15 July 2015

Guest blog by Stephen Moore: 3 strategies for developing bench-strength and depth in your organisation

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With the first wave of baby-boomers having now turned 65, many organisations are becoming all-to-aware of their increasing vulnerability to the progressive retirement of often long-serving, senior staff-members within their organisation.

It’s not too hard to workout. Simply take the CEO and the next two levels down (three in a large organisation) and for each present incumbent, highlight those that are 55 years of age or over, and of those then highlight the ones without an identified ready now replacement. Then divide the number without an identified replacement by the total number of positions on the organisation chart to determine your % risk factor.

If your organisation finds itself in this boat, then now may be the time for you to develop a structured program that enhances Bench-Strength and Depth in those areas where you are the most vulnerable. If this is the case, to achieve the best possible results we recommend that you adopt the following three tiered approach:

1.       Succession Planning Program

Developing a formal, structured program whereby all current incumbents in designated senior management roles are objectively evaluated on a minimum annual basis in order to determine:
  • Their capacity and potential for advancement
  • Their capacity and potential for lateral movement
  • Their desire and aspirations for further advancement or lateral movement
  • The development and instigation of a jointly agreed development plan that enables high potential executives/managers to fast-tack their development/readiness to assume more advanced (or lateral roles within the organisation)

2.       Talent Management Program   

Creating a formal, structured development program that identifies staff-members currently occupying positions between senior supervisory and middle-management levels who have consistently demonstrated the capacity, potential and desire to be fast-tracked to fill future vacant positions within the organisations Succession Planning Program (typically at entry level) 

3.       Knowledge Management Program

Conducting a structured audit of your organisation in departments/functions that require a high degree of technical or other specialist knowledge and experience in order to determine the projected  turnover /retirement rates of existing staff members and thereby the risk of significant knowledge loss into the future. Thereafter developing a structured Knowledge Management program that effectively transfers vital knowledge, experience and history from one generation to the next, before it is too late. 

By adopting a pro-active approach you maximise your capacity to build depth and replacement potential in critical areas on a sustainable basis. You also provide enhanced career development opportunities for best performing staff-members while significantly reducing the replacement cost incurred via external hires….what are you waiting for?
To hear more on how you can effectively forecast and manage your workforce headcount, job families and annual labour costs, attend Akolade's upcoming Workforce Planning & Resourcing Masterclass coming to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in September. 
After more than 20 years in corporate life Stephen Moore established Optimum Performance Human Resources Consultants way back in 1995 with the joint objectives of empowering and enabling astute HR professionals to:

1. Develop and implement advanced programs and services that would continuously improve workforce management and performance within their organisations

2. Progressively transform their HR Departments from an operational support role to that of value-added business partner, thereby achieving "C" level recognition and support

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