One of my long-time employees retired recently and left some big shoes to fill. It caused us a few headaches, because no one knew everything that he did. Do you have any tips on succession planning so I can avoid the headaches next time?
- Published on Saturday, 09 February 2013 11:43
- Written by Super User
Dear Working Wise:
One of my long-time employees retired recently and left some big shoes to fill. It caused us a few headaches, because no one knew everything that he did. Do you have any tips on succession planning so I can avoid the headaches next time? Signed, Surprised Supervisor
Succession planning helps employers retain critical skills and knowledge so that business can continue uninterrupted even as key employees leave. It also helps you retain promising young employees by letting them know that they have a bright future at your company.
Succession planning is especially important to small- and medium-sized businesses, because the critical knowledge and skills tend to be concentrated in just a few employees.
The number of mature workers—Albertans aged 55 and up—more than doubled over the last decade, from 177,000 to 370,000. Around 190,000 Albertans—approximately 10 per cent of our workforce—are expected to retire over the next decade.
Our aging workforce is making succession planning a critical human resources and business continuity function.
Alberta Human Services has developed a free guide for employers called Succession Planning: Retaining skills and knowledge in your workforce.
This guide goes into far more detail than I can, but here are some of the high points.
Succession planning identifies and develops employees to fill positions that are key to the organization’s success. It also helps retain valuable workers and lowers the costs of recruiting new talent.
Five steps of succession planning:
1. Profile your workforce (ages, roles, skills);
2. Identify key positions and skills;
3. Build job profiles for the key positions, including required knowledge, skills, and qualities;
4. Identify and assess potential successors;
5. Create plans that develop the skills of potential successors and transfer knowledge.
Once you have identified your organization’s key skills and knowledge, you need to find ways to share them with other staff. Retaining knowledge and passing it along to other is an essential part of succession planning.
Sharing skills and knowledge also helps you keep the doors open when key staff are sick or on vacation. And, it doesn’t have to cost a lot or take a lot of time either.
Knowledge-retention strategies include:
• Make ongoing learning a part of your workplace culture;
• Lead by example – share your knowledge and acknowledge your staff for sharing their knowledge;
• Set up one-on-one staff discussions between senior and junior staff;
• Encourage senior employees to mentor younger staff;
• Cross-train staff or rotate jobs;
• Hold post-project reviews: share learnings, what worked and what didn’t, etc.
• Create documentation: manuals, guides, procedures, project status reports, etc.
For more information on succession planning, read Succession Planning: Retaining skills and knowledge in your workforce. The guide is available on the ALIS website at http://alis.alberta.ca/pdf/cshop/successionplanning.pdf or by visiting your nearest Alberta Works Centre.
I was laid off from a company a few months ago and received two week of severance pay after working for them for two years. Does the company have to call me first to see if I want my job back before hiring anyone else? If so, and they have hired someone e
- Published on Friday, 25 January 2013 16:38
- Written by Super User
Dear Working Wise:
I was laid off from a company a few months ago and received two week of severance pay after working for them for two years. Does the company have to call me first to see if I want my job back before hiring anyone else? If so, and they have hired someone else, what are my options about getting my old job back? Signed, Eager to Work
I wish I could help you get your old job back, but it sounds like your employer has acted appropriately.
There is such a thing as a “temporary layoff”, when an employer wants to maintain the employment relationship with you and call you back as soon as there is work available.
But it sounds to me from your letter that your employer terminated your employment. You received severance pay, because your employer severed (terminated) your employment relationship.
Employers are not required to rehire former employees first.
Your employer also paid you an appropriate amount of termination pay. Anyone employed for between two and four years is entitled to a minimum of two weeks notice or two weeks of severance pay in lieu.
If your employer wanted to maintain the employment relationship—and lay you off temporarily—they would have been required to notify you in writing. Temporary layoff notices must include the effective date of the layoff and sections 62-64 of Alberta’s Employment Standards code, which govern temporary layoffs.
