Process and advantages of succession planning

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Through your succession planning procedure, you also save superior employees because they value the time, attention, and development that you are investing in them. To efficiently do succession planning in your business, you must identify the organization's long term goals. You must hire better staff. 

You need to spot and recognize the developmental needs of your employees. You must guarantee that all key employees understand their career paths and the roles they are being developed to fill. You need to spotlight resources on key employee retention. You need to be alert of employment trends in your area to be familiar with the roles you will have a difficult time filling externally. 

It is a complex process that depends on the cohesion and engagement of management with employees, regular interaction through evaluations and a fully integrated management development system. These are some of the steps a successful plan is based on. It is the contention of some managers that approximately ten percent of the skill-set of professional managers consists of formal education and training, rather it is believed ninety percent of the result is attained through on the job development. The structure of an organisation's management structure has to be clearly understood by all and be transparent to employees, while being put through regular review for future planning. One of the contributing factors eventual demise of the business groups of yesteryear is that they failed in duty of change management. The distinction needs to be made that a plan that will be enticing for an employee need not be a recognition of an individual to replace their ancestor.  Rather it should highlight a group of individuals that are to be developed for the role of one day becoming CEO. 

Based on the feedback provided by the managers', most of the organizations that were consulted offer their staff development opportunities through on the job training, counseling, formal training programmers and job orientation.  These measures allow employees to develop their own abilities and prepare themselves to one be able to fill key positions. 

The companies have to plan for their future by taking necessary steps today. However, the task at hand is one which requires a complex assessment system for the human development, which by its very nature is unpredictable. The business environment is evolving, and corporate growth, rate and size is critical, and values are changing which offer superior opportunities for head hunters. 

To meet this end, the process begins from staffing needs periodic appraisal and an elastic plan. It is commonplace to offer job promotions, an exposure to different roles is necessary to allow the leaders of tomorrow a diversity of experience, i.e. marketing, sales, finance and even grass-roots level, which may include manufacturing. Performance is the primary selection criteria, however the significance of having potential is also very highly regarded. 

Before commencing a complicated process such as this, it is paramount to understand the obstacles that lay ahead and plan accordingly. As stated earlier, it is the belief of management that the focus needs to remain on performance and outcomes, while identifying the potential within employees. It is important that organizations make the distinction between spending funds on their own colleagues while also investing in their employees' development. It is an admitted fact that a number of organisations are happy to reward the senior management, but often neglect the up and comers within an organisation, thus harming the future growth of their company. 

The results of the research also highlighted a major reason for the stifling of progression for deserving employees within a company is that the line between management and ownership is very blurred. In fact, the leadership groups within several organisations evaporated because there was a failure to interpret the change and to educate professional managers. The research shows that flexibility in management is imperative to be able to tackle any emerging challenges.

It is important for managers to understand the role of performance reviews. It is conceivable that the employees relate to each other how much they anticipate a meeting with their manager. This would also lead to employees feeling more empowered regarding the current status of their career and also what possibilities the future might bring. 

It is important to have clearly defined roles for both managers and employees alike in this process. Most managers that were consulted employed the use of a strengths-based approach to performance management which was divided into two categories:

1. Employees: The individual worker's appointment with this concept includes taking on and acting upon constructive feedback provided by management, getting coaching and otherwise trying to develop individual strengths.

2. Managers: Managers play a vital role in the process. It is suggested that managers follow these steps develop a skill to clearly identify positive traits in their employees. Managers should identify two characteristics of their employees, namely positive emotions and high energy - to view strengths in action. This can be done through a process of observation and inspection carried out regularly. It should be second nature and not something a manager needs to switch on or off. In fact, some respondents suggested that casual observation in informal surroundings, namely on emails or watching interactions among people in the break room, some managers were able to see their employees in a different light and how they used these strengths. This managerial skill takes time to learn, but when it is learnt, it allows for on-the-spot feedback, which is often more timely and effective that a quarterly performance review can be. In comparison, strength-based performance meetings have more focus on potential and present learning that can be incorporated and used immediately. 

Based on the research conducted with managers, the following three principles can be applied to strengteh based performance meetings:

1. Do not use a strengths-based performance meeting in isolation

Any feedback that is to be given, it is more effective to offer it something that can help an employee add to their own skill-set and add value to the organisation. This can be done informally, thus allowing feedback to be current, regular and effective for both the employer and employee.

