As a new year approaches, the tradition of setting goals for a newer, more improved self is on everyone’s mind. Usually, these resolutions include slimming the body, fattening the bank account or a myriad of other life-enriching elements. Unfortunately, as February approaches, those who were once motivated begin waning. In fact, the University of Scranton’s research suggests that only 8% of people stick to New Year’s resolutions.
Goals can set us up for failure; however, without them, failure is inevitable. Succession planning is no different. Taking the time to think about the future is consuming and a bit unsettling, but if left undone, could mean even more trouble. Let’s talk about easy ways to set the right kinds of goals for your workplace as 2015 looms.
Don’t let the goal outshine the process
If beginning at the end were an option, we’d all take it! Unfortunately, one of the reasons so many fail at the resolutions is because the goal is too big. Having small, feasible objectives will make sticking to workforce goals easier and lower your employees’ chances of giving up.
When it comes to succession planning, having a plan is pivotal to surviving the future. The Stanford Graduate School of Business reports that 46% of executives and directors have a formal process for developing successor candidates for key executive positions, but only 25% agreed that there was an adequate pool of ready candidates for the CEO position at their companies. It may seem crazy to consider the new hire as a manager or even executive leader, but training as though he or she could be isn’t.
Don’t forget who brings what to the table
When New Year's resolutions fail, there’s usually a turning point that can be remembered by the individual. A moment of weakness in healthy eating, a day of “just wanting to rest” from a gym routine or any other small flake that slowly becomes a full-grown snowball. While setbacks are inevitable, allowing an onslaught of bad habits will only drive the goal further from reach.
When developing a succession plan, companies cannot stop at the CEO. There are multiple executive positions because one person cannot carry the weight of an entire team. Companies need to have processes and training lined up so that when an individual leaves, someone can effectively bridge the gap.
Don’t forget today’s growth is tomorrow’s success
Employees need the promise of growth, the assurance a good days work will be recognized and rewarded. This is fantastic news, because the training that is done today will lead to well-developed leaders of tomorrow. Don’t become complacent with the belief that dedicated employees remain as such until they are needed. Communicate just how necessary all members of the team are to the organization. Find ways to move deserving, hard-workers up the ladder. Raises are great motivators, but 62% of employees want more opportunities at leading projects and the chance to build an arsenal of knowledge.
Though the executive team is solid today, tomorrow is unpredictable. Retaining well-trained and hardworking individuals will ensure the company has a foundation to fall back on.
So as the old year settles to memory, the New Year brings a trove of opportunity. Don’t let what hasn’t been accomplished drown out the upcoming wins, because it is never too late to begin planning for the future.
Don't go into a succession panic frenzy for the New Year.