Ensure Organization’s Future with Effective Succession Plan

 If you haven’t created a formal succession planning or management program, you need to ask some questions to yourself like, what if something happens to the key leader or executive team? Or what do we do about succession in C-level executive? It might sound scary and can lead to intense pressure. For smoothing running of the business, it is required to think about a perfect succession plan.

Start succession planning as early as possible; as it involves the process of developing talent to replace executive, leadership or other key employees when they switch to another role, company, are fired, retire or die.

A few years back, when Steve Jobs became CEO of Apple Inc. he groomed successor Tim Cook to take the leadership role. When predecessor Steve Jobs’ health was not well and was on sick leave, successor Time Cook stepped in to lead day-to-day operations. Now current CEO Tim Cook is grooming other promising employees to take over his role in the future. Succession planning is not only restricted to larger companies; it is also significant to all types of companies.

Determine the Plan

First, define the reason for developing succession planning, i.e., numbers of employees who are going to retire or leave the organization in the next one or two years. Figure out which positions are considered critical in the organization. Construct the succession plan that can meet the organization’s needs. Develop the right succession planning team to prepare the plan. Share succession planning with human resources, the board of directors and key leaders.

Find Most Promising Employee or Successor

Figure out a senior employee who is going to leave the organization or getting retired soon. Start looking for promising employee or successor who best displays the skills and qualities necessary to thrive in higher positions. After identifying the successor, offer proper mentoring, training, and development program that would help to fit in the new role. Make investment in growth of the ideal candidates who are going to replace the senior employee or manager.

Concrete Action Plan

A succession plan needs to be translated into concrete action plans along with measurable goals, stated timelines, and people accountable for taking various actions or applying required processes. The organization can also do a trial run of the succession plan, during vacation to check how prepared the person or successor is to take on a new role. The effective implementation of the plan needs continuous monitoring and should be evaluated on timely basis to avoid unexpected events.

The succession planning program continues to gain popularity among the companies in recent years. It helps to find out employees with the right skills and abilities that can help them move up senior level executives. The replacement takes place within the organization which saves cost and the successor is the insider who already aware of the work culture. Yes, the succession planning process is tricky because it great responsibility to find the right fit or replacement of the key employee. It will affect the company hugely in long term, if the team fails to select a right successor. It is one of the most significant HR strategies in the organization as it ensures the future of the organization.

–  Nilam Thakkar

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