Expert’s Advice

QUESTION: Most of my staff are leaving because they feel promotion is not rapid enough.

How do I manage ambitious employees who are impatient for promotion?

Are There Any Best Practices For Succession Planning?

Mohammad

Dear Mohammad,

The war for Talent- Attracting and Retaining your top talent has been and will continue to be a major challenge for any organisation.  Employees leave organisations for various reasons and while it is impossible to keep all your employees forever, there are some strategies that you can adopt to ensure that you reduce employee attrition to the barest minimum. This will sure help the retention challenges you face.

  1. Career Development: Have clear career paths for each job role documented and communicated to all employees. These career paths should also detail the Knowledge, Skills and Attributes required for progression across these paths and supported by a well-documented and communicated competency model. Thus growth/promotion is based on incremental and demonstrated competencies and not time-based. This achieves two things
    1. It shifts the locus of control to the employees. The employees are now empowered to determine how far and how fast they want to grow. Focus is also shifted from length of time spent to growth and skills gained. It also helps create a healthy performance-based competition among employees.
    1. It helps the company grow: Competent employees improve customer satisfaction and invariably company revenue.
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Other career developmental practices such as Job rotations (Moving employees between two or more assignments or jobs for specific periods  in order to expose them to all verticals of an organization) and Job Shadowing (on-the-job training where an employee learns from a more experienced colleague by following them and observing them).

  • Employee Engagement: Conduct stay interviews (periodic discussions with employees to determine how they are feeling about the organization) by asking questions such as,
    • What should the company start, continue and stop doing to improve your overall employee experience?
    • What motivates you to stay here?
    • What might cause you to leave?
    • Do you feel that you are challenged?
    • What changes would you make to your job if you could?
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The answers can be enlightening and can provide you with feedback to design impactful and retention-focused employee engagement initiatives.

  • Leadership Development: People more often than not leave managers and not jobs or companies. Improving the quality of your leadership bench improves the overall experience of employees in your company. This is important so that even when they leave, the are brand ambassadors for your company, thus boosting your employer brand.
  • Succession Planning: Even with the best of talent retention plans, employees will leave your company at some point or the other for several reasons, so have a succession plan in place by:
  1. Identify the critical roles in your company
    1. Articulate the key competencies for the role
    1. Identify Successors, employees who can meet these competencies in the short, medium and long term. Communicate this development to the employees concerned to obtain buy-in and be sure it align with their own individual goals.
    1. Design a Personal and professional Development plan for them
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