A Society for Human Resource survey says that 60% of companies have no programs for succession planning, the systematic grooming of the next manager generation.
In fact, so many employers have taken this myopic approach that the management talent pool is drying up. This supply shortage means that even as the economy slows, employers will have to pay top dollar to fill management’s ranks.
Solutions: Employers that have bucked this trend have done so by rotating managers to different functional areas and discussing career paths with rising stars. When employees have input into their future jobs, they are less likely to be bored with their current ones or look elsewhere for better opportunities.
To maintain stability and reduce costs, these employers focus their cross-training efforts on workers who show an interest in acquiring new skills. Employees who are happy being worker bees aren't included in such efforts. One caveat: Employers should let the employees choose whether they wish to be involved—it should not be directed from the top down.
The benefits: Cross-training, succession planning and allowing employees to learn skills in areas that excite them all promote greater retention. Further, managers with a broad range of experience also help company communication. Because they've worked in other areas, they can speak the same language as managers in those positions and work toward common goals. The result is a more nimble company, keeping the most talented employees and avoiding high turnover costs.
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