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The Top 5 Highlights from Transform's Succession Planning Session with Paige Maisonet

When it comes to succession plans, knowledge is power—so said Newfront’s Head of People, Paige Maisonet, who took to the stage at Transform for a fireside chat with Founder and CEO of ModelExpand, Paria Rajai. The topic of discussion: “Next in Line: Succession Planning and Equitably Elevating from Within.” Mining her own experience and observations across the industry, Maisonet offered compelling insights on how proactive succession planning can lead to better retention and engagement. Bring future leaders into the fold early, Maisonet said, and you’ve got a recipe for success. 

Here are the highlights from the conversation with Maisonet:

  1. Knowledge is power; bring future leaders into the fold early on. Every manager should have a number two to invest in. By letting them know about your leadership or succession plans for them, you’ll boost retention and help employees grow within the organization. “If someone says, ‘I'm building a team around you [...],’ it gives them a sense of loyalty to the organization and to that team,” Maisonet said. “And for me, it was the thing that kept me going.”

  2. Tap leaders across the organization to champion future stars. Employee resource groups (ERGs) can be a great way of accomplishing this. “Get to know the executive sponsor of that group, really have that executive sponsor be a champion and a coach and a mentor for [future leaders]) and bring them along in a way that just helps them gain exposure and more connection to the organization.”

  3. Develop your talent and your talent will invest in you. Intentionally develop team members for leadership roles. “We see it throughout our organization,” Maisonet said. Those who are in line for succession are “active and killing it because they know that the company has invested in them.”

  4. Give people space to improve—they don’t have to have all the answers immediately. “You know more than you think you do, and you're not alone,” Maisonet said. “You're not the only person that's walking into the room or coming to these conversations with some missing pieces, areas that you may not feel as confident in [...] You can go find the answers, but you don't have to have all the answers in the moment.”

  5. During performance reviews, guide leaders to actively participate in succession planning. HR can craft the outline for the conversation and be there for support, but let the leaders host the meetings. “It’s changing how you show up for people and really putting [current leaders] in the forefront and that seat of having to really drive it forward versus just being a recipient,” Maisonet said.

See the full video from Maisonet’s session at Transform 2023:

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