ideas@work vol. 1


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ideas@work is a collection of whitepapers published by UNC Executive Development.

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ideas@work vol. 1

  1. 1. VOLUME 1 BUSINESS INSIGHTS FROM UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT WHITE PAPERS FEATURED: Making the Business Case for Learning and Development: 5 Steps for Success Ready, Aim, Coach: How HR Can (and Should) Coach Managers on Problem Employee Behaviors Putting Success Back in Succession Planning: The Role of Learning and Development Passing the Torch: 5 Steps for Turning the Baby Boomer Brain Drain into a Brain Trust Unlocking the Potential of On-Demand Learning in the Workplace
  2. 2. A message from the President and Associate Dean of Executive Development at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School About ideas@work Greetings from the University of North Carolina at Chapel measure and demonstrate the value of learning and Hill and welcome to the first edition of ideas@work, a new development. Another addresses the importance of journal designed specifically for business leaders who are succession planning and includes suggestions to identify involved and interested in talent development issues. and develop talent to fill key leadership positions. A third paper tackles the challenges caused by a rapidly aging Here at UNC Executive Development, we partner with workforce with tips to leverage valuable knowledge and organizations to help them solve real business challenges experience before the baby boomer generation starts to while developing their top talent. Our approach to retire. program design and delivery draws upon the power of real- world, applicable experiences from our faculty and staff, I sincerely hope that you’ll find some useful, actionable integrated with the knowledge our client partners share ideas that you can apply in your own organization, and I about the challenges they face. ideas@work was created encourage you to share ideas@work with your peers and to share some of the ideas and experiences we’ve gained colleagues as you see fit. Our goal is to feature topics that from working with our partners, and to highlight best are relevant to you, so please feel free to email me any practices from other organizations. ideas that you have for future topics at This issue includes five papers covering a variety of topics Thank you for your interest in UNC Executive Development. which I hope you’ll find to be interesting and thought- provoking. One paper offers suggestions to help you Warm regards, Consistently ranked one of Our commitment to At UNC Executive the world’s best business developing socially Development, we believe schools, UNC’s Kenan- responsible, results-driven that managing employee Flagler Business School leaders distinguishes our talent is vital to the success is known for experiential programs. We educate of any organization, and we learning and teamwork, people at every stage provide unique learning and superior teaching, of their careers and development experiences innovative research and a prepare them to manage for our partners. collaborative culture. successfully in the global business environment.2 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  3. 3. Inside this issue Making the Business Case for Learning and Development: 5 Steps for Success page 4 Ready, Aim, Coach: How HR Can (and Should) Coach Managers on Problem Employee Behaviors page 16 Putting Success Back in Succession Planning: The Role of Learning and Development page 26 Passing the Torch: 5 Steps for Turning the Baby Boomer Brain Drain into a Brain Trust page 38 Unlocking the Potential of On-Demand Learning in the Workplace page 50 (Note: The information or conclusions expressed in the following white papers are the authors’ review of findings expressed by the organizations. All brand representations are registered trademarks owned by the respective companies or organizations.) 3
  4. 4. Making the Business Case for Learning and Development: 5 Steps for Success Susan N. Palmer, Ph.D Program Director UNC Executive Development Introduction Our Promise Human resource and talent management professionals This white paper draws lessons from our work with a can turn today’s economic challenges into opportunity range of organizations. It outlines steps you and other and become true strategic partners by creating strong learning and development leaders can take to show your business cases for their learning and development CEO and CFO the top and bottom-line value and the ROI initiatives. To do so, HR can no longer measure the of learning and development initiatives. return on investment (ROI) of learning and development after the programs have been implemented. Instead, These steps can change your own and your senior they should calculate and anticipate the returns these management’s perception of learning and development initiatives will have on their organization’s bottom line. programs and of the value these programs provide to the organization: This white paper explores how organizations can retool their learning and development programs to reflect 1. Know your organization’s strategic priorities. how they should be doing business and provides 2. Understand how the learning and development steps you can make to show your CEO and CFO the function can contribute to those priorities. top and bottom-line value and the ROI of learning and development initiatives. With the proper focus 3. Determine what learning and development programs and understanding of how learning and development will support the organization’s strategic direction. programs contribute to corporate profits, spending on training and development will be viewed as an 4. Build it with metrics. investment with the potential for strong returns rather 5. Pitch it like you’re the CFO. than as a disposable business cost. With the proper focus and understanding, you can have leaders view training and development as a worthy investment instead of as a cost.4 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  5. 5. MAKING THE CASE FOR LEARNING DEVELOPMENTStep 1: Know Your Organization’s Strategic PrioritiesThe turbulent economy of the past few years has put Gathering this knowledge will help you to communicateeven seemingly recession-proof industries like health better with your top management and improve yourcare and utilities on edge. Such volatility often makes ability to ask the right questions. These enhancedit easier to think in terms of short-term survival, rather communication skills will also put you in a betterthan long-range strategy. Yet it is crucial to focus on position to offer human capital recommendations thatwhat is important (long-term strategic priorities), align with your organization’s strategic priorities.rather than on what is urgent (today’s employeerelations problem).Make it your business—even a job duty—to know andunderstand your organization’s strategic priorities and Learning and developmentkeep these priorities in mind when developing your professionals who canlearning and development programs: show how their1. ead about your industry and organization on R the Internet. organizations’ top and2. Learn about your competition. bottom lines ultimately3. nderstand how your organization is rewarding U improve from investing in its executives and how this compares to others in your industry. training and development4. earn how your company is viewed externally L will grab the attention of and what your customers are saying about you— senior management and both positive and negative. quickly become a valuedThis environmental scan will help you understandand anticipate where your organization needs to strategic business in three to five years, and how effective talentmanagement can push your organizationin this direction. 5
