The role of technology in succession planning and employee retention

by John Hilton10 May 2016
A statistic that might surprise many employers is that 91% of millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years, according to the Future Workplace Multiple Generations @ Work survey.
In other words, they would have 15 – 20 jobs over the course of their working lives.
This is often because they feel that they are not part of a culture where the organisation is investing in their knowledge, skills and careers, said Tym Lawrence, Director, Solutions Architect at SumTotal a Skillsoft company.
He added that 78% of employees report they would stay with their current employer if they knew their career path, according to Mercer’s survey on employee perspectives, Employee Views on Moving Up vs. Moving On.
“HR tech has got an important role in succession planning by making sure that the employees have career visibility,” he told L&D Professional.
Lawrence said it’s significant to look at two different questions. One is about succession planning: Do I have the coverage if people move? 
The other one is about career mobility: Do I have transparency in the roles that are becoming available and the things that I need to do to be ready for those roles?
HR tech should be able to help you see if there are gaps in skills and competencies that need to be addressed in order to fill a new role, added Lawrence.
Then it should suggest the learning that’s needed to close those gaps and the actions which are necessary to take.
“So from a HR professional perspective, HR tech should make it easier to see what happens if someone leaves. Let them play ‘What if?’ Do an impact analysis. See how bench strength changes as you promote people,” said Lawrence.
"And as you see that you are lacking coverage you should be able to easily find, compare and develop people as successors."
That’s about understanding where their career paths can go and where that can fit with your succession coverage, said Lawrence.
He added that HR technology should be able to use this knowledge to give proactive recommendations to managers and HR professionals.
“So, for instance, I should be able to see if I have a high performer who has stagnated. Someone who has not been given a new challenge or a new role in the last few years and recommend actions to take proactively,” said Lawrence.
“I think that’s a really important thing that HR tech can do to improve employer succession planning capabilities and also the retention of important employees.”
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