In the ongoing war for talent many businesses are refusing to enter into the battle of who can offer the highest salary and instead they are looking internally in order to develop the skills and capabilities of their existing staff. Effective career development pathways and succession planning are fantastic ways to “grow your own”, staff can see a future with the company and how they are going to get there and the fact that their employer is committed to developing them builds trust and engagement and that has a positive impact on productivity and retention.
So, how can an HR system help your business with career and succession planning? The starting point is to have a clearly defined approach and perhaps even a fully documented career and succession plan or strategy. By going into that level of detail you know what behaviours and skillsets you are looking for in staff in varying teams and roles, and then you can work backwards, create a matrix and then use it to record what you already have in-house and where the gaps are. Your HR system can be used as the central point to store your matrix, managers can access and feed into it and staff can have their own matrix in the employee record on the system so that they can see where they are and how they need to develop to achieve their potential for career development. This information can then be used when looking for training courses or as part of 1-1s and development plan meetings.
You can also use your HR system to run reports on staff and to get ahead of the curve in succession planning. You can set a regular report that looks at the whole business or focuses on certain teams and by identifying key demographic information you can focus your succession planning efforts. For example, you might have a team where your report highlights that the average age of staff is in the late 50s and that by also reporting on their length of service you can see that many have been with the company for a number of years. By using your HR system in this way it helps you to realise that it is likely that in the coming years there will be a large chunk of that team who retire and rather than creating a risk for the business by waiting for that to start happening and losing all that experience and knowledge, you can be proactive. You can look at who you have already that could step up into those roles or perhaps you might need to recruit an apprentice or junior member of staff who can be developed across a period of time so that when the retirements start you have ready made replacements.
Career and succession planning works best when it is regularly reviewed and monitored and by automating parts of the process through your HR system you are removing a lot of the hassle, getting rid of the paperwork and giving staff easy access through their self-serve to their own career plan and matrix which keeps it in their mind and gives it greater importance.
Here at HRX, we offer a free 30 day trial of our HR software. Sign up today and see how it can help your career and succession planning within your business.