You always need to remain proactive in your approach to succession management. A recent Wall Street Journal article advises that “management should maintain a succession chart providing details about the background and skills of promising internal professionals and roles they could potentially fill.”
Do you have a plan like this in place?
One way to do this is by combining behavioral assessment feedback, patient 360-degree reviews, and performance expectations met, to help identify a clear analysis of who is ready to move into new positions and areas of responsibility, and who is not.
When evaluating your internal candidates include:
- Internal performance feedback
- Current behavioral assessment feedback
- Responsibility and decision-making capabilities
- Internal references, and / or 360-degree survey information
With that in mind…
- Clarify your job descriptions and expectations to identify what skills and behaviors are “must haves” for someone to be successful in the positions you are filling.
- Behaviorally assess individuals for the responsibility / decision-making levels of the position. Higher levels of responsibility / decision-making will typically reflect stronger levels of certain behavioral traits.
- Make sure you remain objective and see past interview / feedback bias. For example, promoting because a person is “liked” or has been in the company for “x” amount of years , instead of promoting because they have the skills and behaviors necessary for successfully filling the responsibilities of the position will come back to haunt you.
- Identify the strengths and weak areas of those being considered for promotion. If there are behavioral (or skills) areas an internal candidate needs to capitalize on or modify, begin coaching to prepare them for their next level of responsibility.
- The end goal is to move people into positions that are not a total stretch, but where they will be challenged and allowed the opportunities to grow and achieve their full potential.
- Do not hesitate to hold back on promoting someone who isn’t ready for a new level of decision-making and / or responsibility. Assure them this is not the end, but provide them with the insights and feedback you have gathered during your evaluation. Let them know what is needed for them to move forward and then consider a coaching engagement so that in the future they will be able to successfully move forward on their career path.
A successful succession management program develops the human capital on hand and provides them with opportunity, engagement, and respect.