Posted by: Canadian HR Solutions Inc. | January 25, 2016

Build a Leadership Pipeline: Minimize Retention Risk

Many agree that good leadership is pivotal to an organization’s success.   However, to sustain leadership strength, a company needs a well-planned leadership pipeline.

Leadership development ensures that an organization has the right people in the right place at the right time.  And, this allows the existing leadership team to better focus on more immediate matters by giving them the peace of mind that comes from knowing the future organization will be in good hands.  This is a concrete and important outcome that stakeholders care a great deal about.

So how do company leaders get peace of mind on this issue?  Here are a few steps that can help:

First, when developing a strong leadership pipeline, a company should think about the quality of talent that the pipeline will deliver, meaning it is important to identify and target employees with the appropriate attributes for leadership roles.

Second, organizations need to ensure that employees are allowed to develop in roles that push them beyond comfort zones.  Leaders need to stretch, and sometimes this means placing a person in a role for which they may not appear quite ready, at least not on paper.  In this regard, senior managers must balance the need for leadership development with the risk of failure.  This means being able to step back and watch people learn through adversity – and, yes, this takes courage and getting comfortable with advancing people based on potential rather only on accomplishments.

Lastly, companies should invest in leadership development workshops, executive coaching, employee mentorship programs, and succession planning because talented employees who don’t see a commitment to their professional development, on the part of the company, may become a source of retention risk when approached by the competition.

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