Succession planning is a process that helps you quickly identify employees who are ready, or will be ready, to step into a job when you have a new role to fill or when someone in a key position leaves. In this video, learn how to build and implement an ef
- If the Director of Product Development had to suddenly leave your company due to an illness, who would take their place? What if your top salesperson is wooed away to another firm? Who will take over their clients? Do you have great people standing by ready to fill these roles? Succession planning is a process to identify employees who are ready or will be ready to step in when and where you need them. When someone in a key position leaves the organization, or you have a new role to fill, succession planning ensures you can fill the role quickly with a great person.
I want to share the steps you need to take to make succession planning a success. Begin by identifying the leadership positions and critical roles in your company. Of course, this includes senior and mid-level management, but who else? What other positions require unique skills and knowledge about the company, such as engineering or product development? What roles would cause the company great hardship if they were vacant for a period of time? Succession planning isn't just about finding replacements for leadership roles.
Your plans should include all the roles that won't be easy to fill but that are critical to the business. As you create the list, be sure to include new rules that you may need in the next six to 12 months to support your business goals. The next step is to identify current employees who might fill these roles and determine how ready they are to take on the job. Identify their strengths in development areas. Look at the experiences they've had and what they'll need to be successful in the new role.
I've put a succession plan template in the Exercise Files. Download a copy and use it at this step of your process. A common method used to assess talent for succession planning is the talent review. The talent review is a set of discussions to identify the strengths and development areas of individuals to determine how ready they may be to take on a new role. A tool called the 9 Box Grid is often part of the talent review.
This tool helps identify high potential individuals and determine their readiness to step into a leadership position. Download a copy from the Exercise Files. Then, check out my other course on this site called Finding and Retaining High Potential Talent and watch the video using succession planning. The final and most important step is to build a development plan for each individual identified as a successor. Don't just make a list of names and then stop.
Build a robust development plan to address their skill gaps and get them ready. The development plan should focus on the skills and experiences each potential successor needs to be ready to step into a new role. This plan should include training, mentoring, coaching, and new job experiences. When you have great people lined up and prepared to step up into key roles, your business won't miss a beat when someone leaves unexpectedly. You'll save time and money, and your business will always have people to step in when and where you need them.
- Building a successful talent management strategy
- Identifying talent needs and assessing existing talent
- Recruiting and hiring the right people
- Developing employees to meet talent needs
- Implementing a succession planning process
- Focusing on engagement and retention
- Increasing talent visibility
- Creating a strong HR and business partnership
- Designing a high-performance culture