Back to Resources

Talent Management. The importance of Succession Planning

At the best of times, having an understanding and insight of your workforce will allow you to be confident in making business decisions to support your business strategy and growth. Knowing your workforce is critical to protect your business.

How can you do this? By adopting and implementing a talent management process within your organisation. In this blog we’ll explore the importance of role criticality and employee potential when it comes to building your succession plan.

Let us start with Role Criticality.

To get you thinking about the criticality of a role, think about if a position was to become vacant, how would this impact the organisation? If an individual were to depart from the organisation, how long would it take to train a new employee to the same level of proficiency? The most important measure is “Material Impact” or “Vacancy Impact”, if the position becomes vacant what does it mean for the business financially? What does it mean if it is vacant for a long time? It is critical to understand the financial impact of this on the business.

Ascender have put together 3 simple and effective position classifications;

Very Critical:

  • This role performs a function that is deemed critical to the operational outcomes of the department/business unit/branch/service/organisation.
  • The absence of this role would see a significant number of tasks/services cease completely as role requirements could not be met through existing employees or supplemented in some other way.
  • Role requirements could be developed in a prospective employee over a period greater than 2 years.

Critical:

  • The role performs a function that is deemed important to the operational outcomes of the department/business unit/branch/service/organization.
  • The absence of this role would see some tasks/services moderately affected, however the majority of role requirements could be met by work re-organisation or through support from existing employees/consultants.
  • Role requirements could be developed in a prospective employee in less than 2 years.

Not critical:

  • The role performs a function that is deemed to be necessary to the operational outcomes of the department/business unit/branch/service/organization.
  • The absence of this role would see minimal negative impact to tasks/services in the short term. All role requirements could be met through work re-organisation or through support from existing employees/temporary staff/consultants.
  • Role requirements could be developed in a prospective employee in less than 6 months.

Now that we have identified Roles that are Critical to ensuring your organisation can continue to function, we now want to gain insight into employees potential to develop further skills and abilities to enable them to progress within the organisation.

Understanding which employees are able to adapt and align to the changing needs of your organisation, particularly in these uncertain times is crucial to success.

Now let’s talk about Employee Potential.

An employee’s potential should be based on the individuals likelihood to develop into a successful leader with significantly expanded higher level leadership responsibilities.

We have put together the following Rating Guidelines to assist;

Character:

  • Is a role model of the company culture and values
  • Has a passion for the business
  • Exudes confidence and is well respected
  • Builds followership

Capability:

  • Remains flexible with changing conditions
  • Effectively manages ambiguity
  • Is a rapid learner
  • Prioritizes and optimizes situations to achieve results

Performance:

  • Exhibits high performance sustained over time
  • Anticipates organisational demands and client needs
  • Is results-orientated and creative with solutions

Motivation:

  • Aspires to higher levels of responsibility and challenges
  • Persistent in seeking opportunities to grow as a leader
  • Works beyond the scope of his/her job responsibility

When reviewing employees, maybe start with the top 30% of the organisation to ensure the correct people are retained within the business allowing a more streamlined organisation.  You will then be well positioned for sustainable growth as we move away from the current conditions.

But why do this? Think back to what we said before. if a position becomes vacant what does it mean for the business financially? What does it mean if it is vacant for a long time? That is why it’s imperative to build that succession plan to ensure your organisation won’t experience any financial impacts of having a vacant role. If you can easily go through your current workforce and sort employees under both role criticality and employee potential, you will have clearer view of not only your current workforce, but have know what your workforce could look like in the future.

We’ll further explore this in our upcoming webinar on Talent Management. You can register for the webinar here. We’ll go further in-depth on how you can begin building your talent plan.

Talent Management Webinar