7 Step Guide to Succession Planning Process

by Salman Jogiyat

A workplace will have no meaning without talented working people in place! Whether you have a BIG or SMALL BUSINESS- proper workforce is the SPINE giving it the needed strength. No matter what, you can’t run a business without talented professionals ready to move into key positions when the current occupants leave. Please Note: Even the most successful companies can run off a cliff if they don’t have a solid succession plan.

What is succession planning?

Succession planning is an omnipresent strategy used for identifying and developing future leaders at your company — not just at the top level but also for major roles at all levels. It helps your business pull its socks for all contingencies by having high-potential workers for advancement.

To know how- here are 7 tips for kicking in the succession planning process for your business.

  1. Be Proactive with a Plan

Sometimes, you’ll know in advance if a hard-to-replace professional is going to leave the company – a planned retirement. But other times, you’ll be floored by a sudden and potentially disorienting staff departure. That’s why it is important to have a proper plan — as a backup.

For this, do consider all the key roles on your team and answer these two important questions:

  • What’s the day-to-day impact of X position on our company or department?
  • If the person currently in X position left, how would that impact our operations?
  1. Markup Succession Candidates

Once you have a grasp on the ripple effect that the departure of certain employees might cause, choose team members who could potentially step up into those positions.

Ask yourself:

  • If we were to hire for an X position internally, which employees would be the strongest candidates for this role?
  • Would those candidates need training? And, if so, what type?

While the obvious successor to a role may be the person who is next in line, don’t discount other promising employees if any. Look for people who showcase the key skill set necessary to thrive in higher positions.

But don’t just assume you know how people on your team view their career upswing. You may have certain team members in mind for senior management roles, but who’s to say they’ll even be interested in the idea once it’s proposed? If you haven’t already, talk to these employees about how they view their professional life before making your succession decision.

  1. Do Allow Them to Know

In private meetings, explain to each candidate that they’re being bookmarked for positions. Establish an understanding that there are no guarantees, and the situation can change as per the circumstances encountered by either the company or the succession candidates in position.

  1. Raise Professional Development Efforts

Ideally, you have already been brainstorming a lot about the professional development of those you select as your succession choices. Now that preparation needs a little but much-required makeover. Job rotation is a fun way to help your candidates gain additional knowledge and experience.

  1. Take up a Test Trial of Your Succession Plan

Don’t wait for a staffing crisis to test whether an employee has the caliber to take up a more advanced role. It’d be wise to have a potential successor assume some responsibilities of a manager as a trial. The employee will gain valuable experience and appreciate the opportunity to prove their worth. And from there you can assess where that person might need some additional training and development.

  1. Align your Succession Plan into your Hiring Strategy

Once you’ve identified employees as successors for critical roles, keep tabs on any talent gaps they would leave. That can help you better identify where to focus your future recruiting efforts.

  1. Think about Your Own Successor

If you want to take advantage of a new opportunity or retire from the workforce, even your role could need proper backfilling. When making a succession plan for your organization, be sure to include your position. Which employee could you see taking the lead? And what can you do, starting now, to help that person prepare for the inevitable yet necessary transition?

Your staff members aren’t fixed assets — and changes in your team’s lineup is the key to let the WORK GO ON. You may not always have an idea of what is on an employee’s mind when they plan to stay or leave the organization. This is why with effective succession planning- you can ensure a way for continuity, productivity and flow of work in your business.

Ansh Aggarwal has 6+ years of experience in the B2B Marketing space in India and International markets. Currently associated with Zimyo, Ansh is taking care of the entire gamut of marketing activities for the on-boarding of Enterprise clients. He communicates directly/indirectly with Industry leader CXOs, CHROs, IT Heads to understand their challenges and come up with solutions that are enabling them to transform their company into an employee-centric organization.

Succession stock photo by Inna Kot/Shutterstock

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