Succession Planning: The Core Issue of Leadership Failings

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Mar, 22, 2017 @ 10:03 AM


An organizational succession plan should always have a plan B. It is one of the biggest problems for any business and a core issue for leadership. Succession planning is like an insurance plan for the survival of your business. So it stands to reason then, that if you don’t have a succession plan, you can’t ensure that your business will survive after your resignation. The good news is, it’s never too late to start the development of a succession plan. All you and your team have to do is answer a few questions and write the plan to set it in motion once it’s needed.

Succession planning was recently identified as one of the top three immediate HR issues that needed to be dealt with (Bersin and Associates). It’s no easy task however, and as it becomes a higher priority as Baby Boomers enter retirement (3.6 million baby boomers were expected to retire this year) it’s of growing importance to be able to answer these questions. 

  1. How many people will be leaving the organization - both voluntarily and involuntarily - over the next 5-7 years?
    The youngest Baby Boomers turn 50 this year and are preparing to retire. Your organization has to be ready for the retirement or removal of key players to the team. The maturing age group makes up 13% of the American population, and that could mean a large percentage of employees retiring from your organization.

  1. What skill sets will those employees who are leaving take with them?
    In preparation for several key members to leave the organization, understand what their positions are. Detail job descriptions accordingly so the team can adjust functionally and culturally for the impending change.

  1. Will we recruit externally or promote from within to fill those gaps?
    A vast majority of organizations - 77% of them - realize the significance of internally recruiting candidates for promotion. However, even though so many understand this key fact, 54% do less than one-third of their recruitment from within the organization. Take into account the financial responsibility of committing to an external recruitment plan and if that’s a risk your organization is willing to take. While internal recruitment strategies may save the budget, external recruitment can bring life and fresh ideas into the office.

  1. What’s going on outside the organization that could affect my ability to recruit the employees we need?
    Pay attention to economic and employment trends. Mass layoffs and the size of college graduating classes are just two examples that can have an impact on how your team formulates a recruitment strategy.

  1. Where is the supply of candidates going to come from?
    Your career page, job boards, and social job advertisement all have a part in recruitment strategies. What do they have in common? They are all on the internet. Online recruiting can save companies as much as 50% in cost-per-hire.

  1. Where will our company be in 3-5 years, and what does that mean for the type of people we will need to recruit?
    Projecting your organizational needs as well as employee needs can help decide the future of your team. This can help your recruitment team determine which niche job boards it will be best to post job openings to. 

  2. What type of training opportunities do we need to provide to ensure our current employees develop the skills we need?
    As the Baby Boomers enter retirement, the Millennials are entering professional employment. That means, your organization will need to prepare the training programs set in place appropriately. Because 40% of Millennials are interested in careers that allow for growth and accomplishment, training programs need to determine a career path.

Now that you’ve asked all of these questions, do you have a backup plan? Your succession plan is dependent upon how thorough the questions are answered so your organization can be prepared from A to Z when a key team player leaves the company. Give your team the tools they need to keep the organization thriving as Baby Boomers retire. They have big shoes to fill and with a succession plan, it will be much simpler for your team to compensate for any gaps in the team.

To learn more about developing an effective succession and career pathing process check out our Best Practices Guide-

"3 Steps To Achieve Talent Development That Drives Organizational Success"


Tags: Leadership, Succession Planning, training management, talent development, recruiting strategy, career pathing

Can You Train Employees for Resilience?

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Jun, 10, 2015 @ 07:06 AM

When first onboarding a new hire, what do you hope to instill in them? A sense of belonging to your company culture? A quick adoption of the skills they need to get the job done? A passion for the field and a commitment to good work? These are all laudable principles, but often they’re more expected from the start than taught.

Organizations need to commit to real teaching and perhaps most importantly, they need to train employees how to learn. If you find someone who can’t seem to get over their mistakes, can you teach them to get back up again?


Learning Through Failure

Most on-the-job training comes in two forms: shadowing someone else while they work and learning by doing. It’s entirely possible to learn a skill simply by performing it over and over, but what many people attempting to pick up something new (or learn the ins and outs of a job) don’t realize is that learning is more about rectifying the mistakes than basking in the glow of your accomplishments. It’s why taking risks is important to growing as a company, but companies are becoming increasingly risk-averse, steering back any attempts towards something new back to the status quo.

Tweet This: What are the two best ways to learn a new task? Give up? 

This stressful environment has led to a workforce that can’t stand failure, and it’s making the workplace a bad place to be. A recent survey from Morneau Shepell revealed that 98% of physicians believe that the workplace is generally making employees less healthy. When employees have to be perfect in every aspect of their job, when they can’t afford to make mistakes, they will eventually plateau for fear of trying new things and failing, and eventually lose productivity due to health issues.

