Succession Planning-It’s Important

February 03, 2011  |   Posted by : Sandy Wotring  |   Blog   |   Comments Off»

Most everyone has heard of succession planning – but too many businesses ignore the importance of it.  It may be on a to-do list . . . but it’s usually way at the end!

Succession planning, for those who aren’t certain what it is, is the act of planning for filling openings as they become open – with the right person – ahead of the need for the candidate.  Companies will readily say it’s important to have a 3-5 year plan for sales, marketing, revenue growth – but they often fail to include a plan for talent until it’s too late.

Succession planning should be part of performance management – when performance plans are developed, they should include training for the employee to prepare him/her for the next step on the career ladder within the company – whatever that might be.  Skills that need developed should be identified and a plan set to help the employee achieve those goals.  Don’t be concerned that they’ll be trained and then leave – that’s always a risk – but they could not be trained, still with your company, and of no value, if not trained.

An environmental scan is a good starting point – determine who will be retiring, using age of social security eligibility as the benchmark (since it’s a little awkward to ask an employee when s/he plans to retire!) – to determine if your company could be losing key employees within the same timeframe.  Then, managers should get together as a group and look closely at an organization chart (you do have one, don’t you?) and identify those employees who can move to the next level – those who show promise but may need some training or mentoring or extra projects to get to that level.  They should also identify where the possible openings may be due to the results of the environmental scan.

Succession planning is key to any company’s growth – don’t overlook it.

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