The impact of succession planning on employee retention.
The health care industry is growing at a rapid rate, primarily due to changes in the demographic landscape and disease patterns. The backdrop of this growth is the unprecedented shortage of skilled workers, which is not peculiar to the health care industry, but is experienced across the board. Retention of talent has become the most critical part of any organizational growth strategy in order to remain competitive. Succession planning is the process of identifying and developing talent for future critical roles, where talented individuals are mentored, and given challenging projects to assist them to grow to another level of responsibility. The linchpin positions have to be identified by the organizations, in order to align talent management with the needs of the business. The current study employed a qualitative approach, and was aimed at exploring the impact of succession planning on employee retention. The primary objectives were to determine whether any succession planning strategies are used, how well they are implemented and whether employees perceive succession planning as effective. A questionnaire comprised of five sections was distributed to Netcare employees in three hospitals (Netcare St Augustine’s, Netcare Alberlito and Netcare Parklands) and statistical analysis was conducted. The findings of the study reveal that respondents were positive about the process used for succession planning, as well as the criteria the organization uses for selection to the succession planning programme. The results indicated that reasons why talented employees remain in the organization after being on the succession planning programme are that talented employees are valued and are encouraged to apply for senior positions. With regard to the reasons why employees leave the organization after having been on the succession planning programme, respondents indicated that the organization does not pay competitive salaries for talent; there is a lack of incentives for high performance, and there is a lack of promotion opportunities for talented employees, which forces them to consider joining the opposition when they are headhunted. Recommendations were made, both for the organization and for future studies, based on the results. Recommendations include instituting retention bonuses and an incentive system that has value to the employees, and re-launching the talent management programme.