Employers used to train their workers to prepare for upcoming promotions. Nowadays, more companies invest time and resources in full-scale succession planning for their high-potential employees.
In the last three years, more businesses are identifying and building up top performers, said Brian Koldyke, VP of professional services forconsulting firm WisdomNet.
"Organizations are doing a better job of looking forward two to three years to understand the nature of the organization—the types of capabilities, quantity of people, automation and outsourcing," said Koldyke. "They're beginning to align the organization so that it's going in that direction."
Companies that have moved in this direction: First Data, Western Union, American Express, Dell Computer Corp., BellSouth, Accenture, Weyerhaeuser Corp. and Clorox Co.
The key: HR needs to be more proactive and less reactive in succession-planning initiatives.