This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

February 20, 2013

Most Employers Worry About Bench Strength

Employers all over the world are facing a serious challenge---a critical shortage of workers. According to a recent study by AMA Enterprise (AMAE), a division of American Management Association reports that over two-thirds of employers in the United States are concerned about gaps in their organizations' management ranks.

In fact, only 28 percent of senior-level business, human resources, and management professionals are confident their companies have "sufficient leadership depth and no significant gaps in management".

All of the almost 1000 survey participants were asked: "Whether or not turnover rises in 2013, how would you describe your current bench strength?"

As the economy recovers and the job market improves, employee turnover will increase. Organizations will need to take a hard look at their management bench strength. In this AMAE study, 54 percent of the respondents believed their bench strength is "uneven and that some management gaps have been hard to fill". In addition, 18 percent think they have "inadequate bench strength and serious management gaps". Many employers are finding difficulty filling their talent pipelines.

Moreover, according to the survey only 19 percent of employers characterize themselves as "well prepared to deal with either rising turnover or management departures". For a long while now, organizations haven’t paid enough attention to training and development, much less engagement or retention. These years of complacency will lead to uncontrolled turnover and loss of top talent. Most organizations are simply not prepared.

Employers must "be proactive". If they wait for the bad news from their high-value employees, it will be too late. Conducting Stay Interviews now can help address employees' issues and aspirations.

The other implication of these results is the need for Succession Planning, including Succession Preparation. The gaps left by sudden departures can be catastrophic for organizations. [They] "can trigger a spike in customer defections or dissatisfaction, a slowdown in productivity, increased hiring and training costs, and general uncertainty for the people who remain in the organization”, said Sandi Edwards, Senior Vice President of AMAE.

Building and maintaining their critical talent pipelines will be at the top of the lists of priorities for the best employers this year.

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