  6. 6. Example: Top management at Duke Energy understands the value of long-term planning. At a time when most organizations slashed their training budgets, Duke Energy actually increased its spending on leadership development. 2008, the company launched the Strategic Leadership Program, intended to develop In the next generation of leaders to be more strategic and less tactical in their thinking and actions. The two-week program focused on developing the leadership skills of mid-level managers. Participants learned how to evaluate business decisions, how to execute business strategies, and then how to put the theory to practice: • t started with in-depth sessions on understanding the industry and the business. I • uring the first week, participants identified actual business challenges in their own D business units and then developed solutions to address these challenges. • uring the second week, they worked on emerging company challenges identified by D the senior executives. The challenges had measurable bottom-line impact for the organization, and they piqued the interest and generated ongoing support of senior management. According to a recent Bersin Associates survey, corporate learning and development budgets were cut by 11 percent in 2009, and by a total of 22 percent since 2008. ource: O’Leonard, K. (2010). The Corporate Learning Factbook: Benchmarks, Trends S and Analysis of the U.S. Training. Oakland, CA: Bersin Associates6 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  7. 7. MAKING THE CASE FOR LEARNING DEVELOPMENTStep 2: Know How Your DepartmentContributes to Those PrioritiesUnderstanding your organization’s strategic initiatives will help you better focus on howthe learning and development function can contribute to achieving these priorities.Two key questions to ask are:1. ow can your existing learning and development programs help support the H business strategy?2. hat new learning and development programs may be needed to assist in W achieving those goals?Two ExamplesFor example, if your organization plans to expand itsbusiness internationally within the next several years, “ nce senior leadership Odetermine how the training and development functioncan support this goal. Will current employees need to understands that yourdo work overseas? If so, then evaluate the training focus is the same asthat employees will need to succeed in these newbusiness environments. theirs, it leads to betterWill the organization need to hire new employees in support to obtain yourother countries? If so, then careful thought shouldbe given to the training needs of these employees, goals.”as well as to how to deliver the training efficientlyand effectively overseas. Also, understand how thoseemployees who do not work overseas will support Lori Antieauthe strategic objectives and develop training Vice President, Human Resourcesprograms that align with those global priorities. Talecris BiotherapeuticsThe impact of training and development on astrategic priority, such as expanding globally, canbe multilayered, so it pays to think outside ofthe box.Providing a clear picture of how work will changeand preparing employees for these changes canbe an invaluable contribution. Knowing whatlearning and development opportunities are neededto help employees adjust to new or changed rolescan offer great results and pay back. 7
  8. 8. Step 3: Determine What Programs Will Support the Strategic Direction Now that you understand your organization’s strategic priorities and how the learning and development function can help make them a reality: • hat specific learning and development opportunities are needed? W • hat existing training programs should be included or excluded moving forward? W • hat new training programs may be needed? W Except for those required by law, evaluate how your existing learning and development programs support your organization’s strategic direction. Keep those that support the strategic direction and discontinue the rest. And even with programs that are required by law, evaluate them to make sure they are working and getting the results your organization expects and needs. For example: • s your organization developing a new product, service, or solution? I • f so, do you have the knowledge and skills in-house to design and deliver it? I • f not, can you help develop the knowledge and skills that will be critical to bring this I new offering into a highly-competitive marketplace? Examples for training and development may be preparing the sales force to sell the new product or building a customer-focused organization that can deliver it, particularly if it is outside your organization’s normal offerings. Example: Caterpillar, the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines, has done exactly this. Caterpillar has hundreds of locations worldwide to serve and support their customer base and to respond quickly to their needs. Jose (Pepe) Brousset, regional director for Americas South at Caterpillar, focuses on how Caterpillar can maintain its leadership in the industry. According to Brousset, “While we continue to invest in the differentiation of our products, we recognize that we need to change the (85 year-old) organization to become much more customer- centric. We need to understand, really, the solutions that our customers are seeking. “Our talent development efforts are designed to drive this organizational change; to become more customer-centric, starting with top leadership and continuing down through the operating managers. In this way, we’re able to transform the organization and impact the bottom line.8 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  9. 9. MAKING THE CASE FOR LEARNING DEVELOPMENT“To be successful, talent development needs to start with the leadership; they need tobe committed to driving the culture change down through the organization. They alsoneed to empower their managers and provide support. From there, it will cascadethrough the organization.“At the operating manager level, our talent development efforts are designed toprovide the training and tools to enable organizational change. We help our executivesthroughout the organization see their roles in supporting this strategy so they willbetter understand how their contribution drives results.“As a result, we have a direct impact on market performance by imparting knowledgethat drives the behaviors which will change attitudes.”79of CEOs who % 79 % of CEOs in that same 68 % said they intend toresponded in a survey said they want increase investmentrecent Pricewaterhouse- to change their strategy in leadership and talentCoopers survey said for managing talent. development as a resultthey intend to increase of the global recession,focus and investment suggesting that existingon how to manage people practices did notpeople through change. support businesses whenThis includes redefining the global recession hit.employee roles withintheir organizations. Source: PwC Saratoga (2010). Managing People in a Changing World: Key Trends in Human Capital. PricewaterhouseCoopers 9
  10. 10. Step 4: Build It with Metrics Too often, CEOs and CFOs view employees as Measuring outcomes that have a real and demonstrable depreciating assets, and frankly, learning and effect on the organization’s top and/or bottom line is development professionals have given them little reason not as hard as it sounds. Learning programs can have to change their minds. A recent McKinsey Quarterly measurable results such as increased sales or improved report found that only 8 percent of respondents said productivity. Reductions in recruiting costs from lower they track the return on investment of training and employee turnover and improved customer service development programs. Learning and development also can have positive and very measurable impacts on professionals must be prepared to show at the planning corporate results. stage the top and bottom-line impact learning programs will have on the organization. However, no single set of metrics will apply to every program, so talent management professionals must be prepared to develop specific measurements for each program. Example: According to a recent McKinsey Quarterly report (July 2010), officials with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) analyzed and created a set of metrics when developing a leadership training program for more than 650 volunteers. 2007, BGCA management realized that an anticipated wave of retirements among local club leaders In would leave them with a severe leadership shortage. With the changing demographics, this leadership gap is a consistent theme seen today in many for-profit and non-profit organizations. BGCA management also found themselves in a situation not uncommon among non-profit organizations; donors preferred that their money go directly to those in need and not to overhead costs like training and development. BGCA quickly understood they would have to make the business case for the leadership training at the outset and ensure that they could demonstrate how the training would pay for itself. First, BGCA officials narrowed the focus of its leadership training down from 50 to 4 key aspects. They accomplished this goal by analyzing which leadership traits contributed the most to job performance. By designing a program based on leadership aspects tied directly to performance, BGCA officials found that developing metrics and assessing the success of the program was straightforward and tied directly to the association’s strategic priorities. BGCA compared the pre- and post-training results of leaders who completed the training program. The BGCA officials also gathered benchmarking data from a control set of member organizations that had similar characteristics, such as budget size and operating revenue; however, the leaders in the control group did not receive the training. The results for leaders who participated in the training programs were markedly better than leaders in the control group on every outcome measured.10 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  11. 