Succession planning is an integral component of the strategic planning process. It helps lessen the risk associated with turnover and nurtures existing talent by matching capable employees with future organizational needs.
Succession plans are used to address the inevitable changes that occur when employees resign, retire or are fired. They ensure that an organization is prepared for all contingencies by identifying and training promising employees for advancement into key roles.
A solid succession plan can assist with business continuity by tapping the potential for intellectual capital within the organization, so that you have people ready to fill roles at all levels and do not have to revert to external hiring.
Building a strong succession planningroad map involves the following steps:
1. Evaluate your current situation:
See if your current business processes and organizational focus are aligned with your vision and plan so that you can prepare for leadership change.
2. Identify key positions:
Determine which positions are critical to the organization’s operational activities and strategic objectives and if left vacant, would negatively impact the achievement of current and future business goals.
3. Identify internal talent and assess them against capabilities:
Assess your internal talent pool first and identify your high-potential employees who show interest and have the potential to fill key positions.
4. Prepare a basket:
Create a specific model forever job that defines the behavior, attitude, skills, knowledge, experience and talent (BASKED necessary to succeed in a role. These models will help employees understand what is expected of them in their current role and what it will take to be ready to move forward.
5. Preserve institutional knowledge:
Document the policies, procedures, plans and activities that would otherwise be lost when people depart. Preserving the ‘institutional knowledge’ of these key positions will help those individuals who replace key leaders in the future.
A succession plan involves an integrated, systematic approach for identifying, developing and retaining capable and skilled employees in line with current and projected business objectives for maximum continuity of operations, retention of institutional knowledge and minimum disruption.
By Fauzia Kerai Khan. The writer is chief executive, i&b Consulting, Training, e-learning. firstname.lastname@example.org