Driven by an increase in global competition and dramatic changes to workforce demographics, Succession Planning is more than just a plan. Coming of age over the past decade, a successful ‘succession’ goes hand in hand with career development and the weight it carries with both new and existing employees.
As 2020 fast approaches, establishing an effective succession management strategy alongside career development processes is more important than ever. The evolution of succession starts at the bottom; retaining, motivating and driving employees to consider how their role might extend deeper into the business, and giving them the tools to do so. With talent continuity essential to the evolution of succession planning, what better place to start than with your own team?
What is Succession Management, and why is it important?
Succession Management is, at its heart, a comprehensive and integrated recruitment strategy for positions of leadership. The world of work is changing, and no company can assume that essential talent will always be available. When it comes to the long-range view, finding value in the development and training of future leaders is equally as important as placing weight on technical skill.
Effective succession facilitates a positive impact on performance management, not only in terms of ensuring that key positions are filled with competent performers, but also in terms of saving money on external recruitment and training, which are often significantly more costly than promoting from within.
By encouraging the broader participation of existing employees, it shows your team that they have a future in your organisation; a path to get there, and a reason to stay. It’s vital for creating a culture of growth, which is both positive to the personal and professional development of your staff, as well as an important way to identify which employees have the necessary skills to either replace senior executives, or step into positions of leadership down the track.
Your employees know what’s in it for them; and it’s often the ambitious, talented team members who value the ability to take charge of their own careers that become your future leaders.
Where does HR come in?
In playing a vital role in the process of succession planning, HR leaders are on the front line when it comes to facilitating the smooth and successful transition of critical positions. While on the surface this process appears seamless, the challenges often lie within the integration of both long and short term goals, as well as choosing the right candidate with the best cultural fit.
With the concept of succession planning ever evolving, it’s become clear that an effective program needs to be dynamic and ongoing, multifaceted and further linked to greater collaborative initiatives. It’s a complex process that requires the right people to lead it, and deep investment into a long-term strategy.
In Part 2 of this topic I’ll share some deeper insights into understanding you team, their needs and how effective communication is paramount when implementing succession planning within you company.