Skip to main content

Succession planning focuses on business-critical positions and developing the right people to step into those roles when the time comes. It is the process of identifying and training those with the potential to become future leaders in the organisation and ensure that work doesn’t get affected in the absence of employees holding key positions.

The importance of succession planning is often overlooked, yet it is crucial for assuring a company’s long-term success. It is an essential component of how businesses safeguard for unforeseen circumstances by identifying and nurturing the people that will fill critical roles in times of change.

Although, succession planning shouldn’t just be viewed as a contingency for catastrophe. It is also an excellent opportunity to unearth talent within a company and develop existing employees into greater assets through long term leadership development and management training.

No matter the size or scale of the business, the fundamental principles of successful succession planning remain the same. Here are a few of the principles all of the best companies follow when it comes to succession planning.

1. Regular talent reviews

Many organisations fall short when it comes to employee development and identifying potential leaders simply because they are not paying close enough attention to their workforce. The best businesses review employee performance and assess development needs at least twice a year to ensure employees’ skills aren’t being under-utilised.

2. Plan successors top down for all key roles

The departure of the presiding CEO might be the most consequential for a business, but it is also important to have succession plans in place for the leaders of all key departments. In larger businesses, it could be argued that this is also the case for teams within departments.

3. Consistent Assessment Approach

It is also important that businesses have set criteria for identifying succession candidates to ensure consistency and fairness across the organisation. Consider current performance and future potential and employees’ desire to work in particular roles and at a senior level.

4. Development programmes

During each review stage, it is vital to assess your people’s development needs, not just in relation to their technical abilities. Analyse their current performance against critical competencies for their roles and ensure they receive the appropriate support to develop those skills and develop areas that will help them prepare for their next role within the company.

5. Career mapping

Career mapping enables managers to use it with employees during career planning meetings. It ensures that managers know employees’ career aspirations and helps them think strategically about their professional development and how to achieve their goals within the organisation. Furthermore, employee engagement increases when individuals understand the potential for progression within the company that is consistent with their overall career plan.

Get in touch to discuss how Delphinium can support you in developing an effective succession plan that can help you to future proof your business.

Author: Gemma Rolstone | Published 18th October 2021