Why Resilience is Key

Resilience allows us to recover from our failures, which then allows us to learn from our mistakes. Once we identify why we committed an error or where we’ve faltered, we’re more likely to fix that mistake. If we’re not resilient, we dwell on our failures and dread making more mistakes, inhibiting our growth. Kathleen Barton, a professional speaker and career coach, has talked about how resilience can lead to better decision-making, since resilient people are more aware of what they can and cannot change:

"Resilient people focus their energy on those events that they have influence over, rather than situations beyond their control. They accept circumstances that cannot be changed. Entrepreneur Tim Baumgartner, an independent sales rep who sold electronics to Circuit City, was blind-sided when the company filed for bankruptcy. Within months, however, he launched an online consumer electronics store. 'Whining and complaining about how you find yourself here doesn’t help,' Baumgartner says. 'I’ve refocused my energy on the start-up."

Tweet This: "Resilient people focus their energy on those events that they have influence over." 

Developing Resilience

Companies want to make workers more productive, and training employees to roll with the punches is an important step towards reaching that goal. If employees aren’t taught to be open about their shortcomings, they will begin to hide and misattribute them, and feeling as though they are more inept than they really are, leading to employees feeling like they’re impostors.

There are already tons of initiatives to promote employee resilience, so there is proof that everyone can learn to get better from their mistakes. Resilience starts with culture; let your people know that it’s okay to fail, that new ideas don’t always work out, but are necessary in order for businesses to grow. This will help them make the right mistakes, turn them into successes later on, and learn the value of resilience.

No matter what skill you want to teach employees, Visibility Software’s online training software, Cyber Train, can help you get the job done. Take our software for a spin and see what you’re missing!

Cyber Train Demo

Tags: cyber train, training management

Under Pressure? Employee Training for Pressure Management

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Apr, 29, 2015 @ 09:04 AM

Companies train their employees for the jobs they do. That’s a given. Even if they’re versed in their field, new hires need guidance to get up to speed on the ins and outs of the company, learn about their specific role there, and establish their workflow. Many companies also provide employee training to learn skills they’ll need to become better workers. But how often do companies invest in creating employees who work well under pressure? The answer is: not very. 


Creating Pressure Workers

Working under pressure is something many people must become familiar with, yet many companies treat it as a trait rather than a skill. As Lorri Freifield (@LorriFreifield) Editor-in-Chief of Training Mag writes, employers simply don’t value teaching employees how to deal with pressure:

"While companies are willing to invest in leadership development programs and compliance training and onboarding, they aren’t necessarily interested in shelling out bucks for a pressure management training program—or even admitting that their employees are under pressure. In fact, many companies are firm believers in using pressure to push employees to 'rise to the occasion.' So an inability to handle pressure often is perceived as individual weakness rather than a human nature norm.” 

Without this sort of employee training, companies leave stressful times to chance. When it comes to dealing with pressure, many people fall into the “Warrior” or “Worrier” camps, depending on how they’re able to deal with dopamine, a hormone that helps regulate brain activity. Some employees will be able to deal with pressure, and some won’t. With proper training, all employees will ideally deal with pressure eloquently. 

Alleviate the Pressure with Coaching 

If you’re dedicated to implementing a pressure training program, being personal is the way to go. In a recent case study, The Institute for Health and Human Potential (IHHP) created and conducted a pressure management training program to use with the technical and operations organization of a major Canadian bank. The IHHP would work with employees to help them adapt to high-pressure situations with a combination of a two-day training program, online learning and individual coaching.

As a result of the program, the organization saw increases to their employee engagement, learning and people management. 29% of respondents said they used the tools of the program, and 79% of those who received coaching used those same tools. When crafting a pressure management training program, the results are clear — personal, one-on-one coaching can provide enormous benefits. 

The Benefits of Working Well Under Pressure 

Pressure training programs have several direct benefits. Those who know how to deal with pressure can make better decisions, perform better and increase productivity. In fact, 90% of top performers at companies are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress, and they’re able to remain calm and in control. So when you help your employees and managers deal with pressure, you’re making them better employees. 

Tweet This: 90% of top performers at companies are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress.

Beyond creating employees who produce better results while working under pressure, these kinds of programs also provide a number of other benefits to employees and companies. Once a well-implemented pressure training program has taken root, employees are less likely to feel stressed out when the pressure begins to pile on. The benefits of reducing stress at work are well-documented; stress intervention programs, for example, have been known to reduce blood pressure and improve emotional health in employees, making them healthier and more productive. 

Visibility Software's HR & recruiting solutions help you recruit, train and manage your employees. Our learning management system allows you to automatically add job training requirements based on all the needs of the job, view job compliance and certifications with ease and create a stress-free environment for workers. Sign up for demo today!


Cyber Train Demo

Tags: Employee Training, training management