Tag Archive: training

Succession Planning

Why do we need succession planning?Successplanning
In most cases we need succession planning to ensure that the business can continue to function optimally with the right people, with the right skills and at the right time.
Succession Planning can be a bit of an art – if it is carried out effectively. Ideally, it should be a business focused, fair, open and transparent process. If not, it will most likely cause distrust and suspicion amongst your employees.

Succession Planning vs Contingency Plan
The practice of identifying an employee to replace someone who is leaving or is ready for retirement, is not succession planning. This is a contingency plan. The difference between contingency plans and succession planning is that succession planning is about helping people develop and be in the right place at the right time for existing roles, or developing roles. Good succession planning should be about bringing in a range of talent, either in or outside of the organisation, and it should be fair and open.

The start of a Succession Plan
Before you begin succession planning, you need to have an ethos. Now that ethos will differ depending upon the business you are in. If you are in a corporation or a public sector organisation, you might want to have a policy of growing your talent within. If you are a business on the move, you might want to look at bringing in new talent with new and evolving skills. Or you might have a combination of these approaches.

Top Tips to successfully implement a Succession Plan:
1. Be clear about why you want to introduce succession planning.
• Is it to recruit new and evolving talent?
• Is it to develop new leaders/managers/specialists for the future?

2. Be open about why you want to introduce succession planning with your current workforce.

3. Be clear with your current employees about your rationale and let them see the possibilities for them. If there aren’t possibilities for them, then be clear about that, but let them know why.

4. Be clear about the difference between contingency planning and succession planning.

5. If you have a list in a drawer with names, and the people who are named don’t know they are on there, then you might want to think about how helpful or not this is.

6. If you have a list of names, and it is to replace specialist jobs and no-one but the named persons know they are on the list, then again you might want to think about your strategy.

7. Be clear about the criteria you are going to apply to any succession planning exercise and communicate it widely.

8. Be structured. Make sure that you and everyone knows how it is going to work and what they can expect. Align other employee lifecycle events with the succession plan where needed.

9. Be open to attracting talent from everywhere. There may be someone in your current workforce, who might not be displaying the characteristics for future job filling now, but with an open invitation, they might just go for it.

10. If you decide the future is through a graduate scheme, try to make it accessible for existing workers, or have a route through for existing workers. There is nothing more annoying than being great and going the extra mile, doing the duties of higher level jobs and being told that you can’t compete because you have to have a degree.

11. If you want to source talent from within, then tie your succession planning to your appraisal/feedback scheme. It is the easiest way to have those conversations and help people work in a way that helps them aim for different roles.

12. If employees think they can progress in their own company, then they can be more likely to stay. Chart out career pathways for your staff so that they can plan for the future.

13. If your succession plan includes attracting talent from outside the organisation, make sure you have tapped the potential within first.

Tips for Training New Hires

by Jessica Taylor

Starting a new job is probably one of the biggest transitions we experience as adults. Yes, it’s exciting—but it’s always a little reminiscent of the first day of school: a blend of stress, nerves, and pressure to remember a whole bunch of new stuff.

So, needless to say, when you have a new employee, the way you welcome him or her onto your team will make a crucial first impression. That means, even if your company provides formal training, it’s just as important to incorporate some activities of your own as well.

Here are a few ways to help a new employee adjust—ways that are much less overwhelming, arguably more helpful, and definitely more fun than the traditional onboarding processes.

1. Play Tour Guide

It’s standard for a new employee to get a tour on the first day, where the typical highlights include the restrooms and the cafeteria. But it’s also important to show a newbie the lesser-known locations—the mailroom, the security office, and, of course, where to find the best coffee. (This hits close to home—I once started a job where it took me two long weeks before I finally found the microwave!) Work with your colleagues to create a short list of places worth a visit, and include them as part of your introductions.

2. Make Connections

When a new person joins your team, it’s natural to introduce her to people. But think about how you feel when you meet a million people in the same day: It’s pretty tough to remember all those new names, roles, and faces.

To make introductions a little more strategic, put together a list of key contacts to meet, and provide some background on each of person—name, title, and role with the company. Write it all down, and give it to her. If you know of any common ties between your new team member and another person, call that out, too (for example: they’re both huge baseball fans, or both have young children). This little cheat sheet will be a seriously helpful way for her to remember new contacts and kick-start the process of building relationships.

3. Wine and Dine

This one’s a bit of a no-brainer, but make sure your new employee has lunch plans her first few days on the job, with you or with other people you think she should meet. Nothing feels more lonely than sitting alone in a new cafeteria, unsure if you were supposed to bring your food or if you missed the team lunch run. You can also plan a happy hour for her second or third week—a good chance for her to get to know others in a casual setting.

4. Provide Resources

Pull together a list of go-to resources for new employees to explore—things like annual reports, the company intranet and website, and any recent marketing materials. While it may sound painful to thumb through old files, reports and presentations from years past are valuable tools to help someone get acclimated before she gets off and running. (Just make sure you’re not providing too much at once, or you may get a deer-in-headlights reaction.)

5. Be Available

Finally, remember that it’s natural for anyone to get confused or frustrated when they’re faced with a steep learning curve. So make yourself available a few times a day to check in, and encourage her to ask questions. The more comfortable you can make your employee feel in her new environment, the faster she’ll feel like a part of the team (and the faster she can start really diving into her work).

Starting a new position is stressful for anyone, but as a manager, you can make the transition a whole lot smoother. Take the time to help your new employee feel welcome and comfortable and support her as she learns the ropes of her new gig. Remember: the more time you’re able to invest in the beginning, the faster you’ll have a dynamite team member—and the better off you’ll start your relationship with her.

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