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Tata Steel and Tata Power engage with APQC for understanding best practices on succession planning

Published on October 11, 2021

TBExG actively supports Tata companies in their quest for benchmarking through partnerships with other companies to enable world-class performance. Accordingly, TBExG acted on a request from Tata Steel to understand the best practices on succession planning within the Group.

Subsequently, TBExG arranged a best practice sharing session on June 4, 2021. The session saw Kunjvihari Jandhyala, Head - Strategic HR & Org Effectiveness, and Ajnav Deka, Head - Talent Management, both from Tata Power, share their succession management framework with the team from Tata Steel. Tata Power also provided details on its leadership competency model, capability and leadership development framework, three-tier approach to leadership development and future capability-building initiatives.

Next, on June 14, 2021, in a TBExG-facilitated discussion, Elissa Tucker from American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) shared knowledge on practices and metrics about succession planning in a session where members of both Tata Power and Tata Steel were present. Ms Tucker explained engagement, retention, and grooming company specific information for business-critical and vulnerable positions — those that are difficult to fill or can see many people retiring, and positions from a career progression perspective. She talked about using a matrix/worksheet that maps positions at risk and requires the development of a succession plan.

Subsequently, Elissa elaborated on the following best practices in successor identification:

  1. Position profiling, which refers to detailing the attributes required to achieve success in a particular role, i.e., skills from the perspective of business sustainability and creating differentiation in the marketplace
  2. Approaches such as self-nomination for succession planning
  3. Calibrating the process of selection to ensure a sense of fairness and trust in the approach
  4. Ensuring communication during the entire leadership development programme
  5. Engaging and retaining employees if the organisation is not able to place the employee in a role for which he/she was intentionally groomed
  6. Having leadership development plans for different levels and use of an external coach
  7. Exposing successors to different parts of the organisations so that they can forge strong relationships with people as relationship-building is critical from a leadership development perspective
  8. Identifying company-specific behaviours across levels and using them as a foundation tool for leadership competency models, learning & development (L&D) activities, performance management systems and individual discussions
  9. Empowerment of employees to design their career development and provide them the tools to develop
  10. Ensuring that managers have the competency to understand the career aspirations of their subordinates and to map those with the L&D opportunities available in the organisation

After the session concluded, Elissa also shared best practices, case studies and webinars about succession planning, analytics in HR planning and opportunities and risks associated with having a particular role or task performed remotely.

Members from Tata Steel and Tata Power found the learning from the session extremely useful. They would further evaluate the prospect of leveraging some of these practices in their respective organisations.