Strong Succession Plans Start with Leadership Development
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Strong Succession Plans Start with Leadership Development

Future of Work

Strong Succession Plans Start with Leadership Development

February 22, 2017 Olivier Pestel

The long-term sustainability of any business relies heavily on an effective succession plan. However, a survey carried out by accounting firm RSM suggests 66% of Australian businesses do not have a formal succession plan in place.
A succession plan is a ‘road map’ of who will run your business during a period of transition, or once current leaders move on. Without a strategic succession plan, a few key resignations and retirements can mean company values quickly diminish, brand power suffers and client confidence crumbles – all affecting the bottom line.
So where does strong succession planning start? With focusing time and resources on developing your leaders, right from the recruitment stage.
Identify leadership qualities during recruitment
A successful recruitment campaign is one that not only reaps a quality new employee, but ensures that leadership potential is identified at the start, so it can be developed and nurtured. 
Predictive hiring tools and behavioural questions can help hiring managers uncover leadership qualities and flag which candidates have the potential to become key future cogs in the succession wheel.
Track development with performance management
Performance management is undeniably a crucial tool for leadership development.
Without employee performance tracking and regular development meetings, potential leaders can quickly slip through the cracks and become disinterested in their work, leading to a poor culture and an ineffective workforce.
Performance management should clearly outline an employee’s role in a leadership development scheme and succession planning, making them feel like a valued part of the company with a long-term future. Future leaders need to feel empowered about their own career path and opportunities for advancement, while building the skills to ensure current organisational requirements are met. 
Don’t neglect training
By investing in training, you can align learning with any skills gaps and ensure that your future leaders have the competencies needed to perform well in their current roles, and are developing the particular skillsets and knowledge base they will require as their career progresses.
A digital learning management system can deliver targeted training on an employees’ preferred device, and track training requirements and compliance.
Creating the succession ‘road map’
It’s no secret Australia’s workforce is ageing. CPA Australia, for example, estimates that the average age of its practitioners is well over 50.
Succession software can help you create your plan by plotting career development paths before an imminent wave of retirements.
It has the capability to identify critical workforce gaps, and clearly highlight where your talent needs to be developed today to avoid a meltdown tomorrow.
Succession planning can project staffing, recruitment and skills development needs, plus attrition risks, making it a powerful tool in determining which areas require the strongest leaders to motivate and influence their teams, create a winning culture, inspire long-term client confidence and ensure the sustainability of your business continues.
Strong succession planning starts with great leaders. By developing your leaders to their full potential, involving them in the succession plan process, and empowering them to take control of their own career, you can help ensure continued business success long after the current leaders have moved on.

About Olivier Pestel

A French native, Olivier made Australia home 8 years ago settling in Sydney. For the last 15 years, Olivier has worked with a large number of HR & Talent Executives throughout Asia Pacific... more


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