Succession Planning

Succession Planning is a process for identifying and developing internal personnel who have the potential to fill key positions in an organization.

Overall, the goals of Succession Planning are:

  • Development of talent.
  • Improvement of employee commitment and retention.
  • Preparation of current employees to undertake key roles.
  • Meeting career development goals of valuable employees.
  • Focusing leadership on continuity and improving knowledge sharing.
  • Elimination of the need for an external recruiting process when a key role is vacant.
  • Providing an effective method for tracking employee proficiency levels and skill gaps.

Many organizations develop detailed plans for succession but “drop the ball” when it comes to execution.  Our Member-Partners help clients, not just by developing plans, but by “picking up the ball” to ensure execution.

Our Member-Partners assist clients in the implementation of the following five stages of effective Succession Planning by:

1) Identifying key roles for succession.

  • Selection of key positions and the relative risk of a vacancy.
  • Interviews with senior executives and people in key roles to identify the long-term vision and direction of the company and each key position.

2) Developing a clear understanding of the hard skills and competencies of the key roles.

  • Identification of the responsibilities, skills, and competencies required at present for each position.
  • Identification of the changes in responsibilities, skills, and competencies of each position over the next 3 to 5 years.

3) Realistically identifying employees who could potentially fill each role, along with the gaps in skills and competencies between their present positions and targeted roles.

  • Determining what and how to communicate to identified employees.
  • Assessment of hard and soft skills of potential candidates (e.g., personality assessments, 360 Reviews, etc.)

4) Ensuring that the chosen employee for a given role receives the training in the skills and competencies for the role.

  • Identifying internal and external education (e.g., specific training programs, certifications, memberships, reading, etc.) and experiential sources (e.g., mentors, coaches, planned assignments, etc.) to close the skills and competencies gaps and build the “bench strength” of the chosen employee.
  • Preparation and execution of an action plan.
  • Identification of retention strategies (e.g., special projects, compensation, bonuses, recognition, etc.) for the chosen employee.

5) Monitoring the outcomes and ongoing preparedness of the chosen employee for a particular role compared to the action plan and revising as necessary.

As the above 5 steps reveal, Succession Planning is not a complicated process.  However, it is a process and it does require attention to the details and holding people accountable for results.

To receive information about our Succession Planning process, contact a Member-Partner in your area or our corporate offices.