Why Succession Planning Is So Important

Smart Advantage Succession Planning

Why Succession Planning Is So Important

So what happens when a key employee resigns to join another company, retires, impacted by a medical condition or leaves for a ‘sea change’?

You may end up with a wide talent gap – with untrained or underqualified people moving into crucial roles because there is no one better to take over.

A succession plan will go a long way in minimising the effect of such a loss and should be considered as a risk management strategy in the same way you assess your insurance risks.

What is Succession Planning?

Through your succession planning process, you identify such key roles and their associated knowledge, skills, and abilities requirements and identify your replacement strategy;

  • Recruit externally
  • Determine internal successor(s) and plan for their advancement

Actively pursuing succession planning ensures that employees are constantly developed to fill each needed role. As your organisation expands, loses key employees, provides promotional opportunities, and increases sales, your succession planning guarantees that you have employees on hand ready and waiting to fill new roles.

Fundamental to the succession-management process is an underlying philosophy that argues that top talent in the business must be managed for the greater good of the enterprise.

Objectives of Succession Planning:

  • Identify those with the potential to assume greater responsibility in the organisation
  • Provide critical development experiences to those that can move into key roles
  • Engage the leadership in supporting the development of high-potential leaders
  • Build a data base that can be used to make better staffing decisions for key jobs
  • Improve employee commitment and retention
  • Meet the career development expectations of existing employees
  • Counter the increasing difficulty and costs of recruiting employees externally

Key Benefits of having a Succession Plan:

  • Expect for the best, plan for the worst – If you don’t address succession planning now you may end up facing the burden in the middle of a crisis.
  • Understand what your risks are and if you do not have internal successors, build networks and recognise who you might want in your business.
  • Identify your best talent, recognise and their training for future roles should incorporate a broad range of learning opportunities and expose to broader aspects of the business
  • Employees appointed to crucial roles from the inside the business may outperform outsiders.
  • A development program for future leaders is worthwhile because it creates a motivated, loyal and capable group of employees that are ready to move forward in the organisation when the need arises.
  • Provides a sense of direction, stability and expectations for all key stakeholders: employees, customers, shareholders and vendors.
  • Retain a critically important employee who might otherwise leave if not formally recognised as the successor

How We Can Help You

Smart Advantage can assist clients by facilitating annual succession planning reviews as an integral component of organisational workforce planning strategies. Together we identify key people and look at their retention, engagement and further development potential.

Matched with an understanding of your strategic direction, we ensure that the organisations and people are capable of delivering outcomes. Potential successors are identified and their developmental needs assessed. Training needs, up lining opportunities and potential to involve them with internal projects and strategic decisions are considered.

Behavioural profiling can be used to assess likely suitability for progression and leadership potential.
Smart Advantage’s succession planning services involve working with management at all levels and introducing a systematic approach to talent identification and development.
We follow through with developing personal or departmental action plans, establishing time frames and monitoring progress.

Rowen Gransden is founder of Smart Advantage Consulting and a Master Distributor for Harrison Assessments.