What Is Succession Planning?

October 25, 2016
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By Alicja Jaworska, Partner at Accord Group Poland

Read the full article on the BlueSteps Executive Career Insider Blog here

It is crucial to have the right people in the right place at the right time. But how do companies identify and develop these skilled people and leaders? Leading organizations recruit superior people, develop their knowledge, skills and abilities, and prepare them for advancement or promotion.

Succession planning, an element of career management process, is the process whereby an organization ensures that employees are recruited and developed to fill each key role within the company. Actively pursuing succession planning ensures that employees are constantly developed to fill each role in the organization. As the organization expands, loses key employees, provides promotional job opportunities and increases sales, succession planning ensures a group of employees are ready and able to fill new roles.

All organizations, no matter their size, need succession planning. While it is less likely that you will have potential successors for every role in a small company, you can minimally cross-train to keep the company operational if a key employee leaves. It allows all managers to know who the key employees are in all areas of the organization and helps them to consider strong players when any key role opens up.

Effective succession planning brings advantages for both employers and employees; employees who know that a next role awaits them receive a boost to self-esteem, which enhances their efficacy and value as an employee.

How Do You Prepare Employees For Your Succession Plan?

  • Identify and understand the specific developmental needs of your employees.
  • Assign them to special projects.
  • Have them take on team leadership roles.
  • Expose them to internal and external training and development opportunities.

The result is retention of superior employees who appreciate the time, attention and development that is being invested in them. Employees are motivated and engaged when they can see a career path for their continued growth and development.

Succession planning and career planning are extremely important tools to build trust, relationships and loyalty. And at the end of the day, the winner is the one who can predict the changes and create the best opportunities for the people to grow to be a part of organizational success.