A clear professional development plan can help attract and retain top talent
Succession plans are used to address the myriad reasons employees separate from an organization whether employees resign, retire, are fired, get sick, or pass away. This often overlooked process is something businesses can utilize to their advantage... especially in today's tight market of the lowest unemployment rate since we have been tracking it in the US.
Having a plan in place can provide a clear professional path for your top performing employees and a roadmap for advancement and development opportunities. Cultivating talent, in turn assists in making sure the business will continue to run smoothly by identifying and training high-potential workers for advancement into key roles even when unpredictable turnover occurs.
It is important to note that Millennials actively look for companies with clear career paths when job hunting more than any other previous generations. Succession plans allow an organization to:
Discuss advancement opportunities during recruitment process
- Many candidates evaluate organizations based on their development offerings. The ability to talk about advancement opportunities can attract candidates and may be a deciding factor factor t chose your company over a competitor.
- You top talent most likely has the desire for advancement opportunities. To keep your good workers, have a succession plan in place that you talk to them about goals, key performance indicators, achievement levels and how to guide them them into supervisory, managerial, and leadership positions.
In fact a recent PriceWaterhouse Cooper report found that 52 percent of millennials consider opportunities for career progression — a factor closely linked to development and retention — is the most desirable quality in the workplace1.
Here are seven steps you can take to kick-start your succession planning, whether you have a small, family-owned business or an multinational corporation:
1. Be proactive with succession planning
It can take time to find and prepare a promising candidate for a leadership role. As such, don’t dawdle with this part of your plan. Even if you don’t think you’ll need a replacement in the near future, prepping one or more individuals to assume an important role creates motivation an invaluable safety net.
2. Keep an open mind
While the obvious successor may be the second in command, don’t disregard other promising employees. Look for people who best display the skills necessary to thrive in higher positions, regardless of their current title.
3. Make the vision known
Include potential managers in strategy conversations to help them acquire planning and leadership skills, as well as a broad vision of the organization and its objectives. Opening these conversations to can also identify highly engaged and motivated employees. Work with human resources and your board of directors in this development plan.
4. Offer regular feedback to protégés
When someone uses well-honed presentation skills or outperforms on a project, make note of it. Keep track of these achievements in a top-performer file so you have something to reference the next time a management position opens. Diligently chronicling topics like strong work and achievement will also come in handy during annual reviews.
5. Provide training to peak performers
As you identify your top performers, invest in their growth. Offering mentoring and training, to help them develop new skills and refine existing ones demonstrates commitment to their growth and value to the organization. Remember that good leaders not only need technical acumen, but also strong interpersonal skills, including standout verbal and written communication abilities, as well as tact and diplomacy. Often the Mentor also receives personal fulfillment in the grooming by watching a colleague succeed.
6. Do a trial run
A vacation is a great time to have a potential successor step in to assume some responsibilities. The employee will gain experience while you learn how prepared the person is to take on a bigger role.
7. Use your plan to develop a hiring strategy
Once you’ve identified internal employees as successors for key roles in your organization, take note of any talent gaps. In this way, the succession planning process can help you identify where to focus your recruiting efforts.
OnePoint Succession Planning Tools
Succession planning was rated as very or extremely important by 54 percent2 of Bloomberg HR survey respondents, but organizations have struggled to address this process in a systematic way across a diverse workforce population. Our HCM solution has the tools you need to quickly and easily visualize and implement succession plans for all employees.
Our system provides interactive succession planning tools help clients identify and prepare talent for advancement or promotion into more challenging roles within the organization. The succession planning tools in unified human capital management (HCM) suite help you to develop a talent pipeline and build bench strength with employees who have the current skills or potential to be successful.
Create succession plan profiles based on metrics such as performance readiness, potential, risk and impact of loss, as well as custom metrics that meet your organization’s specific requirements. The succession dashboard contains up to 100 configurable charts and graphs on each tab for at-a-glance visibility into succession plan details. Contact OnePoint today for a demonstration of how our HCM solution can help you develop and retain high performing and engaged employees.
1 pwc, Millennials at Work: Reshaping the Workforce, found at
2Bloomberg BNA, HR Department Benchmark and Analysis 2015-2016, at 103.