2. As a manager, develop your own ability to spot and label strengths

Although a strength-based technique for performance management can be convenient, it relies upon the managers themselves to be refreshing their own skill-set. The two most important skills, according to the gathered feedback, is to develop your own strength while being able to spot the same in others.

3. Use an established strengths assessment

There are many strengths assessments in the market. We, of course, favor our own tool, the Realize 2. The Realize 2 uses 180 items to place 60 diverse strengths into four theoretical categories: realized and unrealized strengths; and educated behaviors and weaknesses. Regardless of which tool you eventually use, a formal assessment has the benefit of delivering a shared vocabulary for a business, providing individualised feedback for staff, thus having a positive impact on the culture in the workplace. 

The length of time an employee has worked for his or her current employer. 

Leadership is the skill of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. 

Leadership is a process by which a human being influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the business in a way that makes it more unified and logical. Leadership is a process whereby a person influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. 

Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to imitate a person's overall assessment or evaluation of his or her own worth. Self-esteem encompasses viewpoints (for example, "I am competent" or "I am incompetent") and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and disgrace. A person's self-esteem may be reflected in their performance, such as in assertiveness, shyness, confidence or caution. Self-esteem can apply specifically to a exacting dimension (for example, "I believe I am a good writer, and feel proud of that in particular") or have global scope (for example, "I believe I am a good person, and feel proud of myself in general"). 

Self-esteem isn't proud about how great you are. It's more like quietly knowing that you're important a lot (priceless, in fact!). It's not about thinking you're ideal - because nobody is - but knowing that you're valuable of being loved and accepted. 

To have self-esteem we do not need to be self-centered, we do not have to be the good looking or create the most money.

In order to have good self-esteem we need to act in accord to our conscience and our beliefs about what is good in a human being. This often comes from a spiritual model.ÿ People do not need to feel good than another to feel good about them. 

Self esteem is one of the most important components of a human being's personality. It is basically the image you have of yourself in your own view. You have a good view of yourself, you have high self-esteem, you have a bad opinion of yourself, and you have low self-esteem.ÿ It is the establishment of our life and something that helps us greatly in living a life that is worthwhile. Until and unless you believe in yourself and your abilities it is almost impossible to attain success in any walk of life. In other words, we simply need to value ourselves for what we are and what we are talented of rather than wanting to be what we are not. 

Any steps taken to retain the services of an employee or employees for an extended period of time, or to the end of a specific project, are referred to as employee retention. Employee retention is benefits both the organisation and the employee.

Senior management often lament the fact that the loyalty of employees can seldom be relied upon. The corporate climate is such that if an employee feels stagnant or dissatisfied with their current situation, they are quite prepared to look elsewhere. Therefore, it is imperative for managers to take steps to retain their most valuable employees. If they don't, then only the average and mediocre employees will remain, and the quality and experience will diminish.

Retention involves five key things:






One of the most vital and key part is to retain the employee of the organization its as important as you understand you need you have got to intact and retain your potential employee because your employee is your asset which will highway the organization on success.

When asked why employee retention so essential, the responses from managers suggested that along from decreasing the costs to train new employees, it also stops their competition from stealing the talent they have nurtured.

The process of employee retention will advantage an organization in the following ways:


The Cost of Turnover: As stated earlier, the cost of employee turnover can add significant costs to an organisation's bottom line. Although there was little access given to specific financial statements of organisations, it is widely suggested that twenty five percent of an average employee's wage is the cost involved in the turnover.

Loss of Company Knowledge:A major concern for employers is the loss of trade secrets, and any sensitive information which may now be disclosed to a competitior. There is also the loss of return on investment when one is trained but then leaves before the training bears fruit.

Interruption of Customer Service: When a company deals with their clients, they aim to provide a consistent and consistent custonmer experience. When this is altered due to staff turnover, it can lead to dissatisfied customers that may leave and explore the competition.

Turnover leads to more turnovers: When an employee terminates,it can often have a ripple effect throughout an organisation. Co-workers are often required to pick up the slack, which can lead to agitation and frustration for the present employees. Goodwill of the company: If an organisation can boast a strong record in terms of employee retention, it reflects well to potential employees that are considering joining the workforce.