11. MAKING THE CASE FOR LEARNING DEVELOPMENT Boys Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) training attendees’ performance before and after training Difference between performance gains of highest-quartile training participants1 and average ones, 2009 vs 2007 Values in percentage points. Mission metric: +10-12 Increase in club membership Financial metric: +8-10 Increase in total revenue raised Mission metric: Increase in % of members with +3-4 club tenure of 2 years or more1 D efined as 75th percentile. Source: BGCA; McKinsey analysis Officials estimated that if all 1,100 member organizations matched the success level of the groups whose leaders participated in the training programs, then the BGCA would have added 350,000 new members and increased revenue across all its organizations by $100 million—or approximately a 3 percent increase in the average local organization’s budget. Estimated impact of Boys Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) training program Impact of advanced- Cost of advanced- Return on investment leadership program on ÷ leadership program, = (ROI) revenues, $ million $ million Increase, 2008–2009 All-in cost, 2007–2009 30-35 7.3 4-5X Future annual increase Future annual cost 15-20 2.5 6-8X Source: BGCA; McKinsey analysis The BGCA officials also calculated that the training programs generated more than four times the return on the program’s cost—including the cost of time and travel for all the participants. 11
  12. 12. Example: Duke Energy also measures the success of its leadership program, but takes a venture capitalist view; if just one of the business plans generated from the program comes to fruition, the cost savings to the organization or the increase in revenue will pay for the program and more. This is a lesson we can all be reminded of: Don’t be afraid to think unconventionally. According to Atul Nerkar, associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, who was involved in the development of the Duke Energy program, “We wanted activities that lead to either cost savings or an increase in revenues. We wanted to show where [the program] impacts the top and bottom lines. This is a unique approach which we believe helps make the program pay for itself.” According to Mark Short, managing director of organizational development at Duke Energy, this venture capitalist approach to its leadership program has paid off. “We wanted to create an environment of innovation and empowerment; an environment where our leadership talent is encouraged to think outside of the box when seeking solutions, and they feel safe in pushing those solutions forward. “ he impact from the program has been tremendous, both culturally and on the bottom line. You T know the program has made an impact when every new participant in the program knows the successes of the preceding class, and they all strive to top.” “ etting a seat at the table is imperative; however, you have G to be a respected voice at the table or you are doing nothing more than keeping the chair warm. Business is the key word, not the kumbaya-hold-hands-and-sing-the-praises-of-people approach. “ Business means putting your numbers up and presenting your viewpoint or proposal from a quantitative instead of a qualitative approach.” Carrie Alden, SPHR-CA Human Resources Manager Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.12 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  13. 13. MAKING THE CASE FOR LEARNING DEVELOPMENTStep 5: Pitch It Like You’re the CFOIt’s time to change your mindset and think like afinance person. As you identify how future learningand development programs can affect your Talent managementorganization’s strategic priorities, you need to be professionals must beable to make the business case to obtain and retainprogram funding. prepared to develop specificThis principle applies to both for-profit and not- measurements for eachfor-profit organizations. The key to success for any program.organization is how to get the best returns from itsavailable resources. Your Assignment This will require you to shelve your HR or training and development role for a while and start thinking about how your job and your department create “ e have aligned our HR W organizational value. While HR professionals stress the efforts more closely with need to get senior management support for training and development programs, it is unlikely that they the business strategy. will get or maintain this support without being able Although there was some to demonstrate the effect on the organization’s key performance metrics. resistance from managers at the beginning, early and At the end of the day, training and development programs should not be seen by the CEO or CFO as a frequent communication cost, but rather as an investment in the organization’s and involvement of staff and human assets. An investment that you can demonstrate has a real, positive top and/or bottom-line impact. managers in the development of new, more effective talent In most cases, other departments or divisions within organizations have been doing this for years. Marketing management processes has and operations directors normally can make strong substantially reduced the business cases and have measures in place to show how their functions and programs directly affect the resistance to change.” organization’s bottom line. CFOs are not likely to support what appear to be Milton E. Barrios disposable costs which offer no measurable positive Assistant Senior Personnel Manager impact to corporate profits—especially in tough International Monetary Fund economic times when resources are limited. However, a positive return on a cash outlay will elicit a completely different response from most finance officers. 13
  14. 14. The challenge that many learning and development planning to enter the international market? Many times professionals face is calculating the return from what organizations tend to chalk up such a training exercise some call a “soft set” of measures. as a direct but necessary cost. “A basic rule of capital budgeting is to only fund However, even a training program which appears investments where the net present value is positive; to support a “soft set” of skills can have a hard and the challenge to HR and learning and development measurable impact on corporate profits by improving managers is how to calculate the real value that training external and internal customer satisfaction. This and development programs add to the bottom line,” satisfaction can be measured through customer or client said Robert A. Connolly, associate professor of finance at retention, which in turn can directly affect corporate the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business profits and costs savings. School. “Since HR and learning and development projects generate human capital, change management processes, affect job satisfaction and have a direct impact on other The challenge that many learning and hard-to-measure outcomes, these types of investments development professionals face is tend to be much more difficult but not impossible to calculating the return from what some quantify,” Connolly says. call a “soft set” of measures. For example, how might one measure the impact of a cross-cultural training program for a business Conclusion An organization’s financial officer will be much more No one can predict the future with 100 percent likely to fund learning and development proposals that accuracy, so cost and return projections which provide project a return on the initial investment. Metrics such best and worst-case scenarios and the probabilities of as customer retention and the positive impact repeat success are what CFOs think about and want to see. customers have on the bottom line can be ways to illustrate the efficacy of a learning and development Simply put, do your homework. And if that homework program. clearly shows how learning and development programs offer a strong return on investment on the organization’s The trick is learning to use a financial perspective to view performance metrics that matter, then a business will be the possible outcomes of learning and development much more likely to provide the resources. It’s a formula programs and then apply the appropriate metrics to for success that many top organizations (both profit and project the possible returns. As most any financial not-for-profit) are now using. professional will tell you, it’s not an exact science. O’Leonard, K. (2010). The Corporate Learning Factbook: Benchmarks, Trends and Analysis of the PwC Saratoga (2010). Managing People in a Changing World: Key Trends in Human Capital. U.S. Training . Oakland, CA: Bersin Associates. PriceWaterhouseCoopers.14 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  15. 