Succession in an era of turnover

Start by letting high performers know they're in line
By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/14/2001

For a while there, companies had resigned themselves to high turnover rates and given up on succession planning. What was the point in grooming people for top positions when they probably weren’t going to stick around anyway?

But there are signs businesses are once again reconsidering succession planning, says Susan Bourne, a team leader of organizational effectiveness with Watson Wyatt. It can and should be an integral part of any corporate long-term strategy, she says, adding an important caveat — if it is managed properly.

There’s no question that a highly mobile workforce is still a big issue, but companies can solve that problem by being much more open with employees. If someone is pegged for a senior position, let her know about it, says Bourne. It’s still very common for a high-potential employee to be in line for a top position but leave because nobody ever told her.