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Succession planning – Add talent don’t replace talent

Succession planning is about ensuring there is enough talent in your business so it progresses, if you’re replacing your best employees rather than retaining them the opposite will happen.

A small turnover of staff can be good for a business as it means fresh ideas and approaches, however, every manager should have a strategy in place to retain high performers, the staff that give the business a competitive edge. These are the people you can’t afford to lose.

A High level of staff turnover is costly, lowers internal moral and could harm the external reputation of the organisation, it’s essential to learn the reasons most people resign and address these where you can. In some instance for example, lifestyle changes or a more attractive job elsewhere are reasons that are out of your hands, so let’s look at what you can influence.

In my experience the most common reasons people leave a job are:

  • Poor salary and benefit
  • Dissatisfaction with management
  • The journey to work
  • Lack of work / life balance
  • Not getting along with colleagues
  • A lack of training and development opportunities
  • Lack of progression prospects

As a manager it’s particularly frustrating when a member of staff resigns out of the blue. Thoughts of “If only I’d known”, “Could I have done anything different” come to mind however redressing the problems after the event is always difficult and can lead to issues further down the line so nip it in the bud before it comes to that with mix of the following to help avoid this situation.

  • Have weekly / monthly or quarterly 1-2-1’s with staff
  • Confidential attitude surveys
  • Questionnaires to former employees 6 months after they have left
  • Exit interviews
  • Regular appraisals

Now you have a better idea of why staff could be leaving you can start to address the situation by putting in place some or all of the following:

  • Be honest with new starters about what the job entails don’t paint a positive picture just to get them on board as it won’t last.
  • Improve career development opportunities and tie this in with the employees aspirations through an effective appraisal system
  • Reflect the market for Pay and Benefits
  • Offer employees a good work life balance
  • Define a mechanism for staff to register dissatisfaction via a clear complaints / grievance procedure
  • Have in place a practicable means of dealing with bullying
  • Employ a strong diversification policy
  • Ensure effective management training

Always aim to make employees feel valued and proud to work for your business along with providing a work environment and culture that encourages diversity and creativity along with an effective anti-discrimination policy that promotes flexible working where possible.

Work to retain staff so succession planning becomes about adding talent not replacing it.

Accountancy and Finance – Kent – Succession planning – Add talent don’t replace talent

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