Only a third of large employers around the world regularly use high-flier
schemes, despite their importance in succession planning.
These schemes within work organisations identify staff with potential for
leadership and management positions and help them prepare for future roles.
Many larger organisations will use a development centre to assess
developmental needs and ascertain potential for high-flier schemes.
Feedback from the centre will be used to create a developmental plan,
including work experiences that will prepare employees for future roles, such
as job rotations and secondments.
In the countries surveyed, a median of only about one-third of employers
with 200 or more staff report regular use. The biggest uptake is by France and
Sweden, with 55 per cent regularly using high-flier schemes. The UK is well
below the median at 24 per cent.
The figures mask private and public sector differences. In most countries,
public-sector organisations are less likely to have high-flier schemes. In the
UK, private-sector usage is at 30 per cent compared with 13 per cent in the
public sector. Only in Japan, Slovenia, and Tunisia are public and private
sector usage roughly equal.
Although many organisations need to consider whether they are planning their
leadership succession effectively, this data suggests that many are not. Of
course, employers could be relying on external recruitment or they could be
developing high-fliers more informally. A more formal approach will be more
effective and send a positive message to talented employees about internal
Gene Johnson is a business psychologist with Interactive Skill