Succession planning and training modalities to support it

Succession planning

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In the uncertain world following the COVID pandemic, succession planning has taken a principal seat at the table. Organizations looking to remain resilient are putting more emphasis on succession planning as part of their employee training and development strategy to manage an uncertain future in the wake of early (or anticipated) retirements or attrition of leadership and other roles. Before COVID, succession planning focused mainly on high-level leaders. With the changing times, comes a need to extend succession planning to include all members of your organization.

At the team level, succession planning takes the form of knowledge transfer and coaching to ensure that critical processes remain consistent and technical knowledge isn’t lost in the transition. Organizations are looking to develop a fresh approach to succession planning by leveraging innovative training modalities to deliver, measure, and track training success.

Why Succession Planning is Critical

Deloitte research states that “While 86 percent of leaders believe leadership succession planning is an “urgent” or “important” priority, only 14 percent believe they do it well.” The main bottleneck in delivering succession planning effectively is its lack of a human-centered approach. In other words, it’s process oriented and not something that is relevant in the day-to-day activities of the organization. It’s checklists instead of interactive and inspiring content. Succession planning should be an engaging and ongoing process where leaders, managers, and employees all feel connected to the lifecycle of the organization.

When employees feel that succession planning is foregrounded, they are more likely to feel a greater sense of loyalty to their company. They understand that there is investment in their career journey and it encourages higher levels of achievement and drives job satisfaction.

When succession is supported, consistent, and dependable, organizations can see an acceleration in their growth strategy. They become more attractive to investors and demonstrate stability and growth in their operations.

Learning Modalities That Drive Engagement

Traditional succession planning can be dry and data-driven. Elearning options as well as innovative learning modalities can enable a human-centered approach. In addition to instructor-led and vILT, consider modalities such as mobile learning, videos, social learning, microlearning, and augmented reality. These are the cutting edge tools that drive engagement and encourage employees to learn. Here’s a quick look at a few to demonstrate how they can effectively deliver succession planning and reach more learners.

Mobile Learning. Reach learners wherever they are by sending learning programs and alerts straight to their phone. This modality allows people to learn according to their schedule, which is ideal for remote workers as well as hybrid employees.

Videos. To provide a human side to content, videos can allow leaders and managers the ability to speak directly to their teams. Again, this is best suited for remote employees as it encourages engagement and maintains a human connection to the organization.

Social Learning. Succession requires strong communication of knowledge that flows in all directions. Leveraging technology such as interactive, social media-style learning environments allows employees to support and coach each other.

Microlearning. Best suited when delivered to mobile devices, microlearning modules allow you to break down large and complex subjects into more manageable, bite-sized pieces. You can easily track and gamify interactions (for example, assigning badges) to flag high-value prospective leaders.

Augmented Reality. There are many use cases for AR training. One such is to allow team members to collaborate in real time, which supports knowledge sharing and transfer. Interacting participants can see what each is seeing, making it easy to learn, while recordings can be used for training and onboarding new hires.

Case Study: Succession Planning and Developing Future Leaders

One of our client-partners is a world leader in serving science, with a global team of around 80k and an annual revenue of over $30B. They found success in flagging potential future leaders within their organization by establishing a learning solution designed to reach thousands of team members, 12% of whom were considered high-potential candidates.

Their main business drivers included:

  • To scale their company, they needed to create a formal development strategy to nurture talent into roles with greater complexities
  • Sought to create a building block curriculum development strategy to help transition employees from manager to director, and from director to senior director
  • Needed to track and support KPIs with regards to retention and vitality, and identify key candidates for career progression

They approached CoreAxis to help develop a two-tier learning solution to address both high-potential candidates and low-potential employees who might still benefit from learning about transitional strategies. The goal was to increase learning engagement while also having the ability to track results to identify top candidates for career progression. The solution includes a combination of virtual instructor-led courses and a series of microlearning modules designed to walk learners through the core competencies associated with transitions to future career opportunities. They decided to leverage badging to help reward and incentivize individuals to complete the full learning path. This data could provide insight into employees who are more interested in career progression.

Due to the high engagement levels of the microlearning component, the organization was able to gauge involvement to deliver remarkable results. By the end of the program, 60% of individuals who received full badges were flagged for high-potential career progression. Delivering the program virtually was also a key in the resulting success. The organization discovered that more high-potential candidates completed the virtual program than traditional in-person participation.

“CoreAxis brought us a contemporary, flexible approach to reach thousands of learners, which would have been otherwise impossible through classroom training.”

As this story emphasizes, taking a human-centered approach to succession planning is a winning strategy. Not only do innovative solutions boost employee engagement, but they also provide the metrics to prove the program is achieving its goals.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help build a succession planning strategy that fits your organization’s unique needs. We can help you navigate the emerging technology landscape and find the tools that can enable you to reach more learners, and more importantly, reach your goals.

About CoreAxis

CoreAxis is a business performance consulting company that offers training solutions to businesses in a variety of industries, such as financial, life sciences, retail and technology. Each of these solutions can be fully customized to meet the needs of the individual client. We build collaborative relationships, becoming a trusted resource and ensuring our clients’ organizational success.

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