15. If you’re ready totake the next step in your career, make a quick trip back to the classroom first.E X E C U T I V E D E V E L O P M E N T I N S T I T U T EAt UNC’s Executive Development Institute,you’ll gain the core knowledge of an MBA programwithout the long-term time commitment. You’llalso learn how to view the business world from asenior executive’s perspective. And you’ll develop the UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENTkey leadership characteristics that lead to effective The Power of Experience.strategic performance. The result? In two weeks,you’ll be fully prepared for that next step.To learn more, visit 15
  16. 16. Ready, Aim, Coach: How HR Can (and Should) Coach Managers on Problem Employee Behaviors Melodie Howard Program Director UNC Executive Development A Common Problem We’ve all been there. It’s Monday morning. You’ve had a good weekend and arrive in the office ready for a new week. Carol had a good weekend too. She had plenty of time to mull over the situation with her direct report, Joe. He’s good at what he does—really good. But Joe has to go. He’s a thorn in her side and is lowering morale in the IT department. She can’t wait to share her news with you and walks into your office shortly after you arrive. It’s time, she announces, that you fire Joe.16 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  17. 17. COACHING MANAGERS ON PROBLEM EMPLOYEESIntroductionProblem employees are the bane of everyone’s existencein an organization. They cause productivity to plummetand damage morale. Because few people enjoy conflict, According to one 2004 study,managers often go to extremes to avoid addressing the executive coaching at Boozproblem behavior. It seems inevitable that it winds up inthe HR department. Unfortunately, by the time it does, Allen Hamilton returned $7.90the damage has already been done and the clean-up for every dollar the businesscan take months. consulting firm spent onThis white paper will show HR and talent managers how use coaching skills to help managers handle problememployee behavior and reduce the workplace costsassociated with problem employees.The High Cost of Problem EmployeesProblem employees and “toxic” workplaces are, bullied at work said they lost work time worrying aboutunfortunately, more prevalent than ever. A 2008 SHRM/ the incident and 78 percent said their commitment toEthics Resource Center survey found that 57 percent their employer decreased (Porath and Pearson, 2009).of respondents said they had witnessed abusive or Lower productivity and morale are not the only costsintimidating behavior (excluding sexual harassment) associated with problem employees. Employees whotoward co-workers. experience or witness uncivil behavior are more likelyNearly half of all respondents to a survey conducted by to quit, taking their talent with them and costingthe Employment Law Alliance reported that they had employers an estimated 150 percent of a mid-levelworked for abusive bosses. The Workplace Bullying manager’s salary to replace (Porath and Pearson, 2009,Institute estimates that approximately 54 million U.S. SHRM).workers have been bullied at work. When bystanders To make matters worse, bad behavior and attitudesare included, workplace bullying affects nearly half of are like the common cold; they are easily spread toall full and part-time employees in the United States co-workers. If problem behavior is not checked, other(SHRM, 2010). employees (consciously or unconsciously) perceive thatProblem employees add stress to the workplace which the employer accepts the behavior and will tend tocosts U.S. employers an estimated $300 billion annually adopt it as well. Problem behavior can undermine anin lost productivity and turnover. In terms of productivity, organization’s culture.80 percent of employees who reported being insulted or 17
  18. 18. Types of Manageable Problem Behavior in Employees Let’s take the example of Carol, the IT professional who believes her direct report, Joe, must go. Carol’s background is probably not in human resources, social services or psychology. She is probably a technical professional who was promoted into a position where managing others is required. Carol may know that Joe irks her and others around her, but she simply may not be able to articulate why— making the opportunity to coach her with her problem employee all the more challenging. my experience as an organizational development professional, manageable problem employee In behavior generally falls into one of eight categories: 1. Technician-Turned-Managers: Their high proficiency in their technical areas of expertise (e.g., IT, Finance, RD) probably led them to be promoted into a management position. Unfortunately, what made them great technicians may not match the skills they need as a manager. They are used to doing their work as individual contributors and are unclear on how to get work done through others. They earn a reputation of being a micromanager because they cannot delegate and are often heard saying that they can’t get anything done because of “all these people showing up at my door and asking questions.” Because their previous roles were so insular and their expertise so specialized, they are ill-equipped for managing others and being more extroverted. 2. The Oblivious: This category includes any and all permutations of a “lack of self-awareness.” These employees are generally unaware of their surroundings or themselves and as a result, clash with others in the workplace. These are the employees who think they are better, smarter, more productive than everyone else. They simply don’t understand that their behavior is disruptive to co-workers or why others react to them in such an exaggerated manner (“I’m just a straightforward type guy. It’s not my problem that they can’t handle the truth.”). This category includes employees who don’t “show up” in appropriate ways; the senior leader who has no executive presence or the customer service supervisor who uses inappropriate speech. 3. Naysayers: These employees generally have bad attitudes or an underdeveloped ability to solve problems. If there is a challenge at hand, they tend to add to it. They can give you all the reasons it won’t work, but seldom offer a solution. They are constant “kvetchers” who tend to bring the entire unit’s morale down a few notches. Beware of the cheerful naysayers—the ones whose discouraging comments are delivered with a cheerful smile or sotto voce. They are likely to express their disapproval outside the meeting versus directly in the meeting.18 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  19. 19. COACHING MANAGERS ON PROBLEM EMPLOYEES It is important to note that these categories are not mutually exclusive. It is entirely possible to have an employee or manager who is an oblivious naysayer with a bad attitude. However, all of these categories can offer coachable moments that can lead to real behavioral improvement.4. People Pleasers: Believe it or not, people pleasers can get in the way of employee morale and productivity. These people are incapable of saying no and because of that, they tend to feel and act overwhelmed and victimized. Their inclination to “over-promise and under-deliver” earns them a reputation of being untrustworthy. People pleasers are frequently fence sitters. They are the leaders who can’t or won’t make a decision for fear of upsetting people. Their inability to make decisions can leave subordinates feeling frustrated, confused and stressed out.5. The Passive-Aggressive: Passive-aggressive employees avoid addressing problems at all costs but can inflame them by stirring the pot with negativity or innuendo. Like naysayers, they prefer to stir the pot outside of meetings.6. Poor Communicators: all know how critical good communication is to organizational success, but few employees are We actually trained in what good communication is. Bad communicators either fail to pass on critical information, fail to do so effectively, or do so in a manner that is perceived as ineffectual or abrasive.7. Credit Hogs: Credit hogs may be the antithesis of the oblivious employee. They are absolutely aware of themselves and others and are quick to use others to raise themselves up. They tend to claim credit for everything and share credit for nothing. They are corporate climbers in the worst sense of the term.8. Volatiles: These are the tightly wound, overly emotional and unpredictable employees. They can be bullies or simply highly unpleasant to work with. 19
