All the human capital management strategies previously described play an important role in talent sustainment, but there are a few additional concepts that deserve attention. All employees should have a sense of belonging in the organization in which they work. When this sense of belonging is absent, employees quickly start looking for the next best opportunity.
Organizations should make sure they have a pulse on employee belonging by conducting professional surveys, asking for feedback and creating a space for employees to safely and openly share and report incidents that erode belonging. Despite any organization’s best efforts, employees do leave their organizations whether through retirement or other reasons. Ensuring systems are in place for succession and knowledge transfer softens the impact when employees do leave.
Succession planning is an annual activity that identifies critical positions and their likelihood for retirement or attrition, and then categorizes how prepared the organization is to fill that vacancy internally or externally. The result is a growth-based plan that incorporates training and development as well as recruitment strategies. A common misconception is that succession planning cherry-picks candidates for succession and gives an unfair advantage to a select few in the organization. When conducted appropriately, succession planning provides fair and more opportunities for all individuals in the organization through training and development programs.
Lastly, organizations should be prepared to transfer institutional knowledge in a timely manner by ensuring policies, processes, and procedures are well-documented and that job shadowing programs are in place for critical positions.