Succession planning is a topic that is off-limits in some organizations. It raises the spectre of awkward conversations and walking on eggshells — in other organizations the subject is taboo. Such thinking is needless and, I would suggest is irresponsible. Given what is at stake in a leadership change, it is quite literally mission critical for the Board and the CEO needs to ensure that the organization is developing succession-ready executives for all senior roles.
The CEO needs to drive succession planning. Effective planning Includes the early identification of any inside CEO contenders and providing counsel to the Board on CEO succession. At the most basic level, an annual review means the Board and CEO are actively engaged in the risk management practice of succession planning. By making succession planning a priority, boards and CEOs can work to ensure organizational stability.
Succession planning is all about employee development. By identifying and developing employees to fill each key role within your company, employees are more engaged and motivated. The development makes them better at their current job. The process also ensures that you will never have a crucial role open for which another employee is not prepared.
Through your succession planning process, you recruit superior employees, develop their “talent stack” — knowledge, skills, accomplishment and behavioural traits, and prepare them for advancement or promotion into ever more challenging roles in your organization.
The development of the employee should include leading cross-functional teams, transfers to different jobs or departments and secondments, so the employee has a chance to experience various roles throughout your organization.
Actively pursuing succession planning ensures that employees are continually developed to fill each needed role in your organization. As your organization expands your succession planning guarantees that you have employees on hand ready and waiting to fill the new positions. Make it part of your culture.
Who Needs Succession Planning?
Failing to develop leaders is the single most expensive mistake a leader can make.
All organizations, no matter their size, need succession planning. While it is less likely that you will have potential successors for every role in a ten-person company, you can minimally cross-train.
Traditional performance management systems consume an enormous amount of an organization's time and money. Based on various estimates, the cost of lost time due to regular performance evaluations ranges up to $3500/employee per year.
Moreover, the impact of these review programs has been dismal. Many of these review processes have been found to hurt organizations rather than help. According to Gallup analytics, only 14% of employees strongly agree that the performance reviews they receive inspire them to improve.
For leaders, this is not merely a question about your front line — it is about how you develop future managers and leaders.
Transform "Performance management" into "performance development"
Today's top talent does not want a boss; they want a coach. Performance development is an approach that focuses on growing leaders, not just keeping employees accountable. Succession planning is grounded in this future-oriented mindset.
Leaders who want to develop their managers into successful leaders for future roles must focus on three things:
- establish expectations
- continually coach
- create accountability
Develop Employees for Succession Planning
The key to creating an innovative, agile company is to encourage managers to develop their teams. Creating incentives for executives to mentor and develop their people is one of the best ways to create a collaborative culture. The best companies avoid roadblocks by creating new positions, collaborative opportunities and challenging projects so current and future leaders have room to grow. Succession planning must become part of the culture.
To develop the employees, you need for your succession plan; you can use such practices as lateral moves, assignment to individual projects, team leadership roles, and both internal and external training and development opportunities.
Through your succession planning process, you also retain superior employees because they appreciate the time, attention, and development that you are investing in them. Employees are motivated and engaged when they can see a career path for their continued growth and development.
To effectively do succession planning in your organization, you must identify the organization’s long-term goals. You must hire excellent staff.
You need to identify and understand the developmental needs of your employees. You must ensure that all critical employees follow their career paths and the roles they are being developed to fill. You need to focus resources on essential employee retention. You need to be aware of employment trends in your area to know the roles you will have a difficult time filling externally.
How to Do Succession Planning?
A formalized system exhibits a commitment to mentor and developing employees so that they are ready to take over. Organizationally, it allows all managers to know who the key employees are in all areas of the organization. This information enable them to consider strong players when any key role is available. We assist organizations in succession planning by using the SuccessFinder career system. It measures 85 behavioural traits and how they combine in different dynamic combinations to predict business and career success. It is based on the premise that an in-depth understanding of an individual’s strengths and areas of development will enable an individual and the organization to maximize their contribution as a leader and team member.
SuccessFinder predicts the success of a candidate with 85% reliability. Its reliability is ranked the highest in the industry — at level C1 — by the American Psychological Association for its accuracy. Our research has found that particular trait combinations (competencies) are especially relevant in the workplace. These competencies form the basis of our Ladder of Leadership model. We will use a combination of our Best-Fit Staffing approach and the Ladder of Leadership to assist you in succession planning and team development.
What are the Steps?
These critical roles fall into two categories: value creators and enablers.
- Value creators generate revenue, lower operating costs, and increase capital efficiency.
- Value enablers, such as leaders of support functions like cybersecurity or risk management, perform indispensable work that enables the creators.
