Time and again, at different forums, with people from different industries, the HR has been faced with the problem of succession planning. The companies do not see the kind of growth they expect in terms of quality and quantity of human capital is because they fail to plan for the succession of key employees.
To discuss, it seems to be a fairly simple problem, but the ripple effect it creates for small and mid-size companies are drastic. When we do a root cause analysis, one reason that stands out for these failures is that organizations have a fear of failure due to the absence of the key employees in their current roles. It becomes a problem of withdrawing key resources from their respective projects, making sure that the resource is not utilized optimally, stagnating the growth of the employee leading to demotivation at various levels.
There is need to understand that an organization needs to replicate these key employees, induce them into the system slowly and make the replacement win the client’s confidence slowly. We do not need to be loud about the process and it needs to be planned way before a trade-off situation arises. The key employee needs to play an essential role in the process as there is need for transfer of knowledge- process, people & project.
The other side of the story could be where the employee does not want to depart from his role where people have praised him well, the client is glib with him and shares appreciations every now and then. He/she feels insecure and believes that it may lead to a downfall in his career. Now, this is critical because organizations do not want to lose such employees. There is need for mentoring and bringing in people who can talk about how his/her career will shape and why what he/she will be doing next is of value to the organization. It is important for organizations to make employees mobile, and ready for changes which would lead to growth.
If we open history text books, this seems like a problem that existed forever, even in large kingdoms. The people tackling such problems in those times were either smart to solve the problem early on, or face the brunt of wars to get to final decisions. The choice is ours, and a simple one to make.