Businesses Need To Take Responsibility For Securing Their Talent Pipeline
This was the overriding message from India’s HR leaders on May 5-6, 2016, at a 2-Day MasterClass discussion hosted by Programic Asia’s India team. Opening the event, Shantanu Awasthy, Managing Director at Programic Asia, stated that “CEOs don’t want a narrative on the past – they want to know what to do now and in the future. Other companies only take your talent if you let them. You must have a lifelong talent management plan for your individuals. We need to track talent like schools track the progress of their students – there is a lot we can learn from the way schools do this. We ought to know who our top 20% and bottom 20% are – and then have a plan to manage and develop them.”
The chief facilitator led from the front and went on to explain that monitoring talent can become more difficult as companies grow and that having somebody in the business who is thinking strategically about talent at every level, and is tracking it, is essential.
Participants were in agreement that development of employees is central to retention, and that the pay packet isn’t necessarily the biggest motivator for young people joining the workforce, or for existing people staying. “Companies also need to know how to sell themselves in a competitive recruitment marketplace”, said Namrata Sood, L&D Manager at British Council.
Sometimes smaller, lesser-known companies are very apologetic about who they are and what they offer – they don’t know how to compete with the big brands. They need to focus on the exciting opportunities that they do offer and think about themselves in a different way. I find that companies often think they’re a lone voice, but it’s the same for companies up and down the supply chain. The way companies recruit their employees, and the people they recruit, is also something that’s changing, said Anil Verma, Chairman of the Anand Group of Enterprises.
“It’s early days but things are changing – two or three years ago you wouldn’t have got a look in in certain sectors without higher education.We employ based on willingness to work – prospective employees have to have a strong work ethos. We focus on the employee as an individual, rather than the qualifications or experience listed on a CV,” said Jaimon. A, GM HR from Tube Investments Of India Ltd.
Some companies focus all of their succession planning efforts on “high potential individuals,” whereas others create a succession plan for everyone from the moment they are onboard. The benefit of focusing on high-potential workers is you can channel more resources and coaching toward those employees with the greatest promise. The risk is that you overlook great people and alienate and frustrate the rest of the employees, which can impact morale and turnover. “Most successful organization focus on everyone,” observed Puneet Sharma, Manager HR at Bureau Veritas.
“Developing leaders internally takes time and effort, but these homegrown candidates are more likely to be successful than external candidates. These outside hires also get paid more, but get lower marks in performance reviews during their first two years on the job” pointed Deepak Bhatia, Senior Manager HR at India Glycols.
Key Takeaways: –
Using the past to plan for the future: You need to choose leaders whose skills align with future goals. To avoid this trap, make sure succession plans align with the long-term strategic vision of the business.
Stopping at the CEO: The best succession planning programs at least address the entire leadership team as well as senior management. Succession planning is a multi-person event. If one person moves up, it creates a new hole and that can ripple through the organization.
Not getting the Board onboard: CEOs and HR often think they have a succession plan in place only to discover the board disagrees. It’s a big mistake to assume the viability of a candidate in your mind without vetting it with the board. The best programs incorporate the board of directors in planning and keep them up-to-date on development efforts to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Allowing human capital roadblocks to take root: When talented people top out in leadership roles, they can prevent the next generation from moving up. The best companies avoid these roadblocks by creating new positions, collaboration opportunities and stretch assignments so future leaders have room to grow.
The wrong people making decisions: CEOs aren’t in the best position to choose their successor, because they often are more focused on their current legacy than the company’s future goals. The best companies involve HR and the board when making succession-planning decisions.