Succession Planning: The Key To Staff Retention

Let me introduce you to Hamish. Hamish is the MD at Advanced Coated Products Ltd (ACP). His Technical & Quality Manager, Peter has been with ACP for 36 years. But there’s no one at the company trained to continue Peter’s work when he chooses to retire. Sound familiar?

We know there’s a shortage of people working in the science and technology industry. But this problem isn’t just about hiring new staff. It’s about retention. Replacing experienced staff, like Peter at ACP, is hard with such a competitive landscape, rising salary expectations and growing recruitment costs. The importance of “growing your own” has never been so true.

What’s happened at Advanced Coated Products is happing all over the industry. It’s happening because companies aren’t preparing for the future. There’s little succession planning; they’re hiring already qualified graduates who are looking to take the next step quickly. When it’s clear this next step isn’t immediately available, companies like ACP end up losing those employees. And what they’re left with is a constant turnover of mid-level staff and an ageing senior-level workforce.

Apprentices at work

So what’s the solution to filling this gap?

Let’s go back to Hamish. Hamish decided to partner with Tiro, a leading science and technology training provider, to recruit and train a Laboratory Technician apprentice. The plan: have the apprentice learn on the job with the goal of learning Peter’s role and progressing further in the organisation.

But I know what you’re thinking; ‘aren’t apprenticeships for young people, fresh out of school?’
They can be. But they’re also for anyone, at any age, looking to invest in a new career, long term. This was exactly the attitude Hamish was looking for. And exactly the attitude they found in their newly hired apprentice, Raffaele. (Who is 40 by the way!)

With senior-level staff at ACP not far off retiring, Hamish recognised how valuable the knowledge transfer from mentors to new apprentices would be, so he took action to retain these skills within the business.

If you’re thinking that all apprentices get their qualifications and move to another company then you’d be way off. Did you know almost all of Tiro apprentices stay on with their employer? That’s right. Employers who treat their apprentices well tend to reap the rewards for years to come.

Plan for success with an apprentice.

Businesses prosper by developing talent from the ground up, hiring and training new apprentices regardless of age or qualifications. Someone you can mould to your way of working who’s also studying and gaining valuable qualifications.

And it’s not just Advanced Coated Products who had success with an apprentice. 86% of Employers agree apprenticeships have helped them develop skills that were missing in their business.

At Tiro, we know this. We live and breathe apprenticeships. We partner with employers to find a solution, providing expert guidance to mentors like Peter to allow apprentices like Raffaele to develop quickly.

“Raffaele wants to know EVERYTHING. His increased responsibility has helped the more senior staff focus on other things and improved ACPs capabilities to meet increasing demand.” – Hamish, MD, Advanced Coated Products Ltd.

Apprenticeships are a great solution for succession planning, achieving trained qualified committed employees that stay. Because as you many have found, an employee without a professional plan, results in high staff turnover.

We all know experienced staff don’t grow on trees, they grow in companies that hire for potential, and they stay in places that nurture them, enabling them to thrive.

Apprenticeships offer an extraordinary opportunity to grow a more diverse and multi-generational team and are critical to the long-term success of any organisation.

If you want to think ahead and invest in future science and technology talent, then find out more about how Tiro can help you retain staff and grow new talent through apprenticeships. >