Succession planning is vital to ensure a company’s longevity. Remember, however, to plan for the succession of all employees, not just leadership roles. Having such a map in place for all positions can ensure a seamless transition and maintain operations if an employee leaves. Here are some tips when developing a succession plan for every level of your company.
Why is this so important?
Succession planning enables an organization to create processes that retain valuable personnel so they can continue providing the same level of service when an employee leaves. In planning, the organization identifies potential high-performing staff to be promoted to more senior positions over time. This forethought is crucial to ensuring the continuity, growth and sustainability of the organization’s resources.
By providing benefits in terms of longevity and continuity, succession planning aims to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible when a key role changes hands. Any business operations that involve the position’s duties can continue with minimum disruption. This type of plan enables organizations to grow and handle present challenges while developing potential leaders who can steer the company into the future. Thus, succession planning helps businesses retain their value in the long term and reduces lost productivity due to sudden and unexpected changes in key personnel.
With long-term sustainability in mind, managers and entry-level workers must have the knowledge, skills and abilities to move up. It’s best to plan for these changes in advance. Start by creating a step-by-step career development framework for each position, from leadership roles down to entry-level positions. It can be complicated, since managers must consider each employee’s job requirements, experience, qualifications and performance metrics.
It’s beneficial to involve all stakeholders in the process. For true success, this should include members from every area in the organization. From top leadership to other key roles and positions, executives should strive to create a plan that allows for seamless transitioning as personnel move around or move on from the company. While a comprehensive career ladder can ensure there is no slack left in understaffed departments, involving all stakeholders in successful succession planning will help to soften potential hiccups that may arise during transitions and equip everyone with the tools they need to thrive.
Steps for a successful plan
Organizations may face several challenges when attempting to implement a succession plan, such as difficulty defining job roles, obstacles to clear communication between all departments and matching foreseen tasks with qualified individuals. As a result, there is an increased risk of poor implementation and a need for upper management buy-in.
To overcome these challenges, businesses need to create easy-to-follow standard frameworks and processes for developing, recruiting and training potential future team members. Encourage communication between departments so organizations can work together toward successful succession planning.
Finally, businesses should select current employees who have shown high levels of potential to fill in the roles when establishing a succession plan; this will ensure that apart from being knowledgeable about the company’s values, vision and culture, these individuals already have experience working within the organization.
At its core, a worthwhile succession plan starts with a team of engaged stakeholders who are empowered to work together. Defining clear goals and expectations that encompass all roles within the organization can be extremely beneficial in terms of helping your business stay competitive and ensuring future success.
Preemptive planning also gives your organization continuity even after key personnel leave or retire. However, you must be aware of potential roadblocks that could hinder the plan’s effective execution. Ultimately, the benefits of having a clear succession plan in place far outweigh the risks inherent in any business model change.
If you haven’t already done so, don’t wait. Start implementing your succession plan today and reap the rewards it will yield well into the future.
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