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TOOL Five Keys to Successful Succession Planning

TOOL Five Keys to Successful Succession Planning

January 8, 2002
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Related Topics: Workforce Planning, Tools
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  1. Identify key leadership criteria: It's essential that an organization know what skills and competencies it needs to succeed. No one group, including HR, can identify all these traits. As a result, successful organizations usually rely on focus groups and task forces to better understand core competencies and personnel requirements.

  2. Find future leaders and motivate them: An enterprise must have a system in place for finding star employees and ensuring that they're ready for key positions. This can involve any of several approaches, including 360-degree feedback, standard reviews, and informal discussions. Understanding employees' talents, aptitudes, and interests -- and then providing interesting assignments -- creates a much higher likelihood of success than a strict compensation-reward system.

  3. Create a sense of responsibility within the organization: Although HR can serve as a catalyst for effective succession planning, most successful organizations rely on corporate management to review and oversee the progress of employees. Then, as a worker moves up the ladder, there's a detailed record of his or her progress -- with review from various levels within the company.

  4. Align succession planning with the corporate culture: Despite an emphasis on past performance, it is essential to retain a focus on core values. Effective succession planning requires an organization to stress these values, whether it's a desire to perform leadership tasks or complete assigned tasks, and weight them heavily in the overall selection process.

  5. Measure results and reinforce desired behavior: The only way to know whether a succession plan is effective is to put systems in place to track results -- and have HR review the overall effectiveness of the program. Then the organization must develop systems, such as reward-based compensation, training, and appropriate assignments, to motivate workers and push them along desired development paths.

Workforce, December 2001, p. 36 -- Subscribe Now!

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