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What is succession planning?

suggestions to kick-start your succession planning,

Succession Planning and Management Five-Step Process


Advantages for Employers and Employees
Succession Plan Best Practices
HR’s Role – Change Champion
4 Tips for Efficient Succession Planning
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Can your workers answer the question, "What is the succession plan at your
company?" They can, if you've shared it. And you can, if you’ve built one for
your accounting department or organization.

Effective succession planning has advantages for your staff members, by


giving them a self-esteem boost and an answer to the question of what’s
next for them. For managers and employers, it’s a proactive measure that
gives them an alignment of talent development with the company’s
future leadership needs.
What is succession planning?

It's a strategy for identifying and developing future leaders at your company — at all
levels. Succession plans are used to address the inevitable changes that occur when
employees resign, retire, are fired, get sick, or die. They make sure the business are
prepared for all contingencies by identifying and training high-potential workers for
advancement into key roles.

Succession planning as, “Any effort designed to ensure the continued effective
performance of an organization, division, department, or work group by making
provisions for the development, replacement and strategic application of key people
over time.”
Cont……………

Succession planning is part of a broader talent management program. Succession


planning aims to attract the best talent, retain those individuals, and develop them
through well-targeted development efforts. Succession planning helps build the bench
strength of an organization to ensure the long-term health, growth and stability.

A systematic approach to ensuring leadership continuity within an organization by


recruiting and/or encouraging individual employee growth and development.

It’s not about having people…it’s about having the right people, in the right place, at
the right time.
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Whenever size and resources permit, a succession plan should involve nurturing and
developing employees from within an organization. Employees who are perceived to
have the skills, knowledge, qualities, experience and the desire can be groomed to
move up to fill specific, key positions. Organizations should:
Assess their current and future needs based on either their strategic plan, goals
and objectives, or priority programs and projects.
Match these to the capabilities of the existing workforce.
Develop a plan to manage the gaps that will arise when individuals in key positions
leave or are promoted.
The plan will generally include a combination of training and developing existing
staff, and external recruitment.
suggestions to kick-start your succession planning,
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1. Be proactive with succession planning

It can take time to find and prepare a promising candidate for a leadership role. As
such, don’t dawdle with this part of your plan. Even if you don’t think you’ll need a
replacement in the near future, prepping someone to assume an important role
creates an invaluable safety net.

2. Keep an open mind


While the obvious successor may be the second in command, don’t disregard other
promising employees. Look for people who best display the skills necessary to thrive
in higher positions, regardless of their current title.

3. Make the vision known


Include potential managers in strategy conversations to help them acquire
planning and leadership skills, as well as a broad vision of the organization and its
objectives. Consider sharing your succession planning with human resources and
your board of directors.
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4. Offer regular feedback to protégés


When someone uses well-honed presentation skills or outperforms on a project,
make note of it. Keep track of these achievements in a top-performer file so you have
something to reference the next time a management position opens. Diligently
chronicling topics like strong work and achievement will also come in handy during
performance reviews
5. Provide training to peak performers
As you identify your top performers, offer mentoring relationships job shadowing
and training, which are true articles of value to help them develop new skills and
refine existing ones. Remember that good leaders not only need technical acumen
but also strong interpersonal skills, including standout verbal and written
communication abilities, as well as tact and diplomacy.
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6. Do a trial run of your succession plan


A vacation is a great time to have a potential successor step in to assume some
responsibilities. The employee will gain experience while you learn how prepared
the person is to take on a bigger role.

7. Use your plan to develop a hiring strategy


Once you’ve identified internal employees as successors for key roles in your
organization, take note of any talent gaps. In this way, the succession planning
process can help you identify where to focus your recruiting efforts.
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Last but not least, a succession plan is an investment in your company's future. If you
are making plans to move up the ranks in the C-suite, bear in mind you’ll need a
successor, too, who’s enthusiastic about being a boss.

Knowing the importance of identifying potential future leaders and developing a


succession plan, you help employees feel valued for their contributions and eager to
realize their potential within the company.
Succession Planning and Management Five-Step Process

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Succession planning and management is an essential component of the broader


human resources planning process. It involves an integrated, systematic approach
for identifying, developing, and retaining capable and skilled employees in line with
current and projected business objectives.

STEP 1. Identify Key Areas and Positions


Key areas and positions are those that are critical to the organization's operational
activities and strategic objectives.
Identify which positions, if left vacant, would make it very difficult to achieve
current and future business goals
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STEP 2. Identify Capabilities for Key Areas and Positions


To establish selection criteria, focus employee development efforts, and set
performance expectations, you need to determine the capabilities required for the
key areas and positions identified in Step 1.
Identify the relevant knowledge, skills (including language), abilities, and
competencies needed to achieve business goals
Use the Key Leadership Competencies profile
Inform employees about key areas and positions and required capabilities
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STEP 3. Identify Interested Employees and Assess Them Against


Capabilities
Determine who is interested in and has the potential to fill key areas and positions.
Discuss career plans and interests with employees.
Identify the key areas and positions that are vulnerable and the candidates who
are ready to advance or whose skills and competencies could be developed within
the required time frame.
Ensure that a sufficient number of bilingual candidates and members of
designated groups are in feeder groups for key areas and positions.
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STEP 4. Develop and Implement Succession and Knowledge Transfer


