Succession Management

Success management includes the following activities:

Identifying the shortage of leadership skills and defining the requirements:

With a view to identifying the impending shortage of leadership skills, organizations have to estimate manpower requirements well in advance. HR professionals generally estimate manpower flows, using various forecasting techniques. In respect of a commercial bank, for example skill shortages may arise due to retirement, resignation, transfer, VRS schemes etc.

This has to be followed by a clear cut workload analysis to define the executive competencies required at various levels. Competencies may be defined by focusing attention on the Bank’s critical success factors and values and the challenges it expects to face in the next five years and beyond. These would include, for instance diversification plans into areas such as insurance, credit card, auto finance, consumer finance, housing finance etc. and the competencies needed to fill the skill shortages. Managerial judgment and careful study of the past trends may serve as a useful guide in this regard.

Identifying potential successors for critical positions:

Once shortages are assessed and skill requirements defined, the next step is to find people with requisite talent to move into senior leadership roles. To find people with the highest potential the organization has to collect information from various sources (search every division/ subsidiary ): how they performed in the past on various jobs, feedback from subordinates, customers etc. regarding their key skill, competencies and core values etc.

One organization looking for potential top leaders asked its managers to go through an extensive assessment center program where outside professional experts offered an accurate, unbiased view of the potential of trainees. Other methods such as aptitude tests, projective tests, interest tests and simulation exercises could also be used to assess the potential of candidates with lots of promise.

Since it is not possible to fast track everyone, it is always better to define the critical success factors of important jobs initially and evaluate the high potential successors against that benchmark. Success factors are the behaviors required to perform the identified jobs successfully in the organization’s culture. The thumb rule is that ten per cent of all managerial positions are critical. Once that has been done, it is advisable to have at least two identified successors for each of the critical positions. However, if the identified candidates are not yet ready to take the challenges head on, it may be a good idea to train them further.

Coach and groom the starts:

After identifying potential successors for important positions the organization must devise ways and means to fast track their developments. Enriching developmental opportunities must be thrown open to them such as handling two important projects, a foreign country assignment, a major market research job, a new product launch, a complex industrial relations exercise etc. The methods must be tailor made to suit the mental make up of candidates and, at the same allow the candidates to improve the targeted behaviors.

The identified high fliers should be continually challenged and developed with demanding jobs intended to stretch their leadership competencies and enrich their experiences. At various levels, conscious efforts must be made to make fast trackers know how important they are in the organization’s future plans. The organization should not let talent walk out of the door. Appropriate retention strategies must be devised in time so that a competitor or a does not poach the identified starts:

In order to retain talent the organization should

1) Create a compelling vision to capture the heart of the employees.
2) Talk to employees and find what they like best in their company and job. Experts say people are fascinated by career opportunities learning experiences and challenging jobs. Offer these to people and create an employee friendly environment.
3) Get employees connected to the firm. Let them feel that their opinions matter a lot.
4) Realize that emancipation is in. Empower people in every conceivable way. The management should encourage this attitude. Do not shoot people who err; but shoot those who do not take risks.
5) Encourage employees to explore their interests, engage their curiosity, rotate them on various positions, train them continually and allow them to grow.
6) Keep a breast of competitors. Give enough to people so that they love their job.

Source: HRM