When it comes to talent management, you most certainly have heard the terms succession planning and career pathing being thrown about. Yet, only a few would ever go as far as to put both of these processes together.
A succession plan, until recently, has mostly been considered a tool only used by company leaders for promoting internally. Whereas career pathing has been a term dedicated to HR professionals and how they develop the goals of employees. But the time for keeping these processes separate is changing and your business needs to keep up. The happiness of your talent may depend on it.
All businesses have been in a position like this before. One of your key employees has announced that they are leaving, and you immediately react by trying to fill the role as quickly as possible. Looking at your succession plan you may identify a replacement. But, a few weeks into the role, the replacement employee isn’t the fit that you had hoped.
A succession plan on its own may be the easiest route to filling roles but isn’t necessarily the best option. In fact, it completely disregards one vital aspect: whether your employees are suited for the position or not. That is why combining this approach with career pathing is your best choice.
When it comes down to it, succession planning and career pathing are essentially two sides of the same coin. Both processes are aiming to identify the right talent for a position. While succession planning may focus more on identifying future leaders and keeping the business running, career pathing notes how the skills and competencies of employees would fit a particular role.
When combined together, these processes have the ability to allow your company to design an effective contingency plan for attracting and retaining talent.
In order for this combined approach to be successful, your company’s succession plan and employees’ career paths must influence one another. At first glance, both of these processes are structured completely differently. A succession plan is built based on a top-down employer-driven approach while career pathing is driven from a bottom-up employee influenced approach.
However, by tapping into insights provided by the bottom-up career pathing process, a company leader can immediately alter their succession plan to suit the competencies of existing talent. And vice versa. By taking note of a company’s succession plan, HR professionals can use this information to better inform onboarding processes and support employees in reaching their company objectives.
Without collaboration on the part of company leaders and HR professionals to ensure these processes fit side by side, this approach will be set up for failure.
Although using either of these approaches by themselves isn’t inherently wrong, having a strategy that relies on both of these approaches can help you to fill crucial roles with employees that are driven to succeed in them.
If you are still on the fence about whether to combine career pathing and succession planning together, these benefits will certainly change your mind:
All companies are aware of the importance of having great employee engagement. Yet, sometimes organizations don’t give much more thought to this than when carrying out performance reviews or annual appraisals.
It is hard to ignore the fact that helping your employees along their career path will go a long way to increase their happiness and engagement levels. When you pair an employee’s career path with succession planning, it allows you to tailor your succession plan with each employee’s unique preferences. This gives a higher probability that the employee will be trained correctly and will feel more satisfied in the company.
One of the best ways of retaining employees is by having a positive culture within your company. And using a combined succession planning and career pathing approach can achieve just this.
Promoting a positive company culture gives your business the ability to value each employees’ individual strengths and recognizes the role that they do in the organization. When there are processes in place which make employees feel supported and valued, it improves company culture and the overall employee experience.
All employees want to feel that their career trajectories are recognized and cared for by company leaders. With a blended approach, you can make decisions on what’s best for both your employees and your company.
The employee attrition rate is something that every employer needs to keep a close eye on. Studies have shown that 73% of employees are willing to change jobs if they are not given the opportunity to move up internally.
Using insights from career pathing to influence your succession plan can help your business to keep attrition rates low. This is because you will be having open and honest dialogues with employees regarding their futures at the organization. When an employee feels that an organization is taking their career goals into consideration and will support them in reaching these goals, they are more likely to stay at the company. A successful blend of career pathing and succession planning can help ensure that you keep your best talent.
There are certainly many upsides to using both succession planning and career pathing for informing company decisions and talent management. And with the right tools and solutions, your company can easily bridge the gap between these two processes.
As we know, career pathing is centred around helping employees to develop their personal career goals. While succession planning allows leaders to easily identify potential key employees that have the ability to take on leadership positions. Online HR solutions provide organizations with the necessary tools to ensure that these two processes will work hand in hand.
For example, Sprigg’s online performance management solution offers vital features such as personal career development planning, employee competency management, individual goal setting and leadership tools.
From our centralized dashboard, HR professionals and company leaders alike can easily view employee performance data and use this information to further improve employee engagement and company decision making. Meaning that there is no need for separate software programs for each process. Making it extremely easy and simplified to adopt a blended career path and succession plan approach.