As many of us have learned over the past months, we can’t predict the future–maybe this time has sparked your business to change leaders or direction.
No matter what your size, you can’t run a business without talented people ready to move into key positions when the current occupants leave. Even the most successful companies can run off a cliff if they don’t have a solid succession plan in place.
What is Succession Planning?
Succession planning is a strategy for identifying and developing future leaders at your company–at all levels. It helps your business prepare for all contingencies by preparing high-potential workers for advancement. Unfortunately, though, succession planning is often toward the bottom of a business’ to-do list.
In this current time of reflection, consider the following tips for forming a succession plan. If you’re ready to take it one step further, or are over your head given the current circumstances, contact the season professionals at Floro Business Strategies to begin examining your situation closely, determining needed improvements, and developing a plan for an effective transition.
While it is a long process, succession planning is absolutely critical to the continued and future success of a company. Knowing where you’ve been is just as important as knowing where you are and where you’re going. Effective succession planning is all about regenerating the role with a new person when the need arises, and in that way, leaders and companies can avoid demise and insure success.
Once you have a handle on the ripple effect that the departure of certain employees might cause, choose team members who could potentially step into those positions.
While the obvious successor to a role may be the person who is immediately next in line in the organizational chart, don’t discount other promising employees. Look for people who display the skills necessary to thrive in higher positions, regardless of their current title.
In private meetings, explain to each protege that they’re being singled out for positions of increasing importance. Establish an understanding that there are no guarantees, and the situation can change due to circumstances encountered by either the company or the succession candidates themselves.
Ideally, you have already been investing in the professional development of those you select as your succession choices. Now that preparation needs to be ramped up. Job rotation is a good way to help your candidates gain additional knowledge and experience–and connecting them with mentors can boost their abilities in the critical area of soft skills.
Don’t wait until there’s a staffing crisis to test whether an employee has the right stuff to assume a more advanced role. Have a potential successor assume some responsibilities of a manager who’s taking a vacation. The employee will gain valuable experience and you can assess where that person might need some improvement.
Once you’ve identified employees as successors for critical roles in your organization, take note of any talent gaps they would leave behind if tapped. That can help you identify where to focus your future recruiting efforts.
When making a succession plan for your organization, be sure to include your own position. Remember that your staff members aren’t fixed assets–and you may not always be able to predict an employee’s departure from the firm. Effective succession planning can help you pave the way for your business’s continuity and future.
Thoughtful planning can not only enable a company to continue to thrive in the midst of both expected and unexpected leadership changes, but can also allow for a well-timed and favorable exit strategy for those who have paved the way but are now ready to transition into the next phase of life. If today’s environment has prompted the thought of succession, or allowed time to finally prepare a plan, let’s talk.
Floro Business Strategies: Where Business Leaders Meet the Future…Today