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Planning for the future

Succession planning is a must-have for any company. Period. Whether through retirement, illness, maternity/paternity leave, or other reasons, employees will come and go, and you need to be prepared to fill in the holes. Like a theatrical performance, the show must go on. When one cast member can't make it, an equally skilled and knowledgeable back-up must be ready in the wings to take over. Whether this happens seamlessly depends entirely on how effectively the director has planned ahead and trained the replacements.

Assessments can aid in future planning by helping you to:

  • Identify employees who are ready to climb the ladder—or cross the hallway. Some people get tired of doing the same tasks day-in and day-out. They hunger for new challenges and responsibilities, whether it's moving up the ladder to a position with more authority, moving laterally to a different department, or rotating tasks with a colleague. Whatever the case, assessments can help you identify people who are ready for a change.
  • Cultivate novice employees for future positions. Having to say goodbye to a veteran employee who knew the company inside-out can be very difficult. However, if you know ahead of time that retirement is imminent, your star veteran can be the perfect mentor and coach for a budding employee with potential. By determining the skills and traits needed to effectively fill a veteran's shoes and using them as a benchmark for others to live up to, your rookie will be well-equipped to take over when the time comes.
  • Focus training efforts on areas that need development. Training is one of the things your organization can do to improve job satisfaction of employees and actually get an amazing return on investment in the short as well as long term. Whether the training is formal or informal, tests can identify the areas that need development so that you can focus your training on the most relevant issues with the highest payoff in terms of performance.
  • Find the right outside talent when you can't promote from within. In order to stay competitive, sometimes a company needs to shake things up and bring in fresh talent. If you need to boost your company with some new expertise, assessments like a multi-rater Job Analysis Matrix (JAM) can help identify the exact qualities that are required for a position. This way, you'll know exactly what to fish for in the talent pool, and you can use other ARCH Profile tests to assess the candidate's fit.
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