best practices How to engage business leaders in succession Three essentials for the talent review and beyond

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1 best practices How to engage business leaders in succession Three essentials for the talent review and beyond

2 As an HR professional, you know that effective succession management is critical if you re going to prevent unplanned talent losses from disrupting business operations. But who must own the succession process if it s going to work optimally and support organizational goals? The answer isn t HR. It s your line-of-business leaders. But do your leaders share a common understanding of what it means to own the succession process? Do they understand why the company goes through the exercise? Do they know that an enterprise-wide, leadership-driven succession process is a best practice among top-performing organizations? If you can show your line-of-business leaders how succession planning benefits them and support and guide them in the process they ll be more engaged, the process will reap greater rewards, and you ll be better able to support your leaders in reaching their business goals. An effective partnership between HR and business leaders begins during the talent review. In this crucial early step of the succession management process, business leaders need to identify high-potential talent, establish a collective understanding of bench strength, and create essential development plans. Supporting managers and business leaders in the talent review is the first step toward engaging them more fully in the hugely beneficial practices of modeling different turnover scenarios, developing a strategy to meet various what if needs, and being sure you re able to fill in projected talent gaps. 1 The three essential practices that follow will help you get your business leaders more engaged in the succession process and help everyone plan more optimally for future needs. Companies with an enterprisewide succession process outperform companies that have no process. Companies with succession report half as much turnover among top performers and are twice as likely to have the right people in the right jobs. SOURCE: Bersin by Deloitte. Breakdown in Succession Planning Begin with business interests. The talent review can be launched either by looking at the people in a business unit, or by assessing that unit s business needs and goals. It s easier to get leaders engaged in the succession process by having them focus on the business interests when they lead off the talent review. Why? Because leaders and managers are more comfortable discussing business objectives than they are talking about talent development and roles. Starting with the business objectives gives leaders and their managers hard, bottom-line data and information to build out from. They can then move on to looking at the people needed to meet those needs. Also, an effective talent review is an exercise in reduction it can t address every job and every employee. As an HR professional, you must help business leaders get the most from the process by guiding them to first address the gaps between their needs and current workforce that present the most risk. That s a much less daunting task with the right HR technology in place, especially to help define and support the talent review process. 1 Winning HR Strategies: A SuccessFactors E-book https://www.successfactors.com/en_us/lp/successfactors-ebook.html 2

3 Consider the case of Black Hills Energy, a utility provider based in the American Midwest. In studying their business needs, leaders saw gaps in key roles that were literally responsible for keeping the lights on electricians and machine operators. They found that 26 percent of their employees were eligible to retire within seven years. This was unsettling and potentially disruptive to the company because many of Black Hills jobs require specialized technical skills sets, including some that would take years to develop. Black Hills conducted talent reviews by first studying and identifying gaps among its most important positions. This enabled the company to make much more meaningful evaluations of the talent that would be available to fill those roles and prevent those gaps. The benefits of the process were more apparent to business leaders because they were actively involved. Black Hills engaged its leaders by leveraging technology that allowed the utility provider to close the gap between strategy and performance. The business needs of company leaders and the organization s strategy could drive the talent review process. The SuccessFactors succession management and performance solution that Black Hills employed connected leadership strategy directly to employee performance Guide business leaders to use HR processes to meet business challenges. After the talent review, business leaders need to put into action the plan developed out of the process. To support them, you need to provide the solutions, processes, and support to make it easy for business leaders to meet projected scenarios, knowing the right talent will be available. An example of how the talent review can drive an effective succession action plan can be seen in the example of Destination Hotels. The 9,000-employee hotel management company, with 37 locations across the U.S., was living with a 28 percent turnover rate among exempt employees a rate that made it difficult to develop future leaders and key roles. The necessary solutions to this problem came out of the talent review: Improve compensation and offer clearer performance feedback. To help business leaders reach these solutions, Destination Hotels implemented SuccessFactors talent management solutions. This technology was easy to use (so business leaders would actually use it), but also sophisticated enough to tackle the business challenges at hand. By integrating performance, compensation, and succession processes, Destination Hotels business leaders were able to fairly compensate employees and reward them based on performance. This drove greater employee engagement, stronger manager support of employee development, and increased talent mobility. The bottom line to business leaders: Turnover decreased 8 percent. Developing HR processes to meet business needs has paid off in other ways for Destination Hotels. Twice-a-year talent reviews at all hotels have improved the company s ability to identify high-potential employees and has increased talent mobility across the hotel s properties. When one property that was heading into prime season needed to fill a vacant executive chef position, it easily filled the slot with an internal candidate, based on a review of qualified employees historical performance, 360 feedback, and compensation history. The business leader was also better able to understand the candidate s career aspirations and geographic preferences. Today, the chef is working at his fourth property with Destination. 3 It s a win-win situation the organization develops and retains the talent it needs, and employees can build careers that align with their ambitions. 2 Winning HR Strategies: A SuccessFactors E-book https://www.successfactors.com/en_us/lp/successfactors-ebook.html 3 SuccessFactors Case Study: Destination Hotels. 3

4 3. Change the conversation with real-time insight. Talent reviews are easier if you can give business leaders more information that they can put to use. Data is good; actionable insight is better. Imagine a talent review meeting in which everyone has the organizational chart on their ipads. Managers and business leaders dynamically access the most-current talent data. Everyone involved is able to immediately address key questions, such as, Do we have the people we need to meet our development goals for the new software product? or, What risk do we face if the senior manager of that team leaves in the next six months? Vallourec, a French-based global provider of tubular solutions (e.g., pipelines for the energy industry), faced just those kinds of questions. It found the answers in the talent review process with the business leaders involved all supported by a cloudbased technology solution from SuccessFactors that offered a core set of functionality for seamlessly sharing information and mobile access for easier, faster use. Vallourec routinely requires fast access to actionable talent data so it can assemble teams of skilled talent from around the world. In one case, the company needed to assemble a team to ramp up production at a new, highly sophisticated facility in a remote part of South America and do it under challenging conditions. The team required experienced managers and engineers, and it needed to bring them together in a very short time. Vallourec s highly interdependent HR processes and SuccessFactors robust talent search capability allowed the team to quickly gather and assess data about skills proficiency, career development, and talent mobility. Within two hours of starting the review, business leaders had a list of 50 employees, in five countries, across three disciplines. It had 10 people ready to deploy in short order. Succession planning and career development are crucial elements for grooming talent and planning for leadership continuity in your organization. SuccessFactors Succession & Development gives you the tools to support your business leaders in the talent review process and beyond. You can work with business leaders and managers to identify, develop, and advance talent for tomorrow s needs. Your people and your organization will be prepared to navigate the expected as well as the unexpected. You won t need to wonder if your business will be ready to drive results tomorrow. With SuccessFactors, you ll know. 4

5 About SuccessFactors, an SAP Company SuccessFactors, an SAP company, is the leading provider of cloud-based Business Execution Software, which drives business alignment, optimizes workforce performance, and accelerates business results. SuccessFactors customers include organizations of all sizes across a wide range of industries. With more than 20 million subscription seats globally, we strive to delight our customers by delivering innovative solutions, content and analytics, process expertise, and best practices insights. SuccessFactors Global Headquarters One Tower Plaza South San Francisco, TOLL-FREE PHONE FAX EMEA APAC successfactors.com

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