succession planning

Succession planning is considered as the heart of talent management system. It is also known as “replacement planning” or “succession development”. Generally, it is conducted for the most vital position of a company. But it is required to do for every position. Succession planning process is badly required for every organization to develop talent poll and ensure smooth running of the business operation.

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Succession Planning

Succession planning is the process of leadership transition which is involved in identifying & developing of right person to replace key positions as per the requirement. Organization can identify and develop new leaders through succession management process who can fill the gap of present leaders due to their retirement, leave or pass away.

In talent management process, succession planning helps organization to develop employees for any future crisis position fulfillment. This is the important part of talent management process which develops talent poll and keep them encourage to play role as future leader. Organizations generally uses succession planning to ensure critical position replacement or fulfillment within shortest possible time from the internal positions.


Benefits of Succession Planning

Succession planning provides lot of benefits which are as below:

  1. Provide increased opportunities for high-potential workers.
  2. Identify replacement needs.
  3. Increase the talent pool of promotable employees.
  4. Contribute to strategic planning.
  5. Help individuals to realize their career plans.
  6. Tap the potential for intellectual capital in organization.
  7. Encourage the advancement of diverse group.
  8. Improve employees’ abilities in changing situation.
  9. Improve employee morale.
  10. Cope with the effect of downsizing.
  11. Decide which workers can be terminated without damage to the organization.
  12. Reduce headcount to essential workers only.


Succession Planning in Business

Succession planning is an important prerequisite for the sustainability of every business. There are huge impacts of succession planning in business. It is required for both small and large-scale business organization. Steps of succession planning is little bit different for business succession planning.


7 Key Steps to Succession Planning or Succession Management

Step-1: Setting of Succession Planning Strategy

Setting of appropriate succession planning strategy is the most important stage for successful conduction of succession planning. Strategy should be finalized by considering future business needs of the organization. Minimum 3 to 5 years plan of the organization should be taken into consideration for preparing a succession planning strategy.


Step-2: Identification of the Key Positions

Key positions should be finalized by keeping organization’s long-term strategy in mind. In this stage of succession management system, some key aspects for the critical positions are identified those are- key roles for the position, required skills or competency and behavioral aspects for the position. Based on report, it will be easier to select someone or develop someone for taking leadership of that position in future. This stage is very critical and need more cautions for identification of required skill sets and competency of the position. This stage of succession planning clarifies what performance benchmark strength are required for the next leadership position to successfully handle the responsibility of that position.


Step-3: Identify Potential Employees

Now it’s time to evaluate the competency and skill set of the current employees for the position. An authentic and strategic analysis of the competency and performance metrics of the present employees may help to identify potential employees. The successor for the position may be the employee who is immediately next in the organizational chart, but also consider other promising employees.


Step-4: Notify Employees Succession Potential

Notify the potential candidates regarding expected performance benchmark for the identified critical position of the organization. This notification to potential candidate should be confidential. Organizations expectation and required performance metrics can be shared through individual meeting or mail and get employee’s feedback also because he/she may not agree to take challenges of the position. In that case, organization should select another or hire the suitable from outside.


Step-5: Provide Learning Opportunity

Learning opportunity should be provided not only to the potential candidates, but also for other promising employees. Because a good learning environment culture can motivate employees to give their best effort for organizational development. Potential candidates will take this opportunity to develop their gap and prepare them for the next leadership position. A strategic training and development program should be in place. Give special focus to the successor for learning and development opportunity.


Step-6: Review of Performance Benchmark Strength

Periodical review or evaluation of performance benchmark strengths should have to check to know how candidates are preparing themselves for the challenging position. The effectiveness of the learning program can also be identified through this performance review. If candidates are not able to learn new skills through learning and development program then corrective action should have to take immediately. Based on review report, strategic changes in succession planning can be initiated.


Step-7: Integrate Succession Planning with Recruitment Process

Succession planning should be integrated with recruitment process so that hiring professional can recruit right candidate by keeping succession planning goals or purposes in mind. Then the recruiters will try to find and select the best candidate considering long-tern goals of the organization. It will help to develop successor for the critical position as best talents are picked from the competitive market.


How to Develop Employees by Succession Planning

Succession Planning is not only for achieving long-term organizational goal, but also it helps in employee development. You must know the ways of developing employees through succession planning. There are some steps as below-

  • Lateral Moves
  • Training and Development Opportunities
  • Special Project Assignment
  • Leadership Roles etc.


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