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TRG Blog

It’s Time to Rethink Your Succession Planning Strategies

Posted by Yen Phuong Nguyen on

Just like the customer demands drastically change over time, technology advancements continuously churn out greater products and services than ever before which place a huge impact on not only the overall efficiency but also our way of thinking. Thus, why should succession plans remain unchanged when everything else has already moved on?

Read more: Succession planning - The FAQs you need to know

Linking performance review with succession planning

What makes traditional succession planning no longer suitable today?

Traditional succession plan focuses mainly on obtaining candidates just for the sake of fulfilling the currently vacant positions rather than enhance your employee’s potential.

Read more: Build, retain, and develop your sales force

Many companies find that the traditional approach of succession planning does not align with the constant changes in today business environment. HR personnel today put more effort and focus on consolidating their existing pool of talents.

In order to build an adequate amount of candidates, who are equally prepared to take on a more senior position when needed, require an extensive investment in both time and personal training. The organisation cannot just randomly select whoever they deem fit; there must be a well-written detailed plan for a specific candidate.

Solution? Incorporating performance review into succession planning to call for everyone’s full attention and enforce the responsibility for developing future leaders on everyone’s shoulders.

Read more: 3 evolving aspects of leadership & management in the digital age

Linking performance review with succession planning

Research has shown that many HR personnel and senior managers acknowledge the importance of having a succession plan, and that accurately identify high potential employees (HiPos) for such plan play a vital role for the growth of the organisation. However, an alarming issue arises amidst of these notions is not many organisations have the appropriate tool or system to identify the HiPos within their existing pool of talents.

Read more: How "potential" are your candidates in the succession plan?

For starter, HiPos can be picked out during your performance review process. We have discussed the various performance review methods in our previous blog posts (check it out by clicking here).

Data related to these HiPos should be recorded and frequently evaluated, establishing a system denote where these HiPos will thrive best. In other words, HiPos may be linked to more than one talent pools thus making them eligible for a specific role (and automatically be in line for training and development planned) when the opportunity arises.

Before embarking on the journey of correctly identify your potential employees, effectively manage performance review and succession planning, here are some tips for you:

  • Clearly distinguish between a “high performing” and a “high potential”. All high potentials are high performers, but not all high performers are high potential due to the fact that performance and potential are not mutually exclusive. Unable to tell apart the two types of employees can be costly.
  • Take inventory of your talents. Segment your staff to critical/ non-critical roles, set examples of expected behaviours and outcomes, and keep track of your talent’s potential level.
  • Pay attention to the job descriptions. Have a clear idea of what skills and qualifications are relevant to the role. Key requirements and responsibilities can be used as check-boxes when you’re planning for your staff, or your own, development.
  • Align succession planning goals with your organisation’s goals. Establish measurable goals and frequently audit them when necessary. Ensure that you have thoroughly discussed the validity of these goals with relevant stakeholders.

A study showed that 62 per cent employees are more engaged in their work if the company had a clear succession plan for them. As the workplace becomes more and more decentralised, if we do not retain and further develop the existing skilled workers, we are at an extreme risk. It is time to move on to other highly effective talent strategies where performance reviews geared toward smart succession planning.  

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Topics: Talent Management

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 Rick Yvanovich
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