Succession Planning is NOT a Buzzword!

Yesterday a colleague shared performance and training data with me that truly illustrates just how ill-prepared we are for Workforce 2020. Here are a few realities from that data:

  • Thanks to tight budgets and retirement incentives, the Feds have lost a vast amount of seasoned talent over the past 5 years.
  • Although we have done some hiring, even those who have come onboard require at least 5 years (if not longer) to reach levels of performance that deliver significant contributions to our organizations.
  • We are not exercising worthy effort to engage employee development plans aimed at preparing “potentials” for future leadership positions. Nor do we engage new employees in ways that stimulate (let alone accelerate) their engagement in higher levels of work.

Today’s new hires are tomorrow’s mid-level supervisors and managers and yet, we hear from them regularly that they’re bored by the assignments they’re given, that they believe they can do more but we are under-estimating and/or under-utilizing the skills and abilities they already possess.

Succession Planning is not a buzzword; it refers to the identification and development of potential successors for an organization that has a vision for its future. The key to succession management is to create a match between the organization’s future needs and the aspirations of its present and forthcoming employees.

A worthwhile succession system has more than one good person ready and available to fill one key job.

Real success requires that we have choices between two or more qualified people. In order to have choices, we have to do a better job to identify who is ready now and what it will take to make others ready when we need them. This also means knowing what drives today’s employees as well as what will drive those we employ in 2020 (and beyond).

Related article: Are You Planning to Fail Today?

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