Ensuring Attendance at Training: A Key Issue

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Perhaps the single most challenging aspect of offering training on SP&M is

securing the critical mass necessary to ensure consistent approaches throughout

the organization. It is particularly difficult to ensure that key managers will

attend group training—and they are precisely the most important to reach

because they exert the greatest influence on SP&M issues. But no matter what

is done, some key managers will claim that they have too much work to do

and cannot spare valuable time away from work to attend. Others will not

attend and will offer no explanation. But it may prove to be impossible to fit

them into any group training schedule that is established. No magic elixir will

solve these problems. It amounts to a matter of commitment. If members of

the board of directors and the CEO are genuinely committed to ensuring effective

succession planning, then they will become personally involved to ensure

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Exhibit 7-2. Sample Outlines for In-House Training on Succession Planning

and Management

Purpose

To provide an opportunity for skill-building on employee performance appraisal,

potential assessment, and individual development planning

Targeted Participants

Individuals, such as key position incumbents and immediate organizational superiors

of high-potentials, who have important roles to play in implementing the action

plan governing the succession planning program

Objectives

Upon completion of this training, participants should be able to:

1. Explain the organization’s business reasons for establishing an

SP&M program and the relationship between SP&M and strategic planning

and human resources planning.

2. Describe the mission, policy, procedures, and activities of the SP&M program.

3. Review the roles and responsibilities of managers in preparing their employees

to assume key positions in the organization.

4. Explain how the organization clarifies work requirements and identifies key

positions.

5. Explain the role of employee performance appraisal in SP&M and describe

the organization’s performance appraisal procedures.

6. Conduct effective employee performance appraisal interviews.

7. Explain the role of employee potential assessment in SP&M and describe

the organization’s procedures for potential assessment.

8. Conduct effective employee potential assessments.

9. Explain the role of individual development planning in SP&M and describe

the organization’s procedures for individual development planning.

10. Select and oversee appropriate internal development approaches.

11. Explain when promotion from within is—and is not—appropriate for filling

key vacancies.

12. Review the organization’s approach to inventorying human talent.

Outline—Session 1

‘‘Introducing Succession Planning and Management’’

I. Introduction

A. Purpose of the session

B. Objectives of the session

C. Organization (structure) of the session

II. Defining Succession Planning and Management (SP&M)

A. What is it?

B. Why is it important generally?

III. Relating SP&M to the Organization

A. What are present organizational conditions?

B. What are the organization’s strategic plans/goals?

C. What are the organization’s human resources plans and goals?

D. What is the need for SP&M, given organizational strategy and human

resource plans?

IV. The Purpose of the SP&M Program

A. Mission

B. Policy

C. Procedures

D. Activities

V. Roles in SP&M

A. What should be the role of the immediate organizational superior?

B. What should be the individual’s role in SP&M?

VI. Defining Work Requirements

A. Job Analysis/Competency Models

B. Job Descriptions and Specifications/Competency Models

C. Other Approaches

VII. Identifying Key Positions

A. How are they defined?

B. Where are they located?

C. How will key positions change in the future—and why?

VIII. Conclusion

A. Summary

B. Action planning for on-the-job action

C. Session evaluations

(continues)

Exhibit 7-2. (continued)

Outline—Session 2

‘‘Conducting Effective Employee Performance Appraisals for

Succession Planning and Management’’

I. Introduction

A. Purpose of the session

B. Objectives of the session

C. Organization (structure) of the session

II. Defining Employee Performance Appraisal

A. What is it?

B. Why is it important generally?

III. Relating Employee Performance Appraisal to SP&M

A. Approaches

B. Current method

C. Relationship between appraisal and SP&M

IV. Reviewing the Organization’s Performance Appraisal Procedures

A. Overview

B. Step-by-step description of procedures

V. Conducting Effective Performance Appraisal Interviews

A. Overview

B. Using the form to structure the interview

VI. Role Plays (practice appraisal interviews)

VII. Conclusion

A. Summary

B. Action planning for on-the-job action

C. Session evaluations

Outline—Session 3

‘‘Conducting Effective Employee Potential Assessment for

Succession Planning and Management’’

I. Introduction

A. Purpose of the session

B. Objectives of the session

C. Organization (structure) of the session

II. Defining Employee Potential Assessment

A. What is it?

B. Why is it important generally?

III. Relating Employee Potential Assessment to SP&M

A. Approaches

B. Current method

C. Relationship between potential assessment and SP&M

IV. Reviewing the Organization’s Potential Assessment Procedures

A. Overview

B. Step-by-step description of procedures

V. Conducting Effective Potential Assessment

A. Overview

B. Using existing forms and procedures

C. Gathering individual career planning information for use with potential

assessment

VI. (Optional) Role Plays (practice potential assessment interviews)

VII. Conclusion

A. Summary

B. Action planning for on-the-job action

C. Session evaluations

Outline—Session 4

‘‘Conducting Effective Individual Development Planning’’

