Whether your company is large or small succession planning is important – what if something suddenly happened to your current leader(s)? Would there be any one that would be able to take charge of the company? What is the risk to your organization if that were to happen?
Succession planning is similar to insurance for your company leadership and it usually starts with Human Resources leading the process to identify the requirements for your next leaders. Current leaders and board members should be assigned roles and accountability in succession planning.
Once the leadership requirements and key roles are determined, current executives should be evaluated, not only in terms of their current roles, but also the potential to assume larger roles in the company.
Potential leaders can be assigned coaches and/or mentors to begin the process of transition to new leadership. Third party coaches bring a fresh perspective and a degree of objectivity in succession planning.
Conflict seems to be a negative word, but actually it is a part of life, whether it is your personal life or your life in the workplace. Conflict is an opportunity for growth with improved communications and better relationships as the payoff.
The key is how you respond to conflict, depending on your response you can either escalate the conflict or resolve the conflict– here are some tips:
- Listen – this is most important, give the other person your respect
- Deal directly with the person you have issue with – do not talk to anyone else
- Don’t make it personal, be objective
- Be calm and sincere, show empathy and validation
Sometimes you have to end up agreeing to disagree, but remember it is not about who is right or wrong, but finding a solution that everyone can live with. Having an outside facilitator that is impartial can be helpful. In the end if your conflict is in the workplace you will see improved performance and productivity and a reduction of stress.
HR managers are recognizing the need for strategic planning for employee engagement. Hiring the people that are a good fit for your organization while meeting the needs of the employee is the goal.
Potential employees that are Gen X’ers and Millennials are not afraid to make changes or make their needs known. They are going to look for the best opportunities. In order to hire the best employees you have to be competitive. The culture is changing in organizations and HR managers need to have an employee engagement and retention strategy.
Starting with the interview process, present your organization and culture honestly in order to give a true representation of your company. This will help to determine whether the candidate is a good match for your company and eliminate those that are not compatible.
Strive to achieve the goals of good management, including employees in decision making and recognizing employees for their contributions. Treat everyone with respect and actively encourage a diverse workforce where everyone is comfortable and happy in their work.
In these tough economic times with cut backs and job restructuring it is time to put your best foot forward. Coaching can help you to achieve these goals with an impartial third party assessment. Professional coaches use tools to help determine the areas that you would like to target for improvement. Coaching tools can be helpful in assessing the following areas:
- Brainstorming/goal setting – figuring out what you would like to accomplish.
- Prioritizing – learning to take care of the most important tasks first.
- Strengths/weaknesses – play up your strengths and work on areas of weakness.
- Communication/listening skills – listening skills will allow you to have empathy for others; communication skills will allow you to get your point across whether you are talking to management or your subordinates.
- Strategies to manage people – whether you are managing your employees or dealing with your boss, you need to learn how to meet and exceed expectations.
Once you have determined, with the help of your coach, the areas that you would like to develop and improve, you will work together to develop a plan for success. As you work toward your goals, your coach will be able to provide the feedback and support that you need every step of the way.
In the world of business today you need all of the help you can get, and coaching can give you the competitive edge that you need. Coaching can help you to develop your skills in the following areas:
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses
- Develop your goals
- Improve the way you communicate
- Learn to improve your interpersonal skills
- Develop self-confidence
Many times high performing team members are promoted into leadership roles and they do not have the leadership skills that are required for managing a team. Coaching can be a great way to help the transition into management for new leaders and can lead to a win-win situation for the organization. The organization will benefit from the new leadership skills that are cultivated with coaching. Likewise, the new leaders will be prepared for their new roles and motivated for success in the company.
Experienced managers can also benefit from coaching in gaining a new perspective and with the guidance of a coach, can develop a plan for enhancing their leadership skills.
Coaching is a great way to improve your skills and abilities, not only in business, but in your personal life as well. It is important that you find a coach that is right for you in order to make the most of your experience. Listed below are the 5 reasons why you need a coach:
1. Assist when you have a lack of focus or goals
2. Overcome low confidence or lack of self-esteem
3. Develop your interpersonal skills
4. Overcome career difficulties
5. Achieve a work-life balance
You will want to find a coach that you have a good rapport with. A good coach will listen and guide you with questions into forming your own plan of action and goals. A coach will not make any judgments or tell you what to do, rather they are professionally trained to help you come to your own conclusions. Coaching will provide the support and encouragement that you need to gain new perspectives. You will be motivated to move forward and confident that you have made the right choices in making positive changes for your life.
I heard a great quote recently when researching a new book and some materials for an upcoming Leadership Development series I am in the process of creating. It was as follows: “Managers give them something to do. Leaders give them something to believe in”. That, to me, says it all.
JUST because you are a manager by title and by job responsibility does NOT necessarily make you a leader. That’s why I spend so much time talking to and about leadership and great leadership qualities. There are lots of managers out there that come in on budget, get a full day’s work from their people, follow the company model to a “T”. But they do NOT inspire people to go the extra mile, stretch, contribute, be more engaged in their jobs or teach just by their example of walking the walk.
Through their actions leaders not only get people around them to do all the work a manager does but they BUY IN. Their team members believe in the mission, vision and goals. They show up in a different way at work, just as the leader does as well. And a more energized, engaging, productive workplace is the end result. Give YOUR people something to believe in!
As a leader of people, it’s way too easy to get caught up in “hitting the numbers”, “blowing our budget out of the water”, “knocking our sales numbers outta the park”, etc. etc. etc. What REALLY is THE most important thing you can do as a leader???? DEVELOP YOUR PEOPLE!!! Work on their skills, both technically but also the soft skills area. Map out a development path for each based on your needs AND their goals both personally and professionally. Meet with them individually to initiate this process and to make it more effective and more personalized to them. How are you going to consistently meet or exceed your targets, with less effort and more smiles and PMA in the workplace? I was taught a long time ago to constantly not rest on your laurels and to set the bar higher each year. But, I was also reminded that while numbers were important, if every conversation started and ended with “numbers talk” and not about the people that get you those numbers you were doomed to under-achieve. In other words, keep an eye on the numbers and monitor them but work with and through your people to get there. Without them you cannot reach the heights you strive for individually and as an organization!