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Strategies for Effective Succession Planning

March 9, 2022

By Linda Olejniczak, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

2.5 million people retired during the pandemic and experts estimate that of those,1.5 million would not have retired had it not been for the pandemic. Were you ready for these resignations?  To compete in today’s marketplace, you need to build your leadership bench, invest in attracting top talent, and develop a culture of succession.

With more than 75-million baby-boomers reaching retirement age, finding and retaining talent is going to be tough. You need to be prepared, and succession planning is key.  

Through careful succession planning, you should never have a key role open for very long.  The key is to recruit strong, talented employees and then prepare them for their next role as they develop within the organization.  Both small and large companies can benefit from succession planning for all levels of roles.

In a recent article by Meridith Elliott Powell, who will be featured at tomorrow’s HR conference as a keynote and breakout speaker, five shocking succession planning statistics were noted:

5 Shocking Succession Planning Statistics

  1. CEO turnover is now the highest it has been in 20 years with the average tenure of a CEO being less than five years.
  2. Companies spend more than $370 billion on leadership development programs, yet 5 out of 6 HR Managers are dissatisfied with their results.
  3. Only 35% of organizations have a formalized succession planning process for critical role
  4. More than 74% of leaders report they are unprepared and lack the training for the challenges they face in their role.
  5. 60% of executives fail within the first 18-months of being promoted or hire.

Meridith then goes on to recommend 5 strategies every CEO needs to implement to win the war on talent and be prepared to fill your next key position:

5 Strategies Every CEO Needs to Implement to Win the War on Talent

  1. Commit –Ask yourself what you’re doing daily to help your organization retain talent, what you’re doing to find future talent, and what you’re doing to develop those next level leaders long before you need them?
  2. Build A Plan – Get a plan and build a strategy. Take a long hard look at the critical roles you have, the talent you have on board, and the talent you are going to need. Do a gap analysis on your leadership depth, and then build the actions and steps you and the entire team need to take to close the gap.
  3. Start Small – Select a few key positions in your company and create leadership succession for those roles. This is a long process, and to keep it going you are going to need to role model the process and set yourself up for some easy wins.
  4. Create the Culture – Once you have your strategy in place, encourage everyone in your organization to develop talent and to develop their successor. Create the culture by making it a criteria for advancement. According to Meridith, this would mean that in order to move up in the company, you need to have selected, trained, and developed the leader who is ready to step into your position.
  5. Reward & Recognize – The more you focus your time and energy on leadership development the more leaders you will gain. Reward and recognize the behaviors in your company that support your leadership development objectives.

You can hear more from Meridith at tomorrow’s HR Conference, March 10th in Novi.  She’ll be kicking off our conference with the opening keynote, THRIVE: Turning Uncertainty Into Competitive Advantage.  Then join her for an afternoon breakout sessionSuccession Planning Made Easy.

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