7 Key Steps to Succession Planning & Emerging Benefits

succession planning

Succession planning is generally considered as the heart of the talent management system; sometimes it is 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. The succession planning process is badly required for every organization to develop talent polls and ensure the smooth running of the business operation.

Suggested: 12 Employee Engagement Activities to make Employees Happy


Succession Planning

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

In the talent management process, succession planning helps organizations to develop employees for any future crisis position fulfillment. Succession planning process develops talent poll and keeps them encouraged to play a role as a future leader in the organization. Organizations generally use succession planning to ensure critical position replacement or fulfillment within the shortest possible time from the internal positions.


Benefits of Succession Planning

Succession planning provides a 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 an organization.
  7. Encourage the advancement of diverse groups.
  8. Improve employees’ abilities in changing situations.
  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 organizations. The steps of succession planning are a little bit different for business succession planning.


7 Key Steps to Succession Planning or Succession Management

Step-1: Setting of Succession Planning Strategy

The setting of an appropriate succession planning strategy is the most important stage for the successful conduction of succession planning. The strategy should be finalized by considering the future business needs of the organization. HR professionals generally took into consideration of almost 5 years plan of the organization for preparing a succession planning strategy.


Step-2: Identification of the Key Positions

Key positions should be finalized by keeping the organization’s long-term strategy in mind. In this stage of the succession management system, some key aspects for the critical positions are identified are- key roles for the position, required skills or competency, and behavioral aspects for the position. Based on the report, it will be easier to select someone or develop someone for taking leadership of that position in the future. This stage is very critical and needs more caution for the identification of required skill sets and competency of the position. This stage of succession planning clarifies what performance benchmark strengths 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 accurate competency analysis and performance evaluation of the present employees may help the organization 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 the expected performance benchmark for the identified critical position of the organization. This notification to potential candidates should be confidential. Organizations’ expectations and required performance metrics can be shared through individual meetings or mail and get employee’s feedback also because he/she may not agree to take challenges of the position. In that case, the organization should select another or hire the suitable from outside.


Step-5: Provide Learning Opportunity

Learning opportunities should be provided not only to the potential candidates but also to other promising employees. Because employees get inspired from a good learning environment culture and they give their best effort for organizational development. Potential candidates will grab this good opportunity to develop their competency gaps and prepare them for the next leadership position. A strategic training and development program must be in place to ensure learning opportunities.


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 development program can also be identified through this performance review and publish accordingly. If this training and development program is found inappropriate for the employees then corrective action should have to take immediately. Based on the review report, strategic changes in succession planning can be initiated.


Step-7: Integrate Succession Planning with Recruitment Process

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


How to Develop Employees by Succession Planning

Succession Planning is not only for achieving the long-term organizational goals, 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.


Read More:

10 Simple Tips to Increase Workplace Health and Safety

10 Common Workplace Safety Issues or Workplace Hazards

How to Conduct an Effective Training Needs Analysis

10 Proven Importance of Teamwork in the Workplace