There have been a lot of changes recently in the world of work, with unemployment reaching all-time lows, predictions of a recession impacting some business' hiring decisions, many large tech companies undergoing layoffs, and more. With a shifting economy comes shifting employee needs and emerging workplace trends - and we did the research for you on how to support and retain talent throughout it all. Download our latest report today.
There is one powerful, yet often overlooked, retention tool essential to keeping high potential employees (HiPos) engaged and invested in the business long-term: succession planning.
In a LaSalle Network study, professionals reported an investment in their growth and development was one of the top things they wanted from their employer, however, 43% stated their employer stopped investing in their development during the pandemic. As a strategy for developing the businesses’ next line of leaders, succession planning shows the organization’s investment in employees’ futures.
In order to retain and develop key talent, business leaders should create a high-value succession plan for 2022 and beyond. Here's how:
Assess Company Needs
As businesses grow, so will the need for qualified leaders, technical skillsets, and more. Succession planning starts with long-term goal setting and planning for the future success of the business, and leaders can start by conducting a job analysis to identify specific skills the organization will need in the next 12-36 months. This analysis should also help identify what leadership qualities, both of people and of processes, are in highest demand in various areas of the business. This requires analyzing teams poised for growth, what roles will be required to support the growth, and who internally could fill those key positions before looking to hire externally.
Identify Key Players
While analyzing their workforce to identify HiPos, leaders should look beyond the obvious. Good candidates for succession may not be within that team currently and may not be the A players who are the highest-performing members of a team. Candidates for succession could also be the B players who may or may not be exceptional in their role today but show potential to build leadership qualities and other much-needed skillsets to help the business excel in the future.
Once HiPos have been identified, their manager should talk to them to hear what they envision for their career and what their long-term goals include. Before sharing the potential succession plan with them, hearing a HiPo’s unprompted idea of what they want for their career can help inform leaders if the employee’s vision is aligned with the future role in mind. If aligned, and they do see themselves growing their role within the organization, managers can communicate their vision and work with the employee to build out a roadmap for what growth into the future role will look like. Including the HiPo in the development planning can help gain their buy-in and engagement.
Invest in Staff Development
The succession plan should include long-term goals for development that serve as mile markers and short-term goals to achieve quick wins and help build their confidence. The development plan can include formal skill-building, such as online seminars or courses, mentorships with leaders within the organization to help cultivate leadership skills, and collaboration across various teams. Managers and employees should set time aside at least monthly, outside of regular one-on-ones, to review progress toward development goals and identify key areas for improvement – ensuring there are measures in place to gauge employee satisfaction and engagement.
Studies show that employees want development and career growth opportunities, so it’s important leaders identify the organization’s HiPos and start conversations about future growth before employees look externally to find that investment.
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