I have three interrelated questions on succession planning. Our 300-person company is coming late to the succession-management game and needs to know the best way to ramp things up quickly. Should we start at the top with our executives, or is it more important to work from the ground up, beginning with key non-executive leadership slots? And how much analysis of our regional talent market should be included in our in-house assessments? As a small company we don't really have a formal board of directors to guide our process. Is that the first thing we should do?
—Unsuccessful Succession, co-founder, services business, Amherst, Massachusetts
Like many companies, we have an annual performance review of employees. At the beginning of the financial year, KPAs, goals, targets are mutually agreed. There is quarterly review of performance followed by annual review. Employees are rated on predefined performance criteria on a scale of 1 to 5. Subsequent to rating, we wanted our line management to rank employees against each other in order to have ranking order. Line management is not inclined to ranking, for obvious reasons. Is there any way to know if ranking is the right approach for our performance management?
— Really Clueless, assistant GM, manufacturing, Hyderabad, India
We may have an attrition problem, but I'm not quite sure. Our turnover is between 12 and 15 percent the last three years, but this year is ticking closer to 20 percent. This does not include involuntary terminations due to downsizing/restructuring. We know some turnover is due to market factors, and some due to cultural growing pains (we've doubled in size the last five years). From an analytic view, how could we determine if our turnover might present a future lingering problem?
—Starting to Worry, HR manager, software/services, Minnesota
Questions emerge regarding what SHRM’s move means to those with PHR, SPHR and GPHR credentials, as well as the relationship between the organizations. Updated with comments from SHRM's Hank Jackson and HRCI's Amy Dufrane.
How far in advance should we be forecasting our skills needs?
— Soothsayer, Health care, Atlanta
We are a big retail organization that is just starting to launch job evaluations for all our positions. Our ultimate goal is to make sure people have an opportunity to grow and are in jobs that best suit their interests/goals. We realize no system is perfect, but what are some solid methods or approaches to sort out the most relevant data to use when making our assessments?
— Shed Some Light, HR Manager, retailing, Illinois
We’re hearing more people talk about engagement for contractors and temporary staff, or contingency labor. While this sounds great in theory, how plausible is it? And does it carry the same weight as engaging our direct hires?
— Enough Worries, project manager, architectural manufacturing, Memphis
I’m wondering about strategies to turn low-potential employees into high potentials. How often is this done and are there any best practices?
—What About the Also-Rans? OD specialist, software/systems, Washington, D.C.
The average age of our workforce is 48 years. We'd like to develop a strategy to prepare for the aging of our workforce, but what's really the most effective thing we should do? Who should be involved or giving input? We know we need to do something, but we aren't sure what's going to be effective. And we don't think we can “hire” our way out of it.
—Not Getting Any Younger, manager human resources, financial services, Amsterdam, New York
How could we determine the duration of a job rotation?
—Time Sensitive, transportation & distribution, Hong Kong