Category Archives: HR strategy

The Secrets of Successful Succession Planning

Succession planning is a process for identifying and developing employees who have the potential to fill key business leadership positions within an organisation. Effective succession comes from creating a talent pool from which individuals can be plucked to fill senior management roles having been given access to career development opportunities to build skills and experience.  It can provide fast track opportunities or those at a slower pace depending on organisational needs.  Talent pool management tends to be more strategic than one step or job layer succession whereby individuals just below senior management level are groomed as key replacements for identified roles. The individuals are considered to be almost ready for promotion and this type of succession process doesn’t take too much planning.

Succession planning can only be successful when there is key commitment from the CEO and strong engagement from the senior management team.

There are three stages to succession planning.

1. Evaluate all employees and their current needs.  List all employees on the team and their positions then list the current number of open positions/positions to be filled in the future and the required skills.

2. Review the employees who can be promoted and into what position.  This might be in a few months time or a few years.

3. Develop an action plan for those employees who are to be promoted.  Make a list of skills and experience they need to gain and develop a training plan.

A succession plan is an effective way to formulate a recruitment and development strategy.  It should be reviewed several times a year to ensure it is on track.

Succession planning gives a win win solution to both the organisation and employees alike.  The organisation benefits because there is always a drip feed of talent to come on board and head it up.  Employees benefit because succession planning provides career development and job satisfaction opportunities.

How Can I Grow and Improve my Business Through Better HR Management?

A company’s employees ie its human resources are its greatest asset and how they are managed can be the key to growing and improving a business; this should always be a strategic objective regardless of company size.  HR management can include recruitment, induction, performance management, health & safety management, pay and benefits, wellness, diversity, employee motivation, communication and training to name but a few aspects.  Providing leadership and promoting culture whilst adhering to employment law are also essential.
Better HR management starts with making good recruitment decisions so that you are recruiting the right quality of individual with the key skills your business needs.   A structured recruitment process is required that incorporates ability and psychometric tests along with the traditional interview.  Providing a competitive pay and benefits package will attract the right calibre of applicants in the first place; benefits can be both financial and non-financial eg flexible working is highly valued by employees with minimal costs to introduce.  A well designed, structured induction process will then settle your new recruit  into their job so they begin to quickly start performing well.  Consideration to an ongoing varied training and development plan is essential to keep the momentum going and develop key skills which will benefit both the individual and the business.
Employees should be managed fairly and equally by trained line managers who encourage them to get involved in the work environment through two way communication.  They should be provided with interesting work that provides job satisfaction.  Recognition for successes is important and can be provided financially or through feedback and praise so that employees feel valued.  This will stimulate their motivation to work harder.  Employees can therefore become an engaged workforce which leads to higher productivity with a huge impact on the bottom line allowing a business to grow and improve. 

Developing an HR Strategy

For any organisation that has employees it is important to develop an HR strategy for the future which will provide a 3-5 year direction for the organisation in order to gain competitive advantage. 
The use of a SWOT analysis can help develop an HR strategy in looking at how external factors (opportunities and threats) can impact on internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) identifying plans for improvement and/or growth.  External factors can include those related to political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental issues.  Therefore an organisation must analyse which or all of these will have an effect.   For example employment legislation is constantly changing (dependent on EU implementation requirements and government interpretations).  This has an impact on employees in that an organisation has to ensure an engaged productive workforce that are being managed within the law.
To analyse the internal factors, an organisation must look at its tangible HR resources ie specific employee skills and experience, recruitment strategies, staff motivation, staff turnover, etc. to identify its strengths and weaknesses. 
By cross referencing strengths and weaknesses against opportunities and threats clear plans can then be developed on paper for an HR strategy.  Employees are an organisation’s greatest resource so such a long term plan is essential for success.