Are you preparing your people for the next steps in their careers? Probably not.
The number-one reason IT pros say they want to leave their current company is because they see no effort being made by management to advance their career. Companies lure top IT talent with the promise of training for career advancement; once there, those IT workers are often disappointed when it becomes obvious that there is no such plan. Talented employees stagnate, morale declines, and with it production and innovation falter. It doesn't take long for a discouraged employee to begin looking for another job.
Succession management refers to the identification and development of potential successors in a company. The key to succession management is creating a match between the company's future needs and the aspirations of individual employees. And remember: employee training is only a part of succession management and in and of itself is not succession management.
A well-developed succession management process boosts retention rates of superior employees because they recognize their company is investing in their career. When you continue to challenge and reward talented employees, you eliminate their need to seek opportunities elsewhere.
Developing leadership talent--a long-term investment of time and resources--is something many companies ignore. Why? That's based on misconceptions and misinformation about succession management. When companies allow themselves to be pressured by the demands for immediate returns on investments from stockholders, investors and short sighted executives, costs increase dramatically due to high turnover, which results in recruitment costs, re-training, production and innovation delays, and time required for cultural acclimation of new employees.
A succession system succeeds by having more than one good person available for key positions; real success requires choices between two or more qualified people. In order to have choices, a supervisor needs to identify who is ready now and what it will take to make others ready when you need them. This seems like common sense. So why aren't all companies buying into succession management?
This article was originally published on 08-13-2008
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