  20. 20. The Un-Manageables Unfortunately, there are some problem behaviors that are simply un-manageable. In most cases, these behaviors lead to termination of employment. Incompetents: One-trick ponies: Liars/cheaters: These employees are simply One-trick ponies have been Liars and cheaters are bad hires who cannot meet the extremely successful at fundamentally flawed requirements of the job. something but can’t or won’t individuals who will break learn something new as job an organization’s code of requirements and company ethics and perhaps even demands shift and change. the law to get ahead. Coaching the Manager Y ou would never hire someone to be an engineer Traditional HR methods to handle (or head off) problem who lacks an engineering degree—yet organizations employees, like performance improvement plans, should constantly hire or promote managers who don’t have be the last step in any disciplinary process. Before it the needed people skills. reaches that point, managers should be taught the tools needed to address problem employee behavior. Employers will promote an introverted number cruncher They must be coached, and this is where HR and talent to head the finance department because he raised his management professionals can truly contribute. hand for the job, thinking that was the only way to get ahead in the organization. Coaching is simply moving valuable people from where they are to where they want or need to be. It should come as no surprise, then, that he is completely unprepared for the human interaction the new job Some of the most effective coaches are also exemplary requires. He lacks the skills needed to manage people, models—they “walk the talk.” As it applies to so when his former (and now disgruntled) co-worker addressing problem employees, HR and talent starts acting up because she was passed over for management professionals can help managers identify the promotion, he ignores it. Suddenly, the requests the problem behavior, analyze it, develop approaches for internal transfers and departmental turnover spike. to discuss it with the employee, create an employee Unfortunately, HR often becomes aware of the problem “contract” to address the behavior, and in general, far too late. develop a culture that is supportive of open dialogue.20 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  21. 21. COACHING MANAGERS ON PROBLEM EMPLOYEES The Benefits of Coaching Managers for Organizations • ostly and time-consuming problems overcome. C • Better retention; employee loyalty and motivation are improved when their supervisors • ncreased employee skills so managers can I take time with them to help them improve delegate more tasks, allowing managers to their skills. focus more on managerial responsibilities like planning. • More effective use of company resources; coaching costs less than formal training. • mproved productivity by helping people work I smarter. Source: HBS Press Book, 2006Step 1: Help the Manager Identify the Problem BehaviorG ood coaches ask good questions. Ask some variation T hese questions will help managers identify the problemof the following questions to help the manager behavior. By asking if the behavior has happened before,articulate the problem behavior (consider using some of you are establishing a baseline for the behavior.the types of problem behaviors as a framework): Managers also tend to focus on recent events, so asking if the behavior has happened before will allow them to• “ et’s focus on the employee’s behavior. What types L focus on broader themes rather than one-time events. of behavior is she exhibiting?” Finally, the last two questions will establish if there has• “ Has this happened before? Was it a one-time been any communication with the employee regarding incident or is it ongoing? When does it happen?” the behavior. There is a good chance the answer to both of these questions will be “no”, and for now, that’s fine.• “ hat do you want her to stop doing? What do you W Your job is to coach the manager to acquire the skills want her to do differently?” and confidence to have a constructive conversation with the employee focused on behavior.• “ ave you discussed this behavior directly with the H employee before?”• “ ave you or previous managers documented this H behavior in any previous performance reviews?” 21
  22. 22. Step 2: Help the Manager Analyze the Behavior O nce you’ve helped the manager identify the problem behavior, analyze it. Ask the manager what he or she thinks the implications would be if nothing was done to address the problem behavior. Help them establish a decision tree. I s the problem behavior important enough to address? These questions should be considered at this stage: Encourage the manager to analyze the costs and benefits of addressing the behavior. If it is not affecting • Is the employee aware that his or her job performance the productivity or morale, addressing it may do more is not meeting expectations? harm than good. Assess with the manager his or her • If the employee is meeting job expectations, is it how patience with the employee in terms of giving the he or she accomplishes it that’s the problem? employee the time to change the behavior. • Does the employee clearly understand his or her roles A sk the manager to consider how doing nothing about and responsibilities? the problem may affect the rest of the departmental team, customers, clients and organizational profitability. • Has the employee’s roles and responsibilities shifted Is it really an ingrained problem behavior that is affecting in the recent past (e.g., promotion, new boss, productivity and morale? Is it affecting organizational different projects)? Is he or she having personal profitability? Is it endangering others? If the answer is issues outside of work (e.g., death, divorce, illness)? yes to any of these questions, intervention is needed. Could these changes be affecting work performance and/or attitude? Step 3: Develop Approaches on How to Discuss it with the Employee Unless the behavior is clearly against the organization’s Now that the manager can articulate the problem policies or code of conduct or is illegal, then it is most behavior, coach him or her in the ways to deliver likely an opportunity to manage the employee towards behavioral feedback. Try role playing with the manager better behavior. It is important to let the manager know to analyze different approaches to take. Encourage that the objective of the discussion with the employee is the manager to provide concrete examples to help the not to terminate employment but to work together to employee identify the issue. Coach the manager to address the problem behavior. include how the employee’s behavior is affecting others (“Joe, you’ve been late to work four times last week. The reason for this is twofold. First, it is highly likely Other employees had to cover for you, causing them that the manager entered your office with his or her to get behind in their own work.”) and what the mind already made up; it’s time to fire the employee. manager can do to help the situation. Be sure to Reframing the context of the meeting from termination discuss possible reactions the employee may have to an employee development opportunity is vital at this (denial, embarrassment, defensiveness) and how stage—the manager has to support the new approach. to handle them. Secondly, it reframes the meeting with the employee from “confrontation” to “conversation.” A conversation isn’t nearly as daunting to all parties involved.22 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  23. 