top of page

99 Skills of 21st Century Market Place : Week 24

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

Week 24 of the 99 Skills of the 21st Century Marketplace is Here! This week we focus on three critical HRM (Human Resource Management) Skills: Performance Management, Employee Relations & Succession Planning . These are crucial for optimizing employee performance, nurturing future leaders, and maintaining a positive work culture. These practices collectively enhance organizational effectiveness, leadership continuity, and employee satisfaction, fostering long-term success. By honing your abilities in thses skills you can engage in talent development, organizational growth, and leadership sustainability, contributing to the long-term success and resilience of your organization. Mastering these skills empowers individuals to excel professionally, impact their organizations and communities positively, and ensure long-term success, fostering personal growth and meaningful contributions. Join us as we explore these vital leadership skills and share your thoughts on the 99 Skills because the 100th is You!

70. Performance Management

A Quote:

Performance management is so tightly integrated with the business that business has no option but to do it on its own.” - Harjeet Khanduja

A Definition: Performance Management is an ongoing, continuous process of communicating and clarifying job responsibilities, priorities, performance expectations, and development planning that optimize an individual’s performance and aligns with organizational strategic goals.

An Example:

General Electric (GE), a multinational conglomerate, faced challenges with its performance management system in the early 2000s. The company grappled with a complex evaluation system, marked by forced rankings and numerical ratings that left many employees confused and demoralized. Additionally, the reliance on annual performance reviews hindered the provision of timely feedback and hindered continuous employee development.

In response, GE initiated a comprehensive transformation of its performance management approach in 2015. They abandoned the forced ranking system and adopted a more collaborative and feedback-driven model. Managers were encouraged to engage in frequent, ongoing conversations with their team members, focusing on performance expectations, development goals, and career aspirations.

As a result, the transformation led to improved employee engagement, enhanced collaboration, a simplified process, and a greater focus on employee development, showcasing the importance of adapting performance management practices to meet the evolving needs of both the organization and its workforce.This case underscores the idea that performance management should evolve to meet the changing dynamics of the workforce and business goals.

A Checklist:

  1. Set clear objectives and expectations.

  2. Plan performance with SMART goals.

  3. Provide regular feedback and conduct formal reviews.

  4. Assess skills and align goals with organizational objectives.

  5. Create individual development plans and recognize outstanding performance.

  6. Maintain documentation and ensure legal compliance.

  7. Implement improvement plans when necessary.

  8. Foster continuous feedback and communication.

  9. Train managers for effective evaluations.

  10. Ensure consistency and comply with labour laws.

  11. Collect employee feedback and use technology.

  12. Encourage self-assessment and conduct exit interviews.

71. Employee Relation

A Quote:

“Treat employees like they make a difference and they will.” - Jim Goodnight

A Definition: Employee relations refers to the management of interactions and relationships between employers and employees within an organization. It involves communication, conflict resolution, engagement, compliance with labour laws, collective bargaining (in unionized settings), workplace policies, and the provision of employee benefits and development opportunities. It aims to create a positive and productive work environment while addressing any issues or conflicts that may arise.

An Example:

Company Ventuor, a leading manufacturing company in the automotive sector, was grappling with strained labour-management relations at one of its production plants. Frequent disputes during contract negotiations and low employee morale were affecting the plant's productivity and overall performance. The plant faced recurring collective bargaining disputes, leading to strikes that disrupted production schedules and incurred substantial financial losses. Additionally, employees expressed dissatisfaction with their working conditions and perceived a lack of recognition from management. This low morale was translating into reduced productivity and teamwork challenges within the plant.

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Company Ventuor's management and union leadership opted for a collaborative approach. They established joint labour-management committees to address specific issues, such as safety enhancements, workload distribution, and grievance resolution. Regular employee engagement surveys were introduced to gather feedback, fostering a sense of involvement. Communication channels between management and union leaders were enhanced, ensuring that both parties remained informed and aligned. Comprehensive training programs on conflict resolution, communication, and labour laws were conducted for employees and supervisors.

The shift towards collaborative labour-management relations yielded positive results. Subsequent contract negotiations proceeded more smoothly, with a decrease in disputes and no strikes. Employee morale significantly improved, as workers felt their voices were heard, and their concerns were addressed. This led to increased productivity, fewer disruptions, and an overall more harmonious and productive work environment, benefiting both Company and its valued employees.

A Checklist:

  1. Establish clear communication channels.

  2. Develop conflict resolution procedures.

  3. Foster employee engagement and satisfaction.

  4. Ensure compliance with labour laws and regulations.

  5. Implement fair workplace policies and practices.

  6. Encourage diversity and inclusion.

  7. Promote work-life balance and well-being.

  8. Provide opportunities for career development.

  9. Address employee grievances promptly.

  10. Conduct regular employee feedback surveys.

  11. Train managers in effective employee relations.

  12. Recognize and reward outstanding performance.

  13. Plan for leadership succession.

  14. Maintain transparency and open communication.

  15. Conduct exit interviews for departing employees.

72. Succession Planning

A Quote:

“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” - Ralph Nader

A Definition: Succession planning is the process of identifying and developing internal talent within an organization to fill key leadership positions when they become vacant, ensuring a smooth transition of leadership and continuity of business operations.

An Example:

Apple Inc., renowned for its innovation and visionary leadership, faced a significant succession planning challenge when Steve Jobs, its co-founder and iconic leader, stepped down due to health issues in August 2011. Steve Jobs' departure left a void that raised concerns about Apple's ability to sustain its market dominance. The challenge was to smoothly transition leadership and maintain the company's innovative edge.

Apple took several strategic steps to address this challenge. First, it identified internal talent, particularly Tim Cook, the Chief Operating Officer, as a potential successor. Second, Cook was appointed as interim CEO, ensuring a gradual transfer of responsibilities and reassuring stakeholders. Third, a clear succession plan was communicated transparently, maintaining confidence in Apple's future. Lastly, under Tim Cook's leadership, Apple continued to innovate, leading to market growth.

Apple's successful transition from Steve Jobs to Tim Cook demonstrates the critical importance of effective succession planning. Transparent communication, identification of internal talent, and the continuity of the company's vision ensured Apple's continued success even after the departure of an iconic leader.

A Checklist:

  1. Determine which roles need succession planning.

  2. Clearly outline the skills and attributes required for success in each role.

  3. Identify internal and external candidates with potential.

  4. Evaluate potential successors' skills and performance.

  5. Develop personalized plans to fill skill gaps.

  6. Expose potential successors to diverse experiences within the organization.

  7. Pair potential successors with experienced mentors.

  8. Provide ongoing feedback and adjust plans as needed.

  9. Establish clear guidelines for the succession process.

  10. Maintain records of potential successors and their development.

  11. Prepare for unexpected departures in critical roles.

  12. Clearly communicate the succession plan to all stakeholders.

  13. Stay aware of external talent for potential hires.

  14. Consider various contingencies that may impact succession.

  15. Involve the board in executive succession planning.

  16. Maintain openness in the succession planning process.

Come & Collaborate

Thank you for joining us on this journey through 99 skills at the 21st-century workplace. We believe that the key to success is continuous learning, so we encourage you to keep seeking out new knowledge and skills.

To help you on your path, we are offering a special #DISCovery Session for our readers. This one-on-one coaching session will help you identify your strengths, set career goals, and progress to a personalized plan for success. To book your session, go to a and use the code "99SKILLS" for a special discount.

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page