How is your succession planning strategy holding up?

As an experienced HR practitioner consulting to a wide range of very diverse clients I have seen the emergence of a very real HR challenge – poor succession planning.

The war on talent has been around for some time but it is literally on steroids at the moment.

Due to Covid there is no international workforce to mobilise, there has been a lack of investment in training over the last 18 months, combine this with an inability to actually monitor the performance of employees whilst they have been remotely working and we have a succession planning crisis like never before.

Where are the next leaders coming from?

How are we upskilling our employees preparing them for future roles?

The traditional methods of learning on-the-job have hit new hurdles. Our senior managers are more familiar with an environment that is face to face and hence their on-the-job training style works well.

Put us all behind in the camera, often in our slippers and track pants and it’s a different learning style that some have struggled to embrace and others have simply overlooked.

The investment in our people has declined however it seems Covid is not going away, so how are businesses adapting to ensure they have a future talent pipeline?

Simply put if you are not being proactive and planning a blended model approach to talent development you are behind the curve. Many clients are starting to realise that when recruiting you need to decide what is essential and what can be taught. If it can be taught how will we do that in an effective, often remote way?

Putting your head in the sand and waiting until this is over means the talent has been snapped up by a competitor and you are behind before the race has really started.

Those companies waiting for the perfect resume and candidate are going to be waiting some time. It’s about knowing what the role needs now and into the future, understanding the gaps and planning on investing to close them.

Where to start?

Recruitment – look at the future of the role and the business. If the role is going to work from home is it really that critical that the new employee is the type to have lunch with the team?

Is there a greater focus on an ability to work autonomously, be self-motivated? What style of communication is now important?

We need to reassess and challenge the traditional role criteria and make sure it is fit for purpose in the new world.

Skills and competencies in many roles have changed yet we recruit what we have always done assuming things we go back to the way they were. We all know now after more than 18 months it’s not going to happen. Customer and client expectations have changed as have those of the employee we must adapt our recruitment programs and briefs to reflect this.

Development – if the organisation relied largely on an on the job learning approach how does that look now?

Are we allocating time to achieve this in our remote working lives?

The incidental learning we shared whilst working in the office is not easy to replicate online.

Where is the check and balance to assess progress?

We know people have different learning styles and as we slowly return to the office, we should be focused on workshops to outline that there are new innovative ways to challenge and develop our greatest asset – our people.

So, as you sip on your second latte of the day and wonder what the 2-hour exercise window looks like today, make sure succession planning is top of mind and a conversation that is happening in your workplace.

Call Peter Gleeson 0419367569, Ian Stacy 0417478229 or Peter Tanner 0419826637 or visit tannermenzies.net.au

Written by Tiffany Quinlan