23. COACHING MANAGERS ON PROBLEM EMPLOYEES Ask the manager to identify desired outcomes of the meeting. • hat goals will the manager and employee mutually agree to that will address the problem behavior? W • hat will success look like? W • hat timeframe will be established for successful resolution? W • t the end of the meeting, will the employee clearly understand the implications of A not correcting the problem behavior? • ill the employee understand that the outcomes of the meeting will be documented and why? WStep 4: Show the Manager How to Create a Contractwith the EmployeeThe meeting with the employee to address the problem Coach him in how good behavioral descriptors providebehavior will no doubt be emotional for both parties, detail on the problem behavior, including instancesand it may be easy to forget some of the desired when it occurred, and a recommendation on how tooutcomes and timeframes agreed to during the meeting. effectively address it.The manager should put this all in writing to help theemployee and to establish a good legacy for future Bad behavioral descriptors (“You are just not a teammanagers regarding the employee’s development. player.” “You are rude in meetings.” “You are too negative.”) fail to provide the employee context and aUnfortunately, for many managers, writing is a solution. Good behavioral descriptors (“When bringingstumbling block. Remember the introverted number concerns forward about project implementation, youcruncher? He hates to write and has never heard of the focus on what will not work. In the future, I’d liketerm “behavioral descriptors.” It’s all HR speak to him. for you to focus on bringing some positive aspectsHe’s going to need some more coaching to learn how to or potential solutions to these issues as well as youreffectively document the discussion. concerns.”) will help the employee identify when the behavior likely occurs and how to effectively address it. 23
  24. 24. The Benefits of Coaching Managers for Managers • nhanced skills and knowledge to advance their careers. E • Feeling of organization’s support and encouragement. • More pride and satisfaction that comes with surmounting new challenges. Source: HBS Press Book, 2006 Follow Up with the Manager: You’ve Been Coached Follow-up with the manager to see if the employee’s problems. In fact, let them know you may call on behavior has improved and review the steps you and them some day to help another manager through a the manager took together to address the problem. similar situation—each one, teach one. This will not Let them know that they were coached and learned only help them become effective coaches, it will valuable skills (you may want to recap them) that you help move your entire organization toward a more hope they will apply to future employee behavioral developmental culture. Bergman, A. (2009, July 30). It Pays to Be HBS Press Book (2006, November 23). Porath, C. Pearson, C. (2009). The Cost of SHRM (2010, December 23). Managing Nice: Rudeness in the Workplace Comes Coaching People: Pocket Mentor Series. Bad Behavior: How Incivility Is Damaging Your Difficult Employees and Disruptive Behaviors. with a Hefty Price Tag. Newswise. Retrieved Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Business and What to Do About It. London: SHRM Online. Retrieved February 15, 2011 February 17, 2011 from Portfolio Hardcover. from ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  25. 25. Lead your HR organization into the future.B U S I N E S S A N D H U M A N R E S O U R C E SNow more than ever, senior HR leaders need theknowledge, skills and experience to respond toemerging trends that are shaping the future of globalbusiness. Offered in partnership with the Society forHuman Resource Management (SHRM), UNC’s UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENTBusiness and Human Resources program is designed The Power of equip senior HR leaders with the most up-to-datebusiness knowledge and skills needed to succeed inthe rapidly changing business environment today -and tomorrow.To learn more, visit 25
  26. 26. Putting Success Back in Succession Planning: The Role of Learning and Development David Leonard, Ph.D Program Director UNC Executive Development Promise Do you believe that your organization is developing A recent Towers Watson survey found that similar to the talent it needs to reach business objectives and the 2001 recession and recovery, high performers plan meet future challenges? If not, you are not alone. to jump ship as soon as the economy and job market This white paper will show you how successful revives. succession plans are more than filling out forms. They are real, living programs that combine learning The same survey found that employee engagement has and development opportunities and experiential dropped nearly 10 percent since 2008 and approximately learning to prepare leaders at all levels for tomorrow’s 25 percent for high performers. business challenges. If you, as a learning and development professional, don’t have succession planning on your radar, • Less than half of all organizations have you should. succession plans at any level. Among those that do have them, the plans are likely to be Introduction at the department director level and above, ignoring leaders at lower levels. After nearly two years of economic gloom, there is • 37% of succession candidates fail. some good news these days. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the world’s • About half of all organizations have a worst recession in 70 years ended in June 2009. process in place to identify high potential leaders, but less than two in five have a Most experts agree that the recovery will be slow program to accelerate their development. and arduous, but if history is any indication, talent management and learning and development Source: Howard Wellins, 2008 professionals must start planning now to staunch the anticipated loss of their organizations’ top talent.26 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  27. 27. PUTTING SUCCESS BACK IN SUCCESSION PLANNINGToday, most employers are more concerned about Employee engagement and leadership developmentretaining their top performers and skilled employees work hand-in-hand. Research has shown that employersthan before the economic crisis of 2007 and 2008 with the most engaged and satisfied workers arebegan (Towers Watson, 2009). those who provide their employees with meaningful learning and development opportunities. Learning andAnother issue organizations must factor into their development specialists who understand how leadersuccession-planning equation is the imminent retirement development programs can merge with and supportof baby boomers. In a 2009/2010 report on trends succession planning will be in the position to shape andin executive development by Executive Development direct the future success of their organizations.Associates (EDA), respondents named the lack of“bench strength” as the second most influential factor Adequate succession plans identify high potentialin executive development for the next two to three employees who will assume key leadership roles leftyears, primarily because of the expected number of vacant by departures or retirement. Successful plans notbaby boomers who are set to retire as the economy only prepare employees for those roles but also preparerecovers (Hagemann Chartrand, 2009). them to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s workplace. Learning and development professionals have a crucialIf you combine all these factors, this can add up to role in these processes and in putting success back in ana huge opportunity for learning and development organization’s succession planning process.professionals who are in a unique position to shapelearning programs that develop leadership skills andidentify employees’ potential leadership abilities.The Impact of an Integrated Approach to Talent Management Companies that Take an Integrated Approach to Reward and Talent Management Are… 25% 20% 18% 33% 18% Less Likely Less Likely Less Likely Less Likely More Likely to experience to experience to report to report to be high- problems problems having trouble having trouble performing attracting attracting retaining retaining organizations top-performing critical-skill top-performing critical-skill employees employees employees employees Source: Towers Watson 2008/2009 Global Strategic Reward Report 27
