Management Bench Strength Low

Oct. 10, 2011
Companies looking inward for future talent and are very worried about losing talent.

Four out of 10 companies do not have enough employees to succeed their current executives and high-potential workers, and 39% do not have enough middle management successors, according to a survey by OI Partners.

But companies are working on it. About half of employers surveyed said they will be developing their middle managers and high-potential employees. One-quarter will promote now-ready executives to higher positions. Interestingly, only one in five companies are looking outside to recruit executives from their competitors.

"Companies have not been hiring as many replacements as they need for employees who are promoted, leave for other jobs, or were laid off due to cutbacks," said Steve Ford, chair of OI Partners. "Many employees who are rated high potential are not receiving the development and training they need to be prepared to assume these positions. The management pipeline for future leaders remains thin even with many qualified managers looking for jobs."

Key findings from the survey are:

Concern About Losing Talent
More than 8 out of 10 employers are worried about losing key employees today and when the economy improves. One-third of companies are very concerned about losing talent, and more than half are moderately concerned.

Most at Risk of Leaving
High-potential employees and middle managers are considered most likely to leave companies. Almost half (48%) of businesses regard high-potentials as having the biggest probability of leaving, and 39% of companies are concerned about middle managers leaving.

Succession Preparation
41% of surveyed companies do not have enough executive-level successors, 39% do not have enough successors for high-potential employees, and 28% do not have enough middle management successors.

Where Future Leaders Will Come From
52% of employers plan to develop their middle managers into future leaders, 49% intend to build their high-potential employees, and 25% plan to promote now-ready executives to higher positions. Only 20% anticipate recruiting successors from their competitors.

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