Temporary layoffs can not last more than 59 days in duration. On the 60th consecutive day of temporary layoff, the employment relationship terminates and the employer must pay the employee termination pay on that day unless:
· wages or benefits continue to be paid on behalf of the employee; or
· there is a collective agreement that provides recall rights longer than the 59 days.
Should the layoff extend past the 59 days, the employment terminates, and termination pay appropriate to the length of service of the employee is required. The only exception to the 59-day period applies to school employees and school-bus drivers.
Employees can be terminated while on temporary layoff, but they are entitled to termination pay.
Employees on temporary layoff can be called back to work with seven days written notice. Employees who fail to return to work within seven days of receiving written notice can be terminated without termination notice or pay.
The good news is that Alberta’s unemployment rate is the lowest in the country at 4.5 per cent and the number of job postings are is on the rise. You are in a better position than many job seekers, because you have two years of experience working in a job you enjoy.
Drop by your nearest Alberta Works Centre for help putting your valuable experience to work. To find your nearest Alberta Works Centre, visit http://humanservices.alberta.ca/offices.
If you have any more questions about your situation, call Alberta Employment Standards toll-free at 1-877-427-3731. This line is staffed by experts who can go into more detail with your case if you wish.
You can also review the Employment Standards Code for yourself by visiting our web site http://humanservices.alberta.ca/es
I keep hearing that I should be using social media to find a job. Do employers really use social media, and if so, do you have any tips?
- Published on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 18:46
- Written by Super User
Dear Working Wise:
I keep hearing that I should be using social media to find a job. Do employers really use social media, and if so, do you have any tips? Signed, Unsure
Every employer and industry is different, but a growing number of organizations around the world are using social media to find skilled workers.
Jobvite's fifth-annual Social Recruiting Survey of 1,000 recruiters found that 92 per cent of American companies are using social media to hire staff.
LinkedIn remains the leading network for staff recruitment, but Twitter and Facebook are on the rise with two-thirds of organizations now using Facebook.
Many social media sites are also adjusting their services to make it easier for job seekers to search their social networks for connections at companies where they want to work.
The survey also found that more employers are checking social media sites to spot potential problems with applicants.
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta (OIPC) has cautioned Alberta organizations to ensure they are not violating the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) when conducting background checks using social media. They even released a Guide For Social Media Background Checks, which is available at http://oipc.ab.ca.
Using social media for employment background checks is risky, because employers can not limit the amount or type of information that they collect. However, it would be hard to prove that an employer didn’t call you because of something they saw on your blog.
Don’t let a poor social-media profile cost you your next job opportunity. Use these tips to take control of your online identity and start using social media to your advantage:
o Search the Internet for your name and clean up any undesirable content;
o Separate your personal and professional social media lives using separate pages, groups/circles, or privacy settings;
o Choose your social media friends with care—what they say and do reflects on you;
o Avoid blogs and forums about controversial topics like politics or religion. Use an alias if you can not resist participating;
o Delete unprofessional photos/posts and replace them with things you would like your future employer to read and see.
o Create a Linked-In profile—similar to an online resumé—and start connecting with professional colleagues that you already know. Be sure your profile is consistent with your resumé. Endorse your contacts’ skills and they will likely endorse you.
o Participate—social media is about interaction. Follow professional blogs and join industry groups/circles on your social media sites and contribute opinions, interesting articles, news, trends, questions, etc. Share and re-tweet posts by others in your network to raise your profile and increase the chance that others will reciprocate;
o Link your social media profile to the web pages or YouTube channels of groups, teams or projects that you are involved in; and
o Follow your local Alberta Works social media channel to get the latest job postings and job fair news. Alberta Works operates seven jobs-focused Facebook pages around the province plus one Twitter feed in Calgary. Links to all of these social media tools are available at http://bit.ly/VrqyIs.