  28. 28. Look Forward When Developing a Talent Management Program Succession planning is not just about recognizing the Organizations are now concerned with developing a new talent gaps that exist in your organization today but set of competencies and skills in tomorrow’s leaders. identifying future talent needs and creating solutions to These include strategic thinking and planning, crisis address those needs. The challenge most learning and management, judgment and decision-making, tolerance development professionals face is how to craft programs of ambiguity and the ability to implement rapid change that adequately address the leadership skills needed in (Towers Watson, 2010). tomorrow’s rapidly changing workplace. The EDA survey showed similar results. EDA researchers Although future talent needs will vary according to found that employers were looking for strategic an organization’s industry, some common leadership thinkers and those who could inspire others. The skills and talents necessary for success have emerged. survey respondents identified weaknesses of the next Employers realized during the recession that most generation of leaders, including the ability to think managers could communicate—a skill that has been a strategically, lead change, create a vision and rally others focus of executive development for years—but few around that vision (Hagemann Chartrand, 2009). could handle ambiguity well or were able to deal with By focusing on these competencies, leader development rapid change. professionals can have profound and lasting effect on their organizations’ succession plans and their companies’ leadership bench strength. Example: Thinking Ahead Operating in 60 countries with 35 distinct business units and 76,000 employees, 3M, the maker of Scotch-Brite™ cleaning products and Post-it Notes®, is a prime example of how effective good succession planning can be. Early in the design of their succession planning program, 3M identified a common set of leadership attributes they will need in tomorrow’s workplace. For 3M, high-potential employees in their organization must: • Think from the outside in. • Drive innovation and growth. • Develop, teach and engage others. • Make courageous decisions while holding themselves and others responsible. • Lead with energy, passion and urgency so that teams can respond quickly to innovation. • Live 3M values of integrity, honesty and professional ethics. These leadership attributes underlie 3M’s succession planning process and inform leaders about what they need to know and do and what kind of employees the organization needs to succeed (SHRM Foundation, 2008).28 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  29. 29. PUTTING SUCCESS BACK IN SUCCESSION PLANNINGExample: Evaluating Leadership Potential For aerospace manufacturer Lockheed Martin, succession planning begins with a leadership assessment program that not only evaluates business achievements, but also examines personality traits such as ethical behavior, integrity and the ability to foster teamwork. The assessment also evaluates potential, including the ability to assume roles with increased complexity and accountability, the capacity to make future contributions and aptitude for continuous learning. Based on the outcome of the assessment, employees are identified as high potential, moderate potential or “well-placed.” These more broadly defined (yet measurable) talent needs were identified because an analysis found that Lockheed’s leadership was stove-piped, and its leadership bench resembled Swiss cheese (SHRM Online, 2007).Succession Planning Is Not Just for theC-Suite AnymoreAlthough most employers have traditionally focused Learning and development professionals have ansuccession planning on the top levels of management, opportunity to add value to succession planning bythere is evidence that they are expanding their plans designing and delivering leadership developmentto a broader employee base. According to a December programs to mid- and low-level employees. As with2007 Novations Group survey, nearly half of large Lockheed, when designed and implemented correctly,organizations have expanded their planning to include succession programs can help identify high-potentialmid-level managers. employees, which can further strengthen organizational succession plans.Developing Future Skills at Multiple Leader LevelsWhen looking at their succession planning results, a 75 69 global energy company realized they had significant gaps in their leadership pipeline at multiple levels across their organization. Based on a talent analysis, they % % realized that senior leaders, mid-level directors and front-line managers lacked key capabilities that would Of Employers Of Employers be required to execute their business strategy. To address said that increasing said that accelerating those skill gaps, the company created three unique leadership “bench the development leader development programs. strength” was a of high potential priority. employees was aTheir ongoing senior-level development intervention high priority forspans eight months and includes face-to-face learning, their organizations.immersive experiential learning and robust actionlearning team projects. The leadership capabilitiesaddressed include strategic thinking, strategy execution,innovation, team effectiveness, polarity management Source: Hagemann Chartrand, 2009and constructive conflict. 29
  30. 30. The mid-level leader group participates in a shortened version of the senior-leader program, with the content and learning methods tailored to the challenges mid-level leaders encounter on a daily basis. The front-line managers participate in a four-day program that focuses on implementing change, team effectiveness and constructive conflict. Where and How Is Talent Identified In Your Organization? Employee Segments Considered Talent Senior leadership 66% Those with leadership potential at mid-level 62% High performers 58% Key contributors / technical experts 49% Those in roles critical to delivering the business strategy 46% Those with skills in short supply and high demand 42% The entire workforce 36% Those with leadership potential at an entry level 33% Source: Towers Watson, Managing Talent in Tough Times: A Tipping Point for Talent Management? (2009 October) Build Leadership Development Programs to Meet Organizational Needs Organizational capabilities may include innovation, the ability to effect rapid change or providing excellent customer service. While many organizations may share the same goals in terms of developing talent for the future workplace, many will identify talent gaps that are unique or more pressing in their industry or organization. 3M’s award winning leadership development program includes the following characteristics: • eadership participation (more than 300 3M leaders teach in the succession planning L program annually). • usiness-needs focus. B • elationship building with executives. R • ncorporation of business-critical content. I • ction learning. A • evelopment of customized training. D30 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  31. 31. PUTTING SUCCESS BACK IN SUCCESSION PLANNING3M keeps their business strategy in mind when planning their leadership developmentactivities. “Business strategy plays the central role,” according to Sandra Tokach, Ph.D.,Vice President of HR at 3M. “Without the strategic direction or without understandingthe strategic direction, it’s hard to discuss succession planning.” (SHRM Foundation, 2008).What Are Your Talent Development Priorities? Talent Management Priorities Over the Next 18 Months High Priority Medium Priority Low/No Priority Assessing/developing high potentials and top talent 66% 27% 7% Recognizing exceptional performers 57% 36% 7% Performance management 55% 37% 8% Assessing/developing senior leaders 55% 33% 12% Strengthening the talent pipeline and succession management 54% 35% 11% Training managers 42% 41% 17% Measuring/increasing employee engagement 42% 35% 23% Deploying key talent across roles/functions/regions 41% 43% 16% Mentoring of key talent 38% 39% 23% Identifying and integrating competencies 30% 39% 31% Career pathing and planning 25% 45% 30% Onboarding 24% 44% 32% Developing/implementing an employee value proposition 14% 45% 41% Source: Towers Watson, Managing Talent in Tough Times: A Tipping Point for Talent Management? (2009, October) 31