Regaining efficiency: In the event of one or multiple employee resignations, there is a non-specific amount of time that is needed to regain the loss in efficiency. This is brought on by various factors, including the amount of time that is lost in hiring a new employee and then training him/her. This downtime can go unchecked and is difficult to quantify, on top of which there is no guarantee that the same high levels of efficiency will be reached. In a competitive industry, retaining quality employees is one of the biggest challenges faced by organisations. Companies in the past had gotten used to the practise of training employees, having them leave, then taking on a fresh batch of eager graduates. This had become a frustrating cycle. In recent years, companies have begun realising the importance of retaining employees that have been in their 'system' for some time and have been developed. To help meet this end, it is up to the management to embed the necessary motivations and opportunities for their employees so everyone feels valued, respected and also have chances for career progression. (Sheridan, 1992)

There are many reasons for a person to love their job. A person may like the company's culture, their bosses, and their colleagues. Some key motivators for employees are an invigorating role, with opportunities for growth, learning, and career advancement. An employee also needs their job to serve a higher purpose, adding value for the company and the lives and interests of others. If any of these key motivators are not met, an employee could start entertaining the idea of looking elsewhere for work.

One way to help employee retention is by offering competitive salaries and bonuses. It is human nature to be recognized for a job well done, and offering higher remunerations is one way of showing this. Taking this step would show an organisation's loyalty to their staff. Vice versa, in some cases this may raise an employee's loyalty to their organisation. Other incentives that can be included in a salary package include stock options, more vacation time, company cars, child care, and other perks. Some organisations also offer to pay for employees to complete further study to increase their qualifications, and thus their loyalty to the company.

In most cases, the retention of an employee begins from the time they are hired. This is particularly the case when a newly higher employee shows a high degree of potential. The company may offer ways to pay off student loans without interest, or offering incentives for achieved targets. This practice can be considered a combination of recruitment and retention tools. Similar incentives can be offered to employees that have established a career at the organisation for a period of time.

In some instances, an employee may wish to leave a company for personal reasons (they may have bought a house in a new area, family commitments, etc). In such cases, a relocation allowance can be agreed upon to allow for the retention of the employee. The terms and conditions would need to be agreed upon beforehand so it is not abused by the employee. Such a practise could help establish a glowing reputation for the organisation, one that is interested supporting their staff in professional and personal matters. 

It has also been noted that staff enjoy casual days, which allows staff the freedom to express themselves as individuals while doing their work, and therefore feeling more comfortable in the office. The dress code would still need to be well defined so professionalism can be maintained and casual dress environment is not abused.

Some companies have mad attempts to find out more abouyt their employees on a professional and personal level. This open dialogue is necessary to understand an employee's goals, concerns, skill level, values, health, and job satisfaction. This would help an employee feel more valued as an individual, rather than someone who is a small part of a large picture.

A common practice is the use of exit surveys, which are filled out by highly valued individuals when they have decided to leave the business. These surveys can give insights to employers about why staff are leaving. This information is gathered and distributed to the various decision-makers who can study this information and make any changes that are warranted to help increase retention.

Finally, a strategy that can be employed is promoting upper-level employees in the role of retention managers to help in the seemingly never-ending battle to keep talent. The identification of talent, strengths and weaknesses is a kep trait of a retention manager. This type of manager should also have the pulse of their work environment, and be active listeners and empathisers, while understanding the specific needs of their staff.

Every company should understand that their people are their most valuable resource. Without qualified people who are good at what they do, a company would be in dire straits. It is widely understood that the retention of existing employees saves companies money. As Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans stated in Training and Development:

"Studies have found that the cost of replacing lost talent is 70 to 200 percent of that employee's annual salary. There are advertising and recruiting expenses, orientation and training of the new employee, decreased productivity until the new employee is up to speed, and loss of customers who were loyal to the departing employee. Finding, recruiting, and training the best employees represents a major investment. Once a company has captured talented people, the return-on-investment requires closing the back door to prevent them from walking out."


