SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

November 12, 2008 13:10 ET

Best-Practices in Building the Leadership Pipeline

Always Critical, but Now More Important Than Ever!

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - November 12, 2008) - A limited and narrowing skilled labor market, which is further accentuated by insufficient existing management bench strength, is forcing organizations to focus resources on planning for future leadership needs. Coupling these findings with the continued weakening of the global economy, and the heightened importance organizations place on succession management will continue to grow this focus. How Best-in-Class organizations address the pressures of a tightened labor market, as well as the results they've achieved by doing so, are highlighted in a recent research by Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS). To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5358

In the new benchmark report by Aberdeen titled, "Succession Management: Addressing the Leadership Development Challenge," the research revealed that the foundation of an effective succession management program lies in a solid competency framework as well as a standardized performance management process. In fact, organizations that achieved Aberdeen's Best-in-Class designation for this study are 45% more likely than all other organizations to have clearly defined success profiles (knowledge, experience, competencies and personal attitudes) for key positions. "When it comes to identifying high-potential talent, it is critical to evaluate their performance equally," said Jayson Saba, senior research associate, human capital management at Aberdeen. "Viewing succession candidates through the same looking glass allows organizations to compare apples to apples and make better decisions for selecting leadership candidates."

Moreover, this research highlights the importance of establishing accountability at the management ranks for ensuring a qualified leadership pipeline. To this point, Best-in-Class organizations are 62% more likely than Laggard organizations to have a systematic process where senior managers regularly review the performance and progress of high-potentials enrolled in development programs. According to Kevin Martin, Aberdeen's vice president and principal analyst for human capital management, "This research complements and reinforces research we have conducted across other elements of talent management, specifically performance management and learning and development, where we see Best-in-Class organizations view employee development more as a collective effort rather than an individual's sole responsibility."

The research also found that integrating succession data with other talent management elements has yielded great benefits in terms of workforce knowledge management. Best-in-Class organizations are more than twice as likely as Laggards to integrate succession data with performance management and learning and development applications. Saba added, "Integrating talent management data provides organizations more visibility into the development of high-potentials and improves their decision-making ability when it comes to determining promotion readiness."

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: DDI, Taleo, and Zapoint. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5358

For additional access to complimentary Human Capital Research, please visit http://research.aberdeen.com/index.php/Human-Capital-Management/

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2008 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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