Succession planning is the process of identifying, developing, and placing the right talent in critical roles to ensure the continued performance of the organization. In addition to the process, it requires ongoing program management to deliver the expected results. A succession plan safeguards that preparation is in place for worst-case talent scenarios.
Succession planning is an important part of the talent management process. It provides a way to identify key roles, people with the right skills, and positions that may need filling in a short space of time. It also provides a way to cut the costs of recruitment, enabling organizations to manage recruitment in-house.
A succession plan should showcase growth opportunities and challenge employees to be successful. A strong plan allows employees to have a more positive outlook on their future within the company, which gives the stronger possibility for longevity. Succession planning builds a pool of trained workers who are ready to fill key roles when positions become available. Organizations with succession planning programs in place foster a talent-oriented culture by recruiting skilled workers and top talent.
Some of the risks for not having and implementing a progressive succession plan include the following:
Never assume all employees desire the same things. Seeing leadership potential in an individual does not mean that an employee shares in a desire for growth. If you see leadership but the employee is not ready, continue to communicate with that individual in case desires change as the company changes as well.
Human Resources will typically be responsible for developing the succession plan and distribution of all related materials, as well for its implementation. This must be done with the full involvement and engagement of all senior leaders. The culture of the company must be respectful of the culture of the employees to be most successful.