July 1, 2015

Four things to keep in mind for optimal succession management.

The path to leadership succession begins with company ideals and HR.

The path to leadership succession begins with company ideals and HR.

One of the most important issues an HR department will handle is succession management.
Succession management is a vital component of an organization’s success. Organizations must identify, develop and support the leaders that will become the future face of the company.
Recent global research from Korn Ferry found only 36 percent of company leaders are satisfied or very satisfied with their company’s succession management program. 23 percent said they have a solid group of “ready now” candidates.
“Succession management programs often fail because they’re static; programs must look beyond a snapshot in time of current talent and business needs to create an ongoing, systemic, yet agile, succession management approach,” said president of Korn Ferry’s Leadership and Talent Consulting business RJ Heckman.
For optimal succession management, keep these four tips in mind:

  • Be open to “building” and “buying”: Many companies stick to either building employees from the inside of their organization, or buying employees by hiring from outside the company. Never limit your company to just one of these. Keeping an open mind is key to finding the best talent.
  • Hold interest meetings: When you’re looking for leaders, observe employees in their natural element, as well as hold informal meetings. Getting a grasp of who’s interested, who’s not and who might be, is vital for company time and money.
  • Know what you’re looking for: Even though you should remain open to a host of employees and leadership types, be sure you also know what you’re looking for. Not having any sense of direction will prolong the process.
  • Look at employees other than top-tier management: No, you don’t have to look at new hires their third day in, but don’t limit yourself to employees that have been there forever either. Beginning succession employee development from the first days can be a great way to create the workforce your company needs.

Learn more about employee training on leadership and management here.

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