The Importance of Succession Planning Continuity Before and After a Reduction in Force
Erin Freshwater, Senior Director, Talent & Organizational Development, Cox Automotive
This is the story of an organization who cares about its people, but doesn’t engage in appropriate talent planning. Going into the second year of merger integration with a down turn in business success and rightsizing needed for the workforce, Cox Automotive failed to do their due diligence to ensure their succession plans were in a good place, key and critical roles were identified and protected, and a healthy talent bench was maintained. Once in the midst of rightsizing, they conducted an analysis of the current state of succession and discovered a myriad of issues such as undocumented plans, low quality (lack of calibration), successors and incumbents matching. This highlighted to them that their business was in a perilous state coming out of rightsizing from a talent perspective.
To combat this, they created a three-pronged plan to quickly course correct:
1) The identification of critical roles that should be continuously developed in the talent pool
2) Succession for Director-level roles and above with at least one ready-now successor and/or a plan to accelerate development of other successors
3) Refining the succession planning and talent calibration approaches for the future.
In this session, Erin Freshwater will share this story and lessons learned including:
• How succession planning should be leveraged for more than leadership roles to ensure your business has less risk exposure
• How to drive a talent position and add value to your organization with quality succession planning
• Why in instances that your business has to engage in rightsizing, as talent professionals, it is vitally important to determine the impact to succession so you can quickly get your business in a good place from a talent perspective