Succession planning is the process where the business identifies one or more potential successors for key roles within the organization, or when best-performing employees are placed in a succession pool for future leadership roles. In short, it’s designed to make sure the company (as a whole) doesn’t miss a beat when one person leaves and someone else has to move into a key spot.
Here are the main elements you need to have when developing a succession plan for a business:
Define the key roles
It is important that you start by identifying the “key players” in your company and their specific roles. Look closely at how these roles contribute to the organization’s success. While strategizing, be sure to ask the following questions:
- What is the day-to-day contribution of this person’s role to the organization?
- How would the organization’s operations be impacted if the individual holding that job leaves? Can someone quickly step in? Why or why not?
The idea is to come up with a plan on how the organization adapts to change. By understanding the significance of each key employee’s role, the organization will be able to identify potential gaps in its succession plan.
Identify likely talents
Once you have identified key roles in the business and how they impact the organization’s daily activities, you need to identify talents that can fill these roles when they become vacant.
The best approach would be to have line managers identify top talents in their departments and create profiles with each talent’s skills, experiences and career goals. It is critical that you keep each prospect’s career aspirations in mind. The fact that an employee may have crucial skills and experience to fill a particular role may not necessarily mean that they are interested in that role in the future.
Succession planning is more than just figuring out how to bring in new talents while promoting existing employees. It is important that you understand the essential elements of an effective business succession plan. Legal guidance can help.