A retirement party is a great time to recognize the success and culmination of a peer’s hard earned job success and to celebrate their next steps (which hopefully includes the Three R’s: rest, relaxation and rejuvenation!).
However, there is another side to the retirement party…somewhere in the crowd there can usually be found an upper level management team who, while celebrating, are thinking “Oh boy, we lost Joe. Who is going to take his place? No one can do the job like he can!”
A good rule of thumb is to not get to this point. In a perfect world, “Joe” would be handing his proverbial to-do list over to a ready and accomplished ally, ready and willing to take on the role he is stepping out of. We know it doesn’t always work this way, but we also know it could. Of course there are always some surprises, but it’s not hard to look around your organization, have a few candid conversations, and discover your institution’s needs in terms of succession planning.In general, when organizations are developing their succession planning model, promoting from within can be beneficial for both the company itself and for the employees. We often have valued employees on our teams that we wish we could clone. They are hard working; they deliver on time, and are well respected within the organization. However, when the time comes to discuss a successor for an upcoming role, you may find that your idea of the ideal candidate may differ from that of your peers.
What to do?
Often, developing an action plan to recognize, target and grow high performing employees in advance is the key to a successful succession model (and it lessens those awkward moments at the retirement parties). Creating a list of what you and your peers consider high value in regards to performance attributes can be a valuable asset when the time comes for performance reviews, and then later down the line, succession planning, when this list and review can be used to help identify potential leaders in terms of job promotion.
Download our free eBook: Succession Planning in Higher Education for practical tips on recognizing and growing potential high performers to ensure a successful succession model at your school. Important strategies outlined include:
- Identifying high performers
- The talent review process
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