In cases when an employee leaves a business for a direct competitor, there is an increased risk of the employee divulging company secrets. This is yet another reason why the retention of employees is so crucial to some businesses. While this practice seems a bit unscrupulous, it stills happens quite frequently. As Bill Leonard stated in HR Magazine:

"Because employers know that the best-qualified applicants will come directly from competitors, recruiting and hiring employees away from the competition becomes a necessity in an ultra-tight labor market. And necessity is the mother of inventive and sometimes controversial business practices. Recruiting and hiring from your competitors is probably as old as business itself. But what is new-and a hot topic among employers-is how to attract and retain qualified candidates in a highly competitive labor market while also preventing their own intellectual capital from winding up in the hands of competitors."


One way for a company to prevent employees from giving valuable information to competitors is to make it a policy to enforce strict confidentiality agreements amongst its employees. The very existence of such agreements could in fact deter a competitor from hiring a valuable employ because they may not want to face any potential lawsuits either directly or on behalf of their new employee. It is common for employees to forget signing such a document at the start of their tenure, so a copy of it should always be kept on file for the employee to refer to. This area could prove to be a highly sensitive one between employer and employee, so extreme caution and sensitivity is suggested in all instances. 

Every industry battles the issue of employee retention. The information technology field seems to face the most volatility, but other markets like education and sales also their fair share of relative staff turnover. 

Conversely, the effects of this trend are different for small businesses. A stronger foundation of loyalty can be created in a small business as the number of staff is relatively low. One contributing factor explaining this trend would be the generally low number of retrenchments that occur in the small business sector. Many small businesses even have 'no-layoff policies' that can be used as a valuable recruiting and retention tool to secure employees. In theory, successful businesses that are built on a strong foundation should have less trouble dealing with this situation than their weaker counterparts. Ironically, such a company's strengths will allow them to promote an image of success and opportunity, enabling them to recruit and ultimately retain the best graduates available.  While certain strategies can be implemented to slow this trend, it most likely can never be stopped in its entirety. Whatever the size of your organisation, every business will eventually face the the reality of quality people wanting tl leave the business.

During my consultations with various companies, the subject of identifying and retaining top talent is high on their list for improvement. However, when I press them to explain their strategies in this regard they either mention that they've contracted a recruiting firm that is going to do nothing but send them top-level talent, or they tell me the people that have left were no good to begin with, thus rationalizing the cause of the turnover. 

Firstly, it is important for a company to conduct job analysis audits to provide realistic job previews. These audits should be conducted with behavioural assessments, cognitive reasoning assessments, job simulations, and hard skills assessments (e.g., computer skills, etc.) to objectively define the core competencies required for success in each role (competency modelling). This would help in providing a realistic job preview for candidates and managers. Oftentimes what managers think they need for a certain role is different from that they actually need.  Doing this before even advertising for a position would improve chances for right employee to be employed for right role, and increased satisfaction once in the position.

Secondly, the implementation of a well-designed assessment and selection process. It would be astute to include behavioural assessments and structured behavioural interviewing techniques to increase the likelihood of hiring people that can, and will, do the job at a high level in your environment and for your managers (ie. job fit assessment). 

Its important to provide good employee orientation. The people are hired today are potentially your greatest resource for corporate success in the years ahead. As a senior leader, the participation in new employee orientation sends a vital cultural and leadership message: "We're all involved here in the drive toward what we want to be in the future." Everyone-even the newest employee-has value. 

The implementation of programs for employee training and development are valuable. Providing ongoing professional development to show your willingness as an organization to develop your greatest asset-your people is a valued trait that many employees crave. 

Improvement of manager and employee relationships. There should be a concentration on the people that stay with you to learn what makes them happy. Then, take steps to give them more of it! Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman write in First, Break All the Rules: 

"People leave managers, not companies. If you have a turnover problem, look first at your managers...".

A company must take steps to provide an equitable and fair pay system. It must be competitive.  Succession planning should be encouraged. A manager should take time to help identify roles for which employees may be suited in the future and work with them on designing their succession plan within the organization. Investment in cross-training, job shadowing, coaching, mentoring, and cross-experience is also important. 

Strength of the feeling of responsibility that an employee has towards the mission of the organization. 

The degree to which your position is protected from dismissal or retrenchment. 

Job security is dependent on economy, prevailing business conditions, and the individual's personal skills. It has been found that people have more job security in times of economic expansion and less in times of a recession. 

Job Content Skills" refers to the breakdown of competences as they relate to activities associated with a certain job.