I. Introduction

A. Purpose of the session

B. Objectives of the session

C. Organization (structure) of the session

II. Defining Individual Development Planning

A. What is it?

B. Why is it important generally?

III. Relating Individual Development Planning to SP&M

A. Approaches

B. Current method

C. Relationship between individual development planning and SP&M

IV. Reviewing Approaches to Individual Development Planning

A. Overview

B. Step-by-step description of approach

V. Facilitating Effective Individual Development Planning

A. Overview

B. Approaches to individual development planning

C. Relating individual career planning to individual development planning

VI. Conclusion

A. Summary

B. Action planning for on-the-job action

C. Session evaluations

the attendance of the targeted training participants. They will also attend

themselves—and perhaps help deliver the training—and thereby demonstrate

hands-on interest and support. Their participation and involvement will exert

a powerful, but subtle, inducement for others to attend. But if they are unwilling

to be involved, no amount of cajoling or threatening is an effective substitute.

Moreover, they must set the example and follow the policies established

for the organization.

Here are a few tips for securing attendance at group training on SP&M,

assuming that adequate top management commitment exists:

Draft a memo for the chairman or CEO to initial to go out with training

invitations. Stress who will be in attendance, what issues will be discussed,

and why the training is important.

Pick an opportune time. Check dates to make sure that the dates chosen

for training do not conflict with other, predictable dates.

If possible, tie the training on succession planning to other events—

such as strategic planning retreats—in which the targeted participants

are already scheduled to attend.

Field-test the training materials on a small, handpicked group of supportive

managers. Be sure that all time is effectively used and that every

training activity relates directly to SP&M practices in the organization.

If possible, videotape a well-rehearsed practice session and share it before

the session with the chairman, CEO, or other key management personnel.

Ask for their suggestions about revision before the session.

Other Approaches to Training Management Employees

There will always be some management employees who will be unable to attend

group training on SP&M, even when vigorous steps are taken to ensure

attendance. They will have legitimate reasons for not attending. But that will

not alter the fact that they missed the training. They are the group most likely

to operate in a way inconsistent with organizational policy because they

missed the opportunity to learn about it firsthand.

Deal with this audience through a form of ‘‘guerrilla warfare.’’ Make sure

that it is clear who they are. Then use any of the following tactics to train them:

Meet with them individually, if their numbers are small enough to make

that practical and if they are not so geographically dispersed that traveling

to their locations is prohibitively expensive. Deliver training personally.

Videotape a practice session of the training and send it to those unable

to attend. Then follow up with them later for their questions and reactions.

Ask another manager who did attend—such as the CEO—to describe to

them the key lessons of the training in his or her own words. (That

should reinforce the importance of the message.)

Training Participants in Succession Planning and Management

Training for participants in SP&M will be greatly affected by the organization’s

communication strategy. If decision-makers do not wish to inform individuals

of the organization’s SP&M practices, then no training will typically be given;

on the other hand, if the organization adopts a policy of openness, then training

on SP&M may be offered.

There are three general ways of offering such training: (1) direct training;

(2) training integrated with other issues; and (3) training tied to career planning.

Direct Training

In direct training, employees are informed of the organization’s SP&M policy

and procedures. They are briefed in general terms, usually without specific

descriptions of how the program is linked to existing organizational strategy.

They learn how the SP&M program is linked to defining work requirements

and job competencies, appraising present employee performance, assessing

future individual potential, and establishing individual development plans.

Training Integrated with Other Issues

When training on SP&M is integrated with other issues, employees are told

how their training, education, and development efforts factor into qualifying

for advancement. No promises are made; rather, the value of planned learning

activities is stressed as one means by which the individual can take proactive

steps to qualify for leadership positions.

Training Tied to Career Planning

Organizational succession planning and individual career planning represent

mirror images of the same issue. Succession planning and management helps

the organization meet its HR needs to ensure that it is equipped with the talent

needed to survive and succeed. On the other hand, individual career planning

helps the individual establish career goals and prepare for meeting those

goals—either inside or outside the organization.

When training on SP&M is tied to training on career planning, individuals

are furnished with information about work requirements at different levels

and in different functions or locations. They also learn about performance

requirements in different job categories and about future success factors. With

this information, they can establish their own career goals and take active steps

to prepare themselves for advancement by seeking appropriate training, education,

and development experiences.