At the start of November Lloyd's Banking Group CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio took leave complaining of fatigue. Nobody expected him to return which put Chairman Sir Win Bischoff in a difficult situation whilst damaging business continuity and investor confidence. This inspired our first blog post on the HR elements of business continuity (this also appeared on our sister site www.jpbankingsolutions.co.uk).
Retention and Succession Planning
Retention and succession planning are two key elements of business continuity management. This is acutely apparent at CEO level where uncertainty often sees share values plunge over-night. It is also important further down the organisation as inspirational leaders get promoted away from their teams or where an individual becomes the turn-to person on a key client or a certain area of expertise. "It's a question of managing this fundamental risk at all levels of the organisation. To ensure best practice, systematic reviews to risk registers and contingency plans simply generate confidence in the long term future of the organisation, translating directly into shareholder and stakeholder value" says Samantha Holland MBCI, Senior Consultant at JP Recuitment Solutions and committee member at the Business Continuity Institute London Forum.
The work-life balance is a prevalent concept in corporate employment. It sees some people "working from home or working flexible hours whilst others leave the city altogether to start farming pigs or making smoothies. As star employees move towards senior management it's important to find a balance that works for them and the people following them up the organisational structure. From an HR and recruitment perspective the key thing is to have the right support team in place. Carefully appointed, trusted professionals implement strategic initiatives and report back at agreed times allowing the executive to focus his or her energy on the key issues where they add the most value. This keeps the senior employees away from the constant grind of minutiae that could dull the sharpest instincts resulting in "safe" initiatives that lack the required ambition. Realistic senior executives know they are not going to have long holidays but should also accept that 24 hour phone calls and emails are not sustainable. It may take training or mentoring to help them accept this.
To maintain top talent in leadership functions the individuals in question need to enjoy the challenge of their work and find time for focused relaxation. However, there will still be attrition so the HR department needs to consider the gaps in charisma, skills and experience that would appear should key personnel leave. They will establish what training and exposure people inside the organisation would require to move up should a vacancy arise. With the help of consultants, the market is monitored to identify potential targets to build future teams around, though hopefully not at short notice.
Breaking News January 2012
We are delighted to see the announcement that Mr Horta-Osorio is back at work. We stand by our arguments but are pleased that our assertion in the opening text proved to be incorrect. We wish Mr Horta-Osorio a successful and happy return to his position at Lloyds Banking Group.