Plans
Incorporate strategies for learning, training, development, and the transfer of
corporate knowledge into your succession planning and management.
Define the learning, training, and development experiences that your
organization requires for leadership positions and other key areas and positions
Link employees' learning plans to the knowledge, skills (including language), and
abilities required for current and future roles
Discuss with employees how they can pass on their corporate knowledge
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STEP 5. Evaluate Effectiveness

Evaluate and monitor your succession planning and management efforts to ensure
the following:
Succession plans for all key areas and positions are developed;
Key positions are filled quickly;
New employees in key positions perform effectively; and
Members of designated groups are adequately represented in feeder groups for
key areas and positions
Advantages for Employers and Employees
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Effective succession planning brings advantages for both employers and employees
and it's definitely worth your time.

Advantages for employees of succession planning include these:


Employees who know that a next role awaits them receive a boost to self-
esteem and self-respect. This enhances their efficacy and value as an employee.

Knowing the organization's plans for your next potential opportunity—and that
there is one—reinforces your desire for career development and career
opportunities. This development is one of the areas that employees want most
from their employer.

You are able to identify the skills, experience, and development opportunities
necessary to help the employee become prepared for progression when the next
job opportunity turns up.
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The ability to work with their manager or supervisor to make sure that the
employee has a career plan that moves him or her in the direction of their next
opportunity. This person is key to an employee's ability to get the experience and
education needed for career progression.

The employee's value is shared with the rest of the organization so that if an
opportunity comes up, the managers can consider the employee to fill the role. In
an informal system, managers organization-wide may not know the value of the
employee and his or her skills. (Even if the current manager has shared this
information, in the world of busy, it's tough to remember.)
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Advantages for employers of succession planning include these:

You rely on staff to carry out the mission and the vision and to accomplish the
goals of the organization. The loss of a key employee can undermine your ability to
accomplish these important objectives.

You need prepared employees to step into roles as your company grows and
expands its offerings and services. Or, your lack of developed employees will
stymie your growth plans.

The need to have replacement employees ready if you decide to promote


employees or redesign your organization enables you to make necessary changes
without being hampered by a lack of replacements.
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Knowledge about key, skilled, contributing employees is shared with managers


organization-wide. This information allows managers to consider the widest number
of candidates for any open job. It also emphasizes with your employees that your
organization provides the career development opportunities they seek.

The Baby Boomer generation is in the process of retiring. They are taking with
them 30-40+ years of knowledge, experience, working relationships, and
information. You want to capture that knowledge before it walks out your door.

Effective, proactive succession planning leaves your organization well prepared for
all contingencies. Successful succession planning builds bench strength.
Succession Plan Best Practices
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Assessment
of Key
Positions

Development Identification
Monitoring of Key
and Review Talent

Generation Assessment
of of Key
Development Talent
Plans
Succession Plan Best Practices – Step 1
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•What are your critical positions?


•What positions need to have a succession plan?
•How deep in the organization does the assessment need to
Assessment of
Key Positions
penetrate? Top level? Mid level? All employees?
•What are the skills, education and experiences needed to
qualify for each key position? KSAs?
•What behavioral competencies will be required for each
position?
•Plan for future roles, not just existing roles
•Develop desired Leadership Competencies
Succession Plan Best Practices – Step 2
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• Who is on your radar?


Who is a retention risk?

Identification of
 Who has leadership potential?
Key Talent
Who are your critical employees?
‒ Typically at the top 2 levels of the organization and high
potential employees one level below
Identified by management’s assessment of performance
and potential for advancement
‒ Performance evaluations – critical
‒ 360 Evaluations
‒ Personality Assessments
‒ Mentoring/Coaching
Succession Plan Best Practices – Step 3
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For each person on the radar, what are the primary


development needs in order to be ready for the next level?

Assessment of
•Conduct Gap Analysis – what skills are needed vs. what skills
Key Talent are existing in your talent pool?
• Assess everyone in your organization for potential

Who is ready for promotional opportunities within 36


months? 72 months?

 Share analysis with employees to identify steps to


increase readiness
Succession Plan Best Practices – Step 4
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Create a Road Map to Key Positions with supporting structured


Development Plans
•Create a targeted Career Path to get employees “position ready”
Generation • Development Toolbox to provide Job Enrichment:
of
Development ‒ Special Projects or Programs
Plans ‒ Committee or Task Force Assignments
‒ Job rotation
‒ Working with Mentor or Job Coach
‒ 360 Feedback
‒ Seminars, Conferences, Continuing Education
‒ Cross Training
‒ Exposure
– internal and external
‒ Problem resolution opportunities
Succession Plan Best Practices – Step 5
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An annual or semi-annual status check with Board/Senior


Management:

Development ‒ Ensure Success plan still aligns with strategic goals and vision
Monitoring and
Review ‒ Reporting and tracking to evaluate progress
‒ Update development plan for individuals as needed
‒ Ensure Accountability to performance
‒ Measure success to plan
‒ Provide opportunity for on-going feedback
‒ Status check with candidates to confirm engagement