Get Your Succession Plan In Place!

A recent HR Outlook survey of senior HR professionals found that a surprising number of HR teams don’t have a succession plan in place. With employee attrition threatening to rise and executives preparing to jump ship, this is cause for concern.
June 15, 2011 - PRLog -- According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s latest HR Outlook survey of senior HR professionals, a surprising number of HR teams don’t have a reasonable succession plan in place.

Just under half (48 %) of the professionals surveyed admitted that they do not have a good succession plan in place, while only 29 % were confident that they did! I found these numbers to be surprising. The systematic and deliberate practice of making certain the availability of qualified people for important positions not only at present, but also into the future, is an essential business process. Under certain circumstances, a lack of succession planning can jeopardize the viability of a company in an instant. In addition, succession planning can also help keep employees on fulfilling career paths, which can help to keep employee engagement high and keep them in-house.

Succession planning is especially important as employee attrition promises to rise along with new job creation. According to a recent comprehensive survey by BlueSteps, a career management service of the Association of Executive Search Consultants, 73% of employed executives are actively seeking a career move! In one of my previous blog entries from April, “Executive Level Talent Prepares to Jump Ship!” (, I cite another survey, by ExecuNet, that also found a high percentage of executives looking to make changes. These trends are an indication that companies need to seriously examine their succession plans and be sure they have a reasonable one in place or potentially face detrimental consequences if their executives choose to jump ship.

The three most common reasons for not having succession plan in place were identified by the CIPD HR Outlook survey as the following:
•   A lack of capability within the HR function
•   Uncertainty over future requirements
•   An unwillingness to see the issue as a priority

In my mind, if these issues are not addressed or overcome, the stability and viability of a company could be threatened. If there is a lack of capability in the HR function, this should be examined and remedied if at all possible. There are now solutions available that can make succession planning much easier for HR, such as our very own SaaS solution, UpMo Career Mobilizer. It empowers employees to manage their own career development so they can share the burden with HR and makes pipeline and succession planning easier. Uncertainty is common in business and must be embraced - successful succession plans incorporate high levels of uncertainty in terms of the future employee turnover and future resources. Despite the hurdles, it is imperative that companies make succession planning more of a priority, especially as high levels of employee attrition loom in the future and an increasing amount of research shows that high levels of executive turnover seem eminent!

What do you think? Visit my corresponding blog entry at to join the conversation.

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About UpMo:
Employees Rule. UpMo provides the industry’s first employee-centric enterprise career management solution to emerging and large organizations. By helping people plan, pursue and manage their careers in a way that benefits both them and their companies, UpMo SaaS solutions help companies embrace employee mobility to dramatically increase productivity, reduce employee churn, and improve employee engagement.
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Tags:Employee Attrition, Employee Engagement, Executive Turnover, Employee Turnover, Succession Planning, Succession Plan
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