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Developing the Leadership Pipeline

Leadership development is integral to the success of an organization. Succession planning is the primary tool for developing the leadership pipeline.  

What is Succession Planning? Succession planning is the process of identifying very important positions in an organization and creating a talent pipeline. It helps ensure business continuity and performance, particularly during times of shifting leadership and change.

Benefits of Succession Planning — There are several advantages for both the organization and employees:

  • People feel more empowered and have higher job satisfaction.
  • Continuity is intentional, and institutional knowledge is passed to the next generation of leaders and specialists.
  • Employees’ career development is reinforced because they know there is a plan for future opportunities.
  • Managers are committed to succession planning and will mentor employees, transferring knowledge and expertise.
  • Leadership and employees are better able to share company values and vision.

Key Aspects of Succession Planning The process can be intense. As such it involves:

  • Intentional recruitment or hiring: The goal is to select candidates who are capable of and have a desire to advance through the ranks in the future.
  • Step up professional development efforts: This includes the development of skills through cross-training and shadowing various positions in all the major departments. Opportunities can include:
    • Creating a succession development plan with training and learning opportunities that are aligned with the successor position.
    • Participating in the functional areas of roles outside of the current experience.
    • Mentoring and coaching opportunities.
    • Working on special projects or opportunities to stretch skills into aligned areas.

Key Takeaway:

  • Succession planning is the process of identifying very important positions in the organization and creating a talent pipeline.
  • The strategy is used to ensure that organizations run smoothly when key positions become vacant.
  • Succession planning involves cross-training employees to help them develop skills, knowledge, and an understanding of the business.

Malissa Lewis serves as the Chief of the Loan Repayment Branch in HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW). She leads a team of nineteen analysts who work to strengthen the healthcare workforce and build healthy communities through the administration several workforce loan repayment programs.

Prior to the Loan Repayment Branch, she served as a section chief in the Division’s Scholarship Branch. Malissa has over 11 years of public health experience and leadership experience.

Photo by fauxels on pexels.com

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