Board of directors should be the custodians of succession planning

Tags: Knowledge
The notion that India has a long way to go on succession management isn’t wrong. And neither is the fact that firms across globe are struggling with it. One area that holds back top-level leaders from focussing on better succession management might be the complacency that comes with the obsession with topline and bottomline targets. The industry needs to understand that succession planning is the key to long-term growth.

n Job market looks promising for 2014-15. How do you plan on walking an extra mile to retain talent?

Amway has always done extremely well on retention. Our average attrition for the last 4-5 years has been only 7-8 per cent while the industry average in this period has been around 18-20 per cent. Our sustainable growth and successful business, values-based performance-driven culture, talent management programme and equitable and fair HR practises are some of the reasons why we have done so well in retaining talent. We plan to continue focussing on the above-mentioned aspects and further strengthen them to remain ahead in the game.

n What would be the unique people management strategies of 2014-15 that will help organisations to retain and hire the best? What according to you should be the focus areas?

The organisations must have their focus on engaging human capital so that they are able to contribute more effectively and efficiently. This can be done by having a robust talent management programme that ensures success and growth of entire organisation. The companies should also concentrate on developing processes, which secure the strategic and financial health of the company.

n Experts feel that corporate India has a long way to go when it comes to succession planning. What could be the missing links?

Yes I do, but that is only half correct. It is not just in India but organisations across globe are struggling with succession planning. I also feel that, at highest level, the accountability factor needs to rest with the board of directors and they need to be held accountable by the investors. It is surprising that the investor community does not give as much priority to succession management — which is key to long term sustainable growth of their business — as it gives to the hard core numbers which are only mere outcome.

At operational levels, what is missing is that a lot of the succession management programmes are rooted in the present and are not futuristic.

n Experts also feel that developing leadership pipeline will be crucial for organisations. How does Amway plan to go about it?

Amway has a very robust global talent management programme where we identify and develop talent quickly. We also provide them opportunities to further hone their capabilities and prove themselves. It is one of the key reasons for our attrition being so low. In the top talent category, in particular, our retention is almost 100 per cent.

n 50 percent of India Inc say that hiring knowledge workers would give them much-needed boost for growth. Do you agree that the strategy could be the game-changer in 2014?

In today’s fast-changing dynamic world, identifying changing trends quickly can be the difference between make or break. Hence, business analytics has become a critical focus area for organisations and they are rightly investing in both the tools and the human resources that are adept at utilising those tools and techniques promptly and optimally.

n What will be Amway’s strategies in 2014 when it comes to rewards and recognition? What new facets are you planning to add to your rewards and recognition mechanism?

Our R&R programmes reward employees for living by our values, going an extra mile, and for excelling in their key task areas and innovation. We are going to explore a more focussed and structured process around fostering and rewarding innovation and collaborating across diverse domains.


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