Succession Planning and Employee Engagement

Posted by & filed under Nanci's Notions Blog.

Developing and sustaining a successful business is predicated on a few basic concepts, but one that often gets overlooked is the succession plan. Keeping true to the company mission, planning for expansion, sustaining employee losses and preparing for future leadership is the essence of succession planning. An integral piece of engaging employees is providing a clear-cut picture of the trajectory of the company and outlining employees’ involvement along the way.

Several generations cohabitating in the workforce would seemingly make this an optimal time to implement a succession plan in any organization, since the diverse pool of workers provides several opportunities for selecting emerging leaders. However, there is a glitch: employee mobility is at an all-time high. Corporations, small businesses, and even non-profit organizations are all feeling the pinch. According to Modern Survey, 42% of millennials, 38% of GenXers and 22% of Boomers are on the lookout for positions with companies other than their current employer. In a recent tweet, Future Workplace reported that 91% of millennials don’t intend to stick with their job for more than three years. Those numbers create a costly problem for businesses that have identified and started development plans for employees who then decide to leave the company. A 2009 Columbia University study found that a lost employee can cost a company 150% of that person’s annual salary.

To help retain employees, consider having a succession plan that is discussed with new hires during the onboarding process. New employees should be provided opportunities for development, with guided practice, to enhance their leadership ability within the organization. The company culture would include employee development with a constant eye on retention, promotion and rotation of leadership.

Additionally, as cited by business blogger Brandon Carter in Employee Engagement and Loyalty Statistics: The Ultimate Collection, Modern Survey reports that an employees’ “belief in senior leadership is the strongest engagement driver; growth and development is the second.” If a succession plan is in place where senior leaders actively engage potential leaders and self-selected high potentials through mentoring, providing leadership opportunities, and allowing them to sit in on decision-making meetings, this could be the impetuous for retaining future leaders of an organization.

A succession plan provides vision, employee development and a continuous plan for sustaining leadership that promotes retention and protects the imprint of a successful business. If your business does not have a succession plan, now is the time to start a dialogue to develop one. It may be help secure the future of your company by providing a secure future for your key employees.