Don’t be frightened of letting your best people go

Succession planning – what is it?

It’s when you look at your organisation and the critical roles which create a career path for employees. You look at who are the high performers, the people who are ready to move up and those who need a bit more support to get them to the next level.

It’s a combination of organisational planning and employee development.

It’s rather like Chess to be honest, moving your key pieces around the board to win the game (I never thought I would get into HR consultancy to play “live” Chess).

In SME’s (under 250 employees) this is really difficult – the fear of losing your best people can be consuming (I have felt it myself as a business owner). Sometimes we throw extra money at people in the hope that they stay doing what they are doing.

Worst. HR Strategy. EVER!

My advice as an HR Consultant is this…

It will only motivate them short term, then they become expensive, too highly paid in the market place, can’t get a good promotion and they are stuck and long term unhappy in your business.

We need to learn to be brave – review the organisation, review our people, see who we might loose and face it. Once we are honest about this we can plan and engage with the employee to ensure we know their career plans and when they do move, the organisation is ready with the next employee or candidate to take their place.

The brilliant bit is that the employee goes to a new employer with very fond thoughts of your organisation, goes away for a number of years and gains skills and experience. Then comes back to our organisation to share those experiences and developments learnt elsewhere.