Succession Planning: Highlighting your Future Stars


Succession planning, at its core, is simple; the process of identifying and developing new individuals and leaders to fill the roles left by those leaving or retiring. But for something so simple, we often see it carried out incorrectly or even worse, not at all!

It's not as simple as dropping the next longest serving staff member in the vacant role, nor should it be left until the last minute. There needs to be a process in place, and that doesn't mean it has to be overly complex. But ultimately, not carrying out succession planning properly creates the same problems as poorly organised recruitment; the wrong person in the role, wasted time and wasted money.

Research suggests that companies with the greatest gains from succession planning, are those with high degrees of engagement among their leadership teams and with clear objectives. Why is this? Because it means staff know what is expected of them, have defined development goals and feel better supported when making such transitions. But what about a process?

The first step is simply identifying what your future needs are; consider employees who may be near retirement age or who are looking to progress within the business, as they'll no doubt leave gaps when they move on. These key positions need to be filled by people with high potential for the role, so assess this potential and their current performance against the key competencies, to see if they're a fit.

Next, select activities to help develop and train the individual; this may take on several forms but don't just drop them in a position due to their potential and leave them unsupported. Create a personal development plan so that their progress can be monitored and evaluated, allowing the individual to grow into the role.

There is no real "final step" in succession planning; it needs to be an ongoing process to work effectively, though at times it'll need more focus than at others. Just don't let it fall to the wayside or you'll be counting your losses rather than reaping the rewards!

This is a simple roadmap to help get you on the right track for succession planning, but if you need any further help or what to discuss any of these aspects in more depth, just get in touch.


Until next time.

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