Why Succession Planning and Talent Management is Vital?
What is Succession Planning? Simply put it is the strategic planning and identification of professional staff internally. The goal in such a strategy is to groom internal human capital in preparation for assuming leadership or key roles that may become vacant due to retirement, expected or unexpected separations. Succession Planning need not be limited to internal identification of talent but can also be extended to relevant talent outside of the organisation.
Why is there a need for succession planning? Currently in SA there is a high percentage of the workforce at retirement age, therefore contingency plans are imperative. Organisations are more often than not ill prepared to respond to sudden losses of talent and the time cycles for finding replacements in key positions. There is often difficulty in finding the right internal candidate who is ready to be promoted as well as the matter of critical turnover being too high. These are all key indicators pointing to the fact that Succession Planning is essential.
How would organisations benefit by implementing such a strategy? Improvement in allocating resources ensuring that recruitment activities are targeted and that training programmes are deployed to groom leadership capabilities. By reducing extensive vacancies for critical positions productivity is less likely to be hampered, ensuring leadership continuity. Strategically aligning personnel ensures that there is collaborative and holistic career planning. Succession planning facilitates communication and knowledge management in organisations where skills transfer would be possible. Most importantly it drastically increases retention of top performing talent - creating "line-of-sight" succession.