  32. 32. The Value of Action Learning in Talent Development “Including action learning in learning and development Mid-level leaders are often given more challenging programs really helps employers identify high-potential issues with the same reporting structure. Requiring them employees—those you want to groom for future to report their solutions to senior management gives positions,” says Susan Cates, Associate Dean of them exposure to higher levels in the organization and University of North Carolina Executive Development. allows senior leaders to identify employees they feel may “We use this approach quite effectively with many of benefit from further leadership development activities. our clients.” Senior leaders may be challenged even more by Action learning is about integrating real work being assigned “stretch” action-learning projects that challenges into learning and development programs challenge them to really think strategically. These and can be tailored to meet each groups’ needs. For action-learning work challenges may not have any real example, when dealing with low-level managers, clear resolution, but the goal is to have senior leaders micro-projects can be assigned where they are think at an enterprise level and in more strategic, challenged to solve actual workplace issues. innovative ways. Employees may be assigned to work through the challenge individually or in small teams and can be required to report their solutions to senior leaders. Action Learning at an International Professional Services Company Action learning is a key component of an international The executive team often provides resources to the professional services company’s succession planning and team–including new leader role assignments–to further leader development processes. develop and implement their recommendations. Mid-level leaders identified as high potential are Examples of projects include identifying new markets, assigned to small project teams and are assigned tasks developing new products and services, and redesigning designed to test their critical thinking and leadership existing business processes and methods. Projects skills. They are given the freedom to complete their work typically take six to twelve months to complete. and in the end, present their findings to the executive operating team, where they are required to defend their findings and recommendations. Action Learning Through Assessment Centers Other employers use this action-learning approach UGI Corp, a Valley Forge, Pa-based distributor of through assessment centers. Assessment centers can energy and energy services, used the assessment center evaluate an employee’s future performance through model when the company teamed with Development real-world scenarios either in person, over the phone or Dimensions International (DDI) to get a strategic view even online. Interpersonal, decision-making and critical- of their talent management system. The assessment thinking skills can be assessed using these scenarios. process included creating a leadership simulation and developing leadership personality inventories. The process helped UGI realize that they could be making better decisions about who their high-potential employees were and the existing capabilities of their leaders. (SHRM Online, 2007).32 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  33. 33. PUTTING SUCCESS BACK IN SUCCESSION PLANNINGWhere is the Highest Turnover Risk in Your Organization?“Turnover Risk” for Employee Segments Data in percentages | Scale = 100% High Risk Moderate Risk Low / No Risk Those with skills in short supply and high demand 55 35 10 High performers 38 47 15 Those with leadership potential at mid-level 29 40 31 Key contributors/technical experts 28 51 21 Those with leadership potential at an entry level 25 45 30 Those in roles critical to delivering the business strategy 2323 47 30 Senior leadership 13 13 27 61 The entire workforce 5 5 41 54 Source: Towers Watson, Managing Talent in Tough Times: A Tipping Point for Talent Management? (2009, October) 33
  34. 34. Executive Buy-In and Participation Is Key It can be daunting to get senior leader buy-in for the leader development programs needed to support succession planning, but starting that task can be as simple as starting a conversation—and executive buy-in “ e see the W is absolutely critical for succession planning. hesitancy Ask senior leaders to not only support the succession planning program but to be a part of it. Ask them to many talent share their knowledge with others, and then follow up and ask them about their impressions of particular management employees. professionals “We see the hesitancy many talent management professionals have about having a conversation with have about their CEO or other senior leaders. It really doesn’t have to be difficult. Start the conversation by explaining to having a the CEO what you think about the employee and ask them what they see. Is the person a match? The key is conversation to know what questions to ask to keep the conversation going,” says Keri Bennington, Account Director for with their CEO University of North Carolina Executive Development. or other senior 3M firmly believes that executive-level support of the succession planning process can help motivate leaders. It really managers and make the process a priority. More than 300 senior leaders teach in their program annually, doesn’t have sending a message to all participants that succession planning matters. to be difficult.” This has carried over into the company’s corporate Keri Bennington, culture. “I have a philosophy that our business will Account Director grow at the rate we grow our leaders,” says H.C. UNC Executive Development Shin, Executive Vice President of 3M’s Industrial Transportation Business. “First of all, I set aside my time for the customers. Then, my second priority is people development and leadership. Everything else can wait.” (SHRM Foundation, 2008.) This “leader as teacher” philosophy has become a best practice in the talent management industry and is growing in popularity.34 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2011
  35. 35. PUTTING SUCCESS BACK IN SUCCESSION PLANNINGTalk About ItShould employees know they’ve been identified to demonstrate that it values employees’ talent andas key players in a succession plan? Some business leadership potential. Research has shown repeatedly thatleaders believe that it can be detrimental to do so, the most engaged and satisfied employees are thosepotentially pigeonholing employees into certain roles or who feel their employers offer them opportunities toresponsibilities. Others believe it can discourage other grow and develop their work and leadership skills.high-potential workers to apply for promotions or tolearn new job skills, or worse, it can lead employees to There is more to communication, however, thanbelieve that a particular promotion is guaranteed. letting employees know they have been identified in a succession plan. A successful succession plan mustThe answer and solution to this issue is not as clear- encourage communication among executives andcut as you might hope. Much of the communication managers at all levels. Top-level executives shouldof succession plans can depend on corporate culture. be clear about the type of talent and leaders theMore and more employers are choosing to let people organization wants and needs, while lower-levelknow they have been identified as one of several managers should feel comfortable identifying potentialemployees selected for a particular role, simultaneously leaders and discussing leadership potentials with theircommunicating to workers that their leadership skills bosses.have been identified and valued—but that the futureposition is in no way ensured. Clear two-way communication and understanding how to best use communication channels not onlyThe key is to let employees know that their skills and will support the success of a succession plan, it alsoexperience are highly valued and needed. Employees can be an excellent indicator of leadership potential.who feel underappreciated and unvalued tend to be the Learning and development professionals should bemost dissatisfied in their jobs and more likely to move on keenly aware of this fact and use it to their advantageto other organizations when opportunity knocks. in demonstrating the value that leadership development programs add to succession planning.Providing the opportunities to develop leadership andwork skills is the most effective way for a businessMeasure It and Report ItOnce communication channels are in place and a plan is defined leadership development programs. However,put into motion, many learning development specialists tracking those numbers alone may not show the truestruggle with how to measure and report the success value of the programs.of the leadership development and how it supportsorganizational succession plans. Probably the easiest and By comparing costs of new hires for leadershipmost common measure is to track turnover numbers. and skilled positions versus the cost of developingBusinesses can easily track the number of employee talent internally and promoting from within you canresignations, new hires, promotions and