*Original article written in August, 2014
I… I BELIEVE… I BELIEVE THAT… I BELIEVE THAT WE… I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!
If you have been addicted to the 2014 World Cup (like I have been), then you are probably familiar with the “I BELIEVE” chant that has been sweeping the nation.
Even though the U.S. Soccer team looked and felt like a team of destiny at times, simply BELIEVING that they were going to win did not prove to be enough for the team to advance to the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
What in the world does this have to do with the HR profession, or your business?
HR professionals are often asked to BELIEVE in the strategic vision of their senior leadership team, even if they aren’t at the table during their companies’ short-term and long-term strategic planning sessions (hopefully at your company, HR does have a seat at the table). Unfortunately, there is not always a correlation between BELIEVING in the strategic vision and watching the strategic vision come to fruition.
Over the past few months, we have talked to countless HR professionals around the country who have told us similar variations of the same story: “We have some key employees who are getting dangerously close to retirement. We know it is coming, but we don’t know what to do about it.” “Succession planning has been on our 3-5 year strategic plan for 3-5 years, but we have not done anything about it.”
Back in the late 1990s, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) had more employees in their sixties and seventies than in their twenties, and there was a big bubble moving toward retirement. To address the issue, the TVA came up with a process to prioritize their Knowledge Transfer strategies. The following is a quick and easy way to jump start your Knowledge Retention/Succession Planning journey. By using this simple mathematical formula, you can start to prioritize the WHO part of the equation: which individuals are the closest to retirement, and how long will it take to adequately train their successors.
You can start this process today (all it takes is some rudimentary knowledge about how to set up formulas and how to sort and filter data in Microsoft Excel). Once you have completed this first step in the process, feel free to reach out to me, and I can share additional best practices on how to continue along your Knowledge Retention/Succession Planning journey.