Employees are the heart and soul of every organization, which is the reason why great managers take care of their teams and project the succession of talent long-term.
Succession planning is one of the most important aspects of HR because it can drastically slow down a company if not handled properly.
You only need to ask yourself one simple question: if one or two of my finest employees leave the team, can I replace them quickly and successfully? If the answer is “No,” you better start thinking immediately about how to make your business stable in the long run.
Our job is to help you get over the issue by giving you some practical suggestions, so keep reading to learn how to boost productivity and write your succession plan.
Succession Planning: Definition and Benefits
Most managers don’t plan succession simply because they don’t really understand this concept.
This is why we have to start with the definition: succession planning is the process of identification and development of potential successors for key positions in an organization, through systematic evaluation and training.
The value of this process is recognized on both sides of the organizational spectrum.
A report shows that over 60% of employees say they would be ‘significantly more engaged’ at work if their company had a succession plan. At the same time, as much as 94% of employers report that the involvement of a succession plan positively impacts their employees’ engagement levels.
Succession planning can obviously bring you substantial benefits, with the crucial ones being these:
First of all, succession planning helps you to achieve professional continuity.
Developing a good strategy, you will prevent constant changes in your team and establish working patterns that everyone is familiar with.
- Employee retention
Long-term stability is important for the vast majority of workers. Most people would stop searching for a new job if they noticed the opportunity to advance within the current team.
After all, no one wants to get stuck doing the same job year after year, so why wouldn’t you prepare a plan to improve the position of the team members?
An old saying claims that a happy worker is a productive worker. In other words, you should do all it takes to keep your employees satisfied, while they will respond with due diligence and improved engagement.
Of course, succession planning is one of the best ways to ensure employee satisfaction and build a super efficient team.
- Cost efficiency
Do you know that the cost of replacing highly educated executive positions can breach 200% of their annual salaries?
It’s a lot of money to waste, so you might want to consider implementing a succession plan instead of spending thousands of dollars on finding an external replacement.
- Improved results
The ultimate goal of succession planning is to improve business results. It’s the biggest benefit of this strategy and it has two sides.
Firstly, the results are getting better because you don’t lose money while searching for new employees.
Secondly, the existing team is full of experienced and skilled staff members who already understand every aspect of your business.
5 Steps to Create a Succession Plan
Knowing the benefits of succession planning is one thing, but creating your own strategy is something completely different.
To craft a succession plan is to be thorough and highly analytical in order to cover every aspect of the topic.
Each business is unique, so you’ll have to analyze it and think about the peculiarities of your own organization.
However, there are some tactics that generate great results regardless of the niche, so we prepared for you the list of five important stages of succession planning. Let’s take a look:
1. Identify key roles
While it is true that every role in your organization is extremely valuable, there must be a few positions that are more important than others. Your job is to crawl down the organizational ladder and identify key roles that are critical to the functioning of your business.
Make sure to find each position that your organization could not stand to lose. These are usually found on the top of the hierarchy, but don’t forget to check the lower levels, too.
For instance, some of your most precious employees may be quality controllers or other specialists in charge of production.
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2. Think about the competences
Now that you know the key roles, it is time to think about the competencies needed to perform those tasks.
Each position requires a certain level of knowledge, skills, and experience. You have to figure it out before finding the right succession candidate because knowledge, skills, and experience are the only parameters that really matter here.
The person who is projected to take over the position must fulfill all of these criteria.
3. Find the best candidates internally
You’ve already targeted key roles and identified the corresponding skills, but now you have to find the best candidates within your team.
The easiest tactic is to ask the existing senior managers to assess their subordinates and then to talk to each candidate separately.
But if you are using some kind of HR software, it also gives you the opportunity to run an independent analysis and make data-driven conclusions based on a candidate’s engagement rate, turnovers, budget management, and so on.
4. Talent management
The next step is to prepare young talents for future challenges, but you must administer this process delicately.
After all, successors have to keep doing their everyday jobs while acquiring new skills needed to replace senior colleagues.
Most companies provide young talents with extensive training and onboarding courses, but they also work on improving communication and other soft skills.
Besides that, it is always useful to let senior managers guide younger colleagues through the process and show them how things work on that level of the organizational hierarchy.
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5. Continuous reevaluation
Continuous monitoring is the last segment of succession planning. You need to analyze how each candidate behaves and regularly evaluate their progress.
It takes a lot of time and subtle maneuvering to successfully replace senior staff, so you need to utilize HR analytics and keep bringing data-driven decisions.
Succession planning is a critical process that somehow gets neglected more often than not. Most companies are not ready to replace their finest employees straight away, thus jeopardizing the workflow both short and long-term.
In this post, we showed you how to improve productivity and create a solid succession plan that would keep your company safe and sound.
About The Author
Susan Saurel is a full-time digital marketer and a part-time blog writer at ResumesPlanet Review. Susan lives in Houston, Texas, but she spends most of her spare time traveling around the globe and meeting new people and cultures. As a passionate marketer, Susan is eager to share the professional experience with her readers.