These roles are often in counterintuitive places within the organization. Typically, about 60 percent are two layers below the CEO, and 30 percent are three layers or more below the CEO. Key areas and positions are those that are critical to the organization's operational activities and strategic objectives. Identify which positions, if left vacant, would:
- make it very difficult to achieve current and future business goals
- be detrimental to serving your customers
- take a considerable time to fill
Over time review every position in your organization and link talent to the value created by the function.
To establish selection criteria, focus employee development efforts, and set performance expectations, you need to determine the capabilities required for the key areas and positions identified in Step 1.
- Identify the talent stack, and cy6g6ompetencies needed to achieve business goals
- Use the competencies in our Ladder of Leadership model
- Inform employees about crucial areas and positions and required capabilities
Determine who is interested in and has the potential to fill critical areas and positions.
- Discuss career plans and interests with employees
- Identify the key areas and positions that are vulnerable and the candidates who are ready to advance or whose skills and competencies could be developed within the required timeframe
- Ensure that a sufficient number of candidates and members of designated groups are in feeder groups for critical areas and positions
Incorporate strategies for learning, training, development, and the transfer of corporate knowledge into your succession planning and management.
- Define the learning, training, and development experiences that your organization requires for leadership positions and other vital areas and positions
- Link employees' learning plans to the talent stack necessary for current and future roles
- Discuss with employees how they can pass on their corporate knowledge
Evaluate and monitor your succession planning and management efforts to ensure the following:
- Succession plans for all critical areas and positions are developed
- Key positions are filled quickly
- New employees in crucial positions perform effectively
- Members of designated groups are adequately represented in feeder groups for essential areas and positions
Advantages for Employers and Employees
Benefits for employees include
- Employees who know that a next role awaits them receive a boost to self-esteem and self-respect. This insight enhances their efficacy and value as an employee.
- Knowing the organization's plans for your next potential opportunity—and that there is one—reinforces your desire for career development and career opportunities. This development is one of the areas that employees want most from their employer.
- You can identify the talent stack, and development opportunities necessary to help the employee become prepared for progression when the next job opportunity turns up.
- The ability to work with their manager or supervisor to make sure that the employee has a career plan that moves him or her in the direction of their next opportunity. This person is key to an employee's ability to get the experience and education needed for career progression.
- The employee's value is shared with the rest of the organization so that if an opportunity comes up, the managers can consider the employee to fill the role. In an informal system, managers organization-wide may not know the value of the employee and his or her skills. (Even if the current manager has shared this information, in the world of busy, it is tough to remember.)
Benefits for employers include,
- You rely on staff to carry out the mission and the vision and to accomplish the goals of the organization. The loss of a key employee can undermine your ability to achieve these critical
- You need prepared employees to step into roles as your company grows and expands its offerings and services. Alternatively, your lack of developed employees will hinder your growth plans.
- The need to have replacement employees ready if you decide to promote employees or redesign your organization enables you to make necessary changes without being hampered by a lack of replacements.
- Knowledge about key, skilled, contributing employees is shared with managers organization-wide. This information allows managers to consider the broadest number of candidates for any open job. It also emphasizes with your employees that your organization provides the career development opportunities they seek.
- The Baby Boomer generation is in the process of retiring. They are taking with them 30-40+ years of knowledge, experience, working relationships, and information. You want to capture that knowledge before it walks out your door.
- Effective, proactive succession planning leaves your organization well prepared for all contingencies. Successful succession planning builds bench strength.
How Organizations Hurt Themselves by Not Seeing the Difference Between High Performance—High Potential
Business Benefits of SuccessFinder
A bad hire is bad for business. It wastes time, and stresses the organization and the person you hired and fired. Our approach to achieving strategy of business success focuses on achieving value for the shareholder and has two necessary conditions: satisfied customers and a satisfied workforce. We drive employee success and career satisfaction.
In addition to avoiding the cost of a bad hire, you:
- Slash onboarding costs with targeted development/coaching right from point of hire
- Increase retention due to better-fit hiring and promotion
- Avoid costly litigation by hiring without bias
- Differentiate high potentials from high performers
- Increase bench strength and know who to target for accelerated leadership programs
- Decrease training costs based on highest-need performance competencies
- Increase engagement due to people operating in their strengths
- Transform your workforce into one focused on performance at every level
Using performance competencies, we can provide an additional view of a candidate versus a higher performer.
