I have talked about the shortage of skilled workers in a number of blogs, and the impact this is having in chemicals and how the shortage of skills is impacting the desired investment in new facilities.  But what about your existing workers. Are you prepared when they get promoted, decide to change jobs internally, retire, or quit?.  Do you have a plan in place to replace these workers?

Succession planning is a must for all the same reasons as you do preventive maintenance. While, just like equipment you can operate without maintenance (or a succession plan) , eventually the lack of one will catch up with you and will cause a problem. What will happen to your company if certain key positions are not filed in a timely manner? We are mostly  aware of upper management positions being emptied & being filled, since the change over in upper management is usually is reported in the papers. But don’t forget that that there are other critical positions in the technical and operational areas. Failure to continually staff these positions can have a terrible effect on a company. Extended vacancies in these roles can have a significant negative impact on profitability, quality, delivery, and service.

But are you even aware of these non senior management critical positions? They should be included in your succession planning.

Succession management allows a company to respond quickly to staff vacancies. After all all employees will leave the company at some point, even if they have to die on the job to do so.   Succession Management ensures that staff turnover does not unduly disrupt the organization. It is even a factor in promoting an employee.  Can they be too good to be promoted? And what does that say to the employee? Does this article in the Telegraph sound familiar?.

Are you holding back employees because they are too good at their job?

Succession planning should enable you to:

  • Identify key positions: reduce the risk to the business by addressing those critical positions.
  • Provide talent continuity: ensure that there is a smooth transition into and out of positions
  • Gain workforce insights: include workforce goals and aspirations in the plan
  • Understand employee histories: see the experience that each employee gains as their career progresses
  • Improve career planning: Address talent gaps, engage employees, and improve capabilities with targeted development plans

To do all this across a company is a lot of work, and it is as essential as keeping the plant equipment running.  So do you have a plan for all your critical positions? If someone get hit by the proverbial truck, can you respond promptly? Use this link  Succession Management to see how SAP SuccessFactors can help.

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