Succession planning is not a ploy to help someone you like into their next job, it’s an organizational strategy that is designed to provide a smooth leadership transition when someone makes a move and yet only 35% of businesses have a formalized succession plan in place!
The wonderful thing about succession planning is that it allows you to both nurture and identify key talent that has the potential to provide quality leadership in the future, leaving you confident that your company is in safe hands. If you are leading a business or a department, then we have shared the things you need to consider when thinking about succession planning – take a look now.
Why Succession Planning is So Important
We all know that appropriate planning sits right at the heart of any business, helping you to create a stable business that can thrive. One key area that can quickly bring significant instability is a question mark over the organizational leadership and that’s why succession planning is so important.
Using succession planning strategies enables you to take a proactive approach to find the next generation of leaders, nurturing talent, and ensuring that your business can pass over to the next pair of hands without concern. Many people wrongly assume that succession planning is about picking one key player from within the company whereas in practice, it is about creating a culture of progression and an openness to talent discovery that can benefit the company’s needs over time.
How to Create a Succession Plan That Works
Even if you are already a fan of a succession plan, knowing how to implement one in the best conceivable way can be difficult, especially when you have a wide range of other responsibilities that need your attention. Take a look at our simple steps to creating a succession plan that really works:
- Involve a Team – succession planning is not something that should be held by one person, instead, it should be a team approach. Take your executive team and department heads as your succession planning team and use their knowledge to make the progress you need.
- Assess Your Current Talent – once you have a team dedicated to succession planning you will need to assess the talent that is already within your company and highlight any specific areas that are lacking so that you can start to consider where specific skills need to be nurtured.
- Provide Opportunities – if you are keen to develop talent from within, you will need to provide opportunities for people to succeed. Think about mentoring and coaching as well as the use of secondments to help individuals get the skillset they will need for promotion in the future.
- Create a Culture of Progression – finally, once you are clear on what you want to achieve, take the time to share this with your employees so that they know you are prepared to invest in their development with the opportunity to progress in the future. This will help to increase motivation and allow employees to see a future with your company.
Key Problems That Succession Planning Brings
No matter how invested you are in the notion of succession planning, there will always be obstacles that you will need to overcome or adapt to in order to get what you want. One of the fundamental issues with succession planning is the lack of diversity and fresh perspective that it brings, especially when you only promote from within. To avoid this issue, you will need to take significant steps to take an inclusive approach, making sure that underrepresented groups are specifically considered when making succession decisions.
You will also need to consider reticence from your executive team that may consider their current role to be the one that they will stay in until retirement. This type of thinking can have a detrimental impact on the progression of a company, and it is much better to work towards a leadership team that can switch roles every year or so, helping to keep people fresh and promoting the right talent at the right time,
The final issue is a lack of willingness to formalize succession plans for roles that will become vacant, with just 21% of companies having a clear and structured plan in place that is regularly reviewed. Rather than being a one-time decision that produces a document everyone files away, it should be updated and adapted on a regular basis to ensure that the company’s needs are being properly met. This will require ongoing input and a succession-focused committee, but the benefits of doing this will far outweigh the additional time commitment required.
Get More Information From GeneCoda®
If you are interested in getting more advice about succession planning and executive roles, then GeneCoda® is here to help. Our team has years of executive experience and will work with you to create a succession route that will ensure your company continues to thrive. Reach out today and let us support your succession planning needs.