Build a leadership succession plan

19 Aug

Is your company prepared for the future?

Will your company survive into the future? Without proper succession planning, the future of your business may be uncertain. Whether it's a question of who will fill the C-Suite when the current executives retire, or simply who will manage the sales department, it's crucial to have a plan in place for when your current team moves on. The right employee management software tools are essential to identify professional growth opportunities for current staff and keep an eye on your talent pipeline.

According to recent research from the Human Capital Media Advisory Group, the research organization connected with Talent Management magazine, 76 percent of human resources staff indicate their organizations hire externally to fill gaps. More than half of organizations said a major reason for external hiring is that no internal candidates have been prepared for leadership positions. Overall, 61 percent of human resources practitioners said their succession pipelines contain too few candidates to meet the future needs of the organization. Here are some tips for ensuring a talent pipeline for the future: 

Start early
While your staff may seem secure right now, work environments change quickly. You can't assume your top employees will stay with your company until retirement age. The marketing manager that has been with your firm for a decade may suddenly be recruited to a competitor, leaving you with no one to take the reins. To avoid this type of situation, start thinking about succession planning now, Investors in People suggested.

Use the right tools
Without HR manager software, it's hard to keep track of all the employees in your organization. The right software enables you to quickly get access to quarterly reviews and other information that can help you and managers determine which internal candidates may be suited for management positions in the future. Employee management software also helps you stay on top of frequent reviews so that everyone is getting the feedback he or she needs to develop.

Communicate with staff
It's important for HR employees and managers to communicate with employees that have potential for growth. These staff members may not be able to think of themselves as leaders without the influence of someone they respect. Give candidates time to let the idea sink in and help them develop specific areas of expertise, OPEN Forum wrote.

Come up with a plan
Developing a talent pipeline should be part of the organization's overall plan. According to HCM​ Advisory Group's survey, leadership training is the most popular program for growing its succession pipeline, followed by mentoring. Your organization could also consider job rotations or team-based projects to help staff gain new skills. As Ivy Exec pointed out, it's important to integrate your succession plan with your overall talent management strategy, including recruiting. Succession planning starts as early as recruitment. Let potential candidates know about the room for professional growth at your business.

External hiring will always be necessary sometimes, but having a thriving internal leadership pipeline can make the transition between new managers more seamless and keep staff engaged over the long haul.

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