource managers and directors to implement these quintessential tips for careful succession planning which will evaluate the current talent within the company and strategise efforts to groom “ready-now” candidates within an organisation itself, without feeling the need to hire experienced professionals from outside.

Also read: Succession Planning and Talent Management for the Public Sector


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