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Do You Have A Succession Plan?

A team within a successful business is cohesive, working to achieve goals and grow together as a strong entity. Furthermore, amidst those strong entities are critical positions filled by individuals. Suppose the employees who serve those crucial roles expectedly or unexpectedly leave the company. In that case, their void could negatively impact the organization. However, through succession planning, an organization of any size can remain stable and develop despite uncertainties. 

What Is a Succession Plan?

A succession plan identifies critical roles within a business and strategically recognizes and develops individuals to fulfill those positions. Whether employees, especially critical ones, move on, retire, or pass away, a succession plan helps organizations operate effectively.

Types of Succession Planning

There are predominantly three types of succession plans, including:

1. Emergency or interim

2. Strategic and ongoing leadership development

3. Defined departure

No matter the type of succession plan, there are many benefits to establishing one for your organization.

Benefits of Succession Planning

Succession planning prepares and strengthens your organization, helping you:

  • Recognize important positions and determine prospective vacancies
  • Identify critical competencies and skillsets required for business progression
  • Develop team members and employees to fulfill organizational needs

6 Steps to Create a Succession Plan

The following are six steps to create a succession plan. 

1. Be proactive and pre-plan

Businesses are similar to a living structure, continually changing, transforming, and developing. Part of that change includes shifts within your team and their roles. By being proactive and pre-planning for future role transitions, you’ll continue to operate as a strong unit even if critical individuals leave.

You can begin your succession planning process by: 

  • Identifying your current business structure
  • Defining your future business plan
  • Examining and updating job descriptions
  • Creating buy-in from your leaders and managers
  • Appointing someone to manage the succession plan

2. Identify prospective positions and successors

Next, you’ll need to determine which roles are most crucial to your business and discover who could fill those positions. This phase helps determine who may likely leave and helps identify skillsets and experience needed for the specified critical jobs. Additionally, it would be best to communicate with your team about their future career aspirations to understand who you might consider for which position. You can also incorporate needed and desired characteristics as part of your recruitment or hiring process.

3. Create a succession roadmap and profile

A profile is a description of an individual or organization. By developing a roadmap to help you achieve your goals, you can determine what job profile will help you move forward within your plan. You can consider your mission, vision, and skills needed to get there. Also, take into account behaviors and traits to help best fulfill those profiles reflecting those critical roles.  

4. Compare your roadmap and profile with successors

With a roadmap and profiles in place, you can identify which successors have the skills, experience, and personal attributes that the role requires.  

5. Identify gaps and establish personal development

With successors now identified, you can determine any gaps in their knowledge or skill sets that you can address with resources and training. If the gap is too significant, you might consider examining another prospect to fill that position. 

If you haven’t already, work with your team, helping them grow professionally to prepare for future succession jobs. Rotate them into different positions, and help them work with mentors, continually planning and developing for the future. Through identification and development, you can be confident that knowledge and experience transfer to future successors. 

6. Create an implementation plan and then test it 

We’ve finally arrived at implementing your succession plan! It’s also helpful to try out your succession plan. For example, when leaders go on vacation, you can use this as an opportunity for prospective employees to fill those roles. 

Consistently implementing your succession plan and keeping it up to date is critical for its successful impact.

Succession planning is critical for any organization to ensure continued stability and development despite uncertainties. But, developing one can be challenging. At Belfield, we understand the complexities involved in creating and implementing any plan. Our team has over 170 years of cumulative experience. As a result, we can help equip your leadership team with the tools needed to develop and execute an effective succession plan. Experience the Belfield difference!