Succession planning

RecruitmentTalent management

If one of your key employees resigned tomorrow, would you be prepared? We work with smart businesses to identify and develop pools of talent at every level of the organization, keeping you one step ahead and creating competitive advantage.

Why do you need to be prepared?

Imagine one of your top managers left tomorrow. What is the extent of the skill gap they would leave, and what impact would this have on the performance of other employees and teams? How long would it take to recruit someone new into the role? Not to mention the additional time of getting that new person up to speed once in the role. It may move others away from their focus if they need to take on extra roles and responsibilities in the interim. The impact that one departure can have on the performance of the wider business is huge, and costly.

So how can you be more prepared? You need to incorporate a succession plan into your overall strategy, however this should cover much more than just preparing for business exits and identifying potential leadership successors.

Succession planning encompasses:

  • Identifying high performing employees with the potential to take on more responsibility
  • Being able to provide targeted development opportunities to those with the potential to move into more senior roles
  • Supporting the leadership to help develop these future leaders
  • Making better recruitment and promotion decisions based on employee data
  • Improving retention, commitment and satisfaction
  • Meeting the expectation of employees throughout their careers with development support
  • Reducing recruitment time and costs
  • Planning for business exits and future skill gaps - preparing the business for what can be predicted about its future

Your succession plan ensures that you are constantly empowering and developing your existing employees, guaranteeing that you have a pool of talent ready and waiting for advancement and promotion into ever more challenging roles when they arise. This requires developing employees at every level of the organization, not just those at the top.

There are many steps, which you can start to implement today:

  • Recruit candidates whose vision and goals are aligned with those of the organization
  • Foster leadership values within the company culture
  • Reward leaders and high performers to ensure they feel valued
  • Develop individuals into their next role before they are truly ready
  • Outline a clear strategy for the succession process
  • Consider having one or two 'back-up' employees who could fulfill key roles within the organization at all times

Succession planning goes beyond just identifying future leaders - careful planning is required and a process should be implemented.

  1. Start by identifying the areas and roles that are strategic to your organization's success, the obvious one being your leadership team
  2. Next, consider areas that may be strategic to future success, for example, are there external factors such as technology advancements that may impact your business?
  3. Identify any skills, knowledge and experience required and find out if you have any current employees who may already have expertise in these emerging areas
  4. Identify training resources that can help develop the required competencies
  5. Analyze your people data to identify your high performers
  6. Also identify those who demonstrate the drive, passion and potential to progress in your organization
  7. Assess your people to find out what motivates them, how to keep them engaged, what kind of manager do they respond to best, then adapt your style to accommodate these preferences
  8. And there you have it! You will now be on your way to having rich pools of talent throughout the organization, which you can recruit from when gaps arise.

This should be an ongoing process to ensure that your talent pools never run dry. Your talent strategy will also assist you in keeping your workforce engaged, as employees are motivated when they can see opportunities for growth and development.