In addition to technical skills, academic background and professional experience acquired, an individual’s natural behavioural tendencies are crucial elements to achieving success at work. Our goal in creating this model is to provide better ways for organizations to capture these natural behavioural tendencies and leverage them to develop the strong, resilient leaders required to drive today’s business strategies. SuccessFinder measures 85 performance traits. The 26 performance competencies consist of three to six behavioural characteristics. The competencies are grouped into five categories. They are very useful for developing a performance plan as they reflect the interaction of the traits.
How the traits combine along with a career theme in different dynamic combinations to predict business and career success. These combinations constitute the complex behavioural trait dynamics that we see in the workplace and can be measured using competencies and a readiness to influence others directly.
Performance competency is the kind of skill set that an individual should have so that he or she can meet the goals of the organization. Measuring performance competency is a tough job for any human resource manager. SuccessFinder makes it easy. Due to the increasingly complex structure of the organization, it is imperative for individuals to have a good and healthy relationships with people across departments.
In some organizations, including behavioural competencies is part of their appraisal as well.
Why do organizations need to understand performance competencies?
Understanding performance competencies play an essential role in succession planning, workforce planning, and training and development.
Agile Leadership is a leadership style where the leader values the need to adapt to constantly changing conditions, with the ability to embrace new effective behaviors based on new requirements and the challenges of a chaotic, even volatile marketplace driving a magnitude of change, with the potential to confound by it daunting complexity and uncertainty.
Agile leaders (“We need Learning Leaders who have the ability to stay flexible, grow from mistakes, and handle a magnitude and diverse range of challenges.”)
- Agile leaders possess the ability to sense an organization’s needs for major change and responds to opportunities or obstacles through planning, swift execution without loosing momentum or alignment.
- Agile leadership is inclusive, democratic, and exhibit a greater openness to ideas and innovations. With a passion for learning, a focus on developing people, and a strong ability to define and communicate.
- The core of the Agile leadership style’s intent is not just surviving in the midst of chaos but quickly adapt and create a new future through demonstrating imaginative and insightful leadership when the status quo is challenged.
- Sustains profits — Seeking profitability and personal wealth with a keen sense of risk in order to achieve financial success.
- Seeks Innovation — Thinking expansively and demonstrating intense imaginative insight to identify wise but innovative solutions.
- Embraces Change — Being responsive and open-minded in unpredictable times with a willingness to adapt to rapid change.
- Thrives In Chaos — Enthusiastically thriving under seemingly a chaotic demand and overlapping priorities. Displaying a preference for multi-tasking.
- Focus on Results — Making personal sacrifices and expending extraordinary dedication and work ethic for one’s career.
- Drives Achievement — Desiring to achieve exceptional results under competitive scenarios for high ambition’s sake.
Seven Reasons to Hire Allenvision
We believe that your success growth is mutually beneficial. We offer strategic insights and process to jointly determine what needs to be done. Unlike many consultants who will tell you what to do, we work with you to show you how to do it. While we are happy to undertake the complete implementation of a project, we prefer to transfer knowledge, coach and teach your team how to do it.
From filling a short-term executive gap to the implementation of a major program of organizational structural change — hire Allenvision. We provide valuable expertise and insights to help you achieve your goals and execute a strategy.
When is the right time to hire Allenvision?
What on-going steps should you take to ensure you get the best out of a client-consultant relationship?
- External validation: Allenvision has a broad overview, understanding, and external perspective. We use an evidence-based approach in all of our work. A second opinion can provide reassurance before making a critical business decision.
- More time and cost-effective: We focus on a project and see it through on deadline, without distractions and day-to-day pressures. This often makes bringing us in much more time and cost efficient than running a project in-house.
- Specific knowledge, skills, and experience: Allenvision gives you the opportunity to bring in niche skills, without the commitment of employing someone.
- Ability to challenge: Our objective position means Allenvision can bring a fresh perspective. We are not afraid to challenge, and our unique position means we can do so without the fear of reprisals that your employees might have.
- Impartial advice: Hiring Allenvision can offer you a way to reach or justify a desired conclusion and avoid internal conflict. This can be particularly valuable in stressful situations such as job cuts and significant operational or strategic changes.
- Knowledge of best practice: Allenvision works with multiple clients and often serving various clients facing similar problems across different sectors.
- Access to information and resources: Allenvision specializes in dealing with matters related to people, money, and governance. We can bring in data and systems that may not be financially viable for your company.
Overall, Allenvision brings a wealth of strengths to your business and can deliver a full range of services. So, if you are seeking a solution to a particular business problem, developing your employees, creating succession plans, undergoing organizational change or can see new market opportunities but lack the resources to follow them up, Allenvision may be the answer you need.
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