Report reveals variety, flexibility and transparency rule in succession management.
Career and succession management no longer simply imply linear movement up the career ladder, a recent study shows. In a much more competitive environment, how are HR Managers and business leaders to approach talent management and retention? African Top Employers are leading the way with 91% having formally defined their career and succession management processes and steps.
A new generation of workers is valuing varied experience and flexibility far more than traditional and linear progress up the corporate ladder. This is a key finding of the Career and Succession Management Report recently published by Top Employers Institute (TEI).
Headquartered in the Netherlands, TEI globally certifies excellence in the conditions organisations provide for the development of their employees. The Career and Succession Management Report is based on a global HR Best Practices Survey among a sample group of 600 certified companies in 96 countries.
Two global developments are forcing HR Managers to rethink career and succession management strategies, according to the report. These are: a) Skill shortages and global competition for the best talent, leading to increased risk of losing business-critical knowledge due to the ageing of the workforce; and b) a new generation of workers that are seeking diverse work assignments and flexibility, which results in less loyalty to their employers and less interest in the traditional step-by-step climbing of career ladders.
Furthermore, employees want to be made aware of the opportunities that exist throughout their organisations.
Employees are preferring a greater degree of transparency at all levels of their organisations. It is no longer viewed as a very competitive practice to source leaders only from the upper echelons or to focus development programmes on top performers only. Diverse development plans, directed through all levels of an organisation, are the key.
Top Employers certified in Africa are following the transparency trend. “Clarity and transparency around career plans to all employees become increasingly important when you are dealing with talent that is very marketable”, said Antoinette Irvine, HR Vice President at Unilever. “If you want people to stay long term, and not to go anywhere else, then they need to know why they are staying, and that is very much a performance discussion, but more importantly a career discussion.”
Following the release of the report, CEO of the Top Employers Institute, David Plink, also pointed out that, for HR Managers, it is no longer possible to try to hold on to top performers, applying the traditional set of incentives. “What is needed is a broader approach to employee development with greater awareness for the changed needs and values of the younger workforce,” he said. “HR Managers have to move away from being talent hoarders to playing their part as talent producers.” Organisations are therefore being called to develop talent, not source it.
Let employees determine their direction and you may be surprised at where they lead you. Just remember: be transparent, let employees take the lead, and offer a variety of opportunities organisation-wide. It may lead to a far more competitive practice.
Samantha Crous is Regional Director: Africa and Benelux, Top Employers Institute, www.top-employers.com.
This article appeared in the August 2015 issue of HR Future magazine.