Leadership Loop’s Role in Your Strategic Workforce Plan
Our economy just may be on the uphill swing…finally! September 2012 unemployment figures at 7.8%, there is an impending leadership crisis among us. And according to the Department of Labor by 2018, 1 in 4 workers will be over the age of 55. Succession planning and workforce planning are topics that should be on your organization’s to do list before it’s too late.
Historically, there are two types of succession planning: Operational Workforce Planning and Strategic Workforce Planning. Operational Workforce Planning typically occurs with your annual budgeting cycle and forecasts staffing needs and planning for the coming year to 18 months. Sixty-seven percent of all companies conduct workforce planning on a purely operational and as-needed basis. Strategic Workforce Planning looks into the future planning for and evaluating your organization’s staffing plans and forecasts one to five years even ten years into the future. A SWP is a full-scale evaluation and plan that identifies rick, change, and potential areas of opportunity.
Career Planning with Your Staff as a Retention Tool
The Leadership Loop fits into your company’s succession plan by providing an opportunity for your employees to develop new skills and qualifications that the company has identified as gaps within a department or organization while providing your employees an opportunity for employee development which decreases your organization’s turnover. This form of career planning is individual. The Leadership Loop or Leadership Continuity Loop is a simple four-step process and comes from Jim Collins’s Built to Last. His loop is part of an overall strategy that encourages a leadership development program ensuring that organizations identify and develop High Potential Leaders continuously and constantly as the needs of the organization, the market, and the business is always in flux.. These four steps are sequential and loop continuously with one another.
- Stage One is Management Development and Succession Planning
- Stage Two follows as Developing and Identifying Strong Internal Candidates
- The third step of the loop process is the Continuity of Leadership Excellence Driven From Within the organization
- The fourth step is to Preserve the Core and Stimulate Progress.
The loop is created when Stage four ends and the organization loops back to Stage one to begin their SWP all over again. Collins’s Leadership Diagnostic Toolkit provides a great starting point for organizations that are looking to create a SWP.
Employee Recruitment and Retention Starts Before Their First Day
When it comes to evaluating and developing your talent with a SWP it is a continuous process and set of tools that begin from the moment an employee is hired. Employee retention starts before new hire onboarding even begins. Your Strategic Workforce Plan for your organization should serve as a road sign for an organization. No forecasting or planning tool can hundred percent control or predict the future outcome and yet it leveraging your Learning Loop may be just the most important part of the future success of your business. Start small, develop partnerships within your organization, work with your executive leaders and manage expectations. Your executive team, shareholders, and future company leaders will thank you for it.
Article by Jessica Miller-Merrell
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