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Rachel Matthews

Bray Leino

Strategic Marketing Manager

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Shaping tomorrow’s leaders, today


Recent research* shows that over the next two years nearly half (48%) of organisations will be focusing on building future-proofed leadership teams.

With middle management skills gaps becoming evident and a growing expectation for middle managers to connect the strategic goals of an organisation to the tactical responsibilities of employees, formal processes for developing tomorrow’s leaders need to be put in place.

The 2014 Senior Executive Succession Planning and Talent Development Report from IED highlights that 77% of companies believe there are clearly defined competencies for key executive positions, but only 46% have a formal process for developing successor candidates.

Over one million directors in the UK are over retirement age**, which means that the next couple of years will be vital for succession development for thousands of organisations.

In order for individuals to achieve succession plans, they need more than just the technical expertise for their department. They also need strong leadership, communication, problem-solving and teamwork skills.


Because of this, 45% of HR professionals have cited line management training as a vital component to build future talent, and with 51% of respondents estimating an increase to their training budget over the next three years, this looks set to be achievable.

These findings highlight that leadership and management training is no longer just for top level executives, but also useful for middle and senior managers in order to build a strong leadership team for the future. And with 70-80% of a company’s workforce reporting directly to these managers, it would certainly be money well spent.

But how do you establish who to invest in? Which managers have the ability and dedication required for directorship?

The key is to establish the company’s future needs and match it to the aspirations of potential individuals. Don’t alienate anyone – consider any employee that has potential. It’s important to remember that if you move one or more senior managers to board level, they will need to be replaced. And while it is an option to bring in an external manager to assume the role, you may have the perfect candidate already in employment, who understands your company and its goals.

It’s also important to ensure that HR and L&D are involved in the process. It’s one thing to have a succession plan in place, but quite often these plans fall over at execution stage. Having HR own the delivery of the plan can help drive its success.

As 2016 approaches and you begin planning your training budgets for the year, remember middle and senior managers and the roles they play in your organisation, now and in the future.

* Survey by Halogen Software

** Daily Mail

Author Profile Picture
Rachel Matthews

Strategic Marketing Manager

Read more from Rachel Matthews

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