We have all heard of the importance of having a Succession Plan in place, usually for our critical senior executive roles. Typically, the discussion is in the context of Replacement Planning, whether short-term or long-term, if some catastrophic event were to take place and a critical role were to open up. But Succession Planning done well can be a strategic initiative that can have many other far-reaching benefits, such as: smoother transitions in to all levels of positions, lower recruitment costs, and improved employee satisfaction and retention.
So how does a company create a strategic Succession Management Plan and create a true pipeline of leaders? The key is to develop and support a coaching culture. This must be supported by all levels of employee interaction: direct supervisors and managers, mentors throughout the organization, and the Talent Management/Human Resource team.
A Talent Mobility Program can help to build this pool. Managers must actively work to identify the career aspirations of employees through Individual Development Plans, and groom them for higher levels of responsibility. Often managers may refer employees to mentors in areas outside of their expertise, or members of Talent Management who can help identify possible career tracks through career coaching sessions or use assessments to identify strengths or skill shortages. When a company has created a coaching culture, leaders begin to emerge through transparent conversations and regular performance reviews. Employees on all levels are more engaged when they feel their careers have direction and they are actively working toward growth.
Succession Planning cannot be a static document that is written and revised annually. This is merely Replacement Planning. True Succession Planning is always a work in progress, it is culture that is developed by coaching all employees to learn, grow, and be prepared for the next step.
Do you need assistance with enhancing or creating a Succession Plan for your credit union? Learn more about Optimal Talent Solutions’ consultative services; Your Trusted Leader in People Management is here to help!