It is one thing building up a high performing team, it’s quite another to retain them. Perhaps because in trying to retain them there is the perception that everything must stay the same. However, change happens whether you like it or not, and if you want to keep your best employees it’s better to work with the opportunities that change brings rather than try to avoid it.
Organisation success means planning for continuity, having a succession plan in place if key people leave or want to move up in the organization. The best performing companies globally are those that are agile and create opportunities for employees to further their careers from within the organization. How can you emulate that success? Here are some important considerations:
In the end what matters most?
Some leaders are reluctant to hand over to others because of ego or their own personal insecurities. But what is this really achieving? What will happen to business if something happens to them? Will it be able to carry on, or will it collapse because they were the only one in control of everything? Creating teams that can support the structure of the business in an ever changing marketplace is what will give it longevity, and ultimately isn’t that what matters most? Succession planning is about actively planning for change rather than having to react when it happens. Preparing for events that could impact business is what good leaders do – ensuring there will be continuity even when hiccups occur.
Plan it, do it.
Succession planning is not just about considering who could move up in the organization, it’s about being intentional in creating the support and structures to actually make this happen. It means seeking out people with potential and then investing in their growth. Giving them access to training so that they are equipped to move up in their career, and giving them ownership over small projects to see how they manage teams and difficult situations as they arise
Establish a culture of coaching and mentoring
Practical on the job, one-on-one mentoring is one of the most effective ways to transfer skills. What makes it so successful is that it is based on building strong relationships and brings knowledge sharing into the culture of the organization. As leaders learn, they in turn are encouraged to pass on their knowledge and skills to their teams and this creates a positive knock on effect. People learn to collaborate, share knowledge and put forward ideas and this creates a dynamic workplace.
Promote internal growth
If employees know there is opportunity for growth within an organization, they are less likely to look elsewhere when they want to move forward in their career. Being transparent about succession planning and the process involved will help employees align their personal goals and understand what they need to do in order to be considered. Having open conversations about potential and opportunities can keep top performing employees engaged and more loyal to the organisation.
Succession planning is not as much about letting go – although that’s a big part of it, but rather having an insurance policy for the business, ensuring that there are the right skills in place to step up if key leadership people move on and creating a culture that is open to learning and collaboration.