What is Succession Planning?
Succession planning is the process that helps in identifying and developing potential employees who can fill key leadership roles within an organization in times of inevitable changes.
It helps in determining the employees who possess the right set of skills and experience for future leadership positions.
By keeping the current and future goals in mind, succession planning ensures that you have capable staff in the right positions at all times with less or no interruptions.
Read on to get an insight into why succession planning is important and the steps involved.
- Why is succession planning important?
- What are the types of succession planning?
- What are the five steps in succession planning?
Importance of Succession Planning
Succession planning is an important aspect of human resource management as it helps in maximizing performance and efficient management of the employees of an organization.
It is important for every organization as it helps in preparing a pipeline of talent ready to take on leadership positions when they become available. Doing so can determine the long-term success and stability of an organization and helps in creating a diverse and comprehensive leadership team.
Succession planning in HR is important for every organization to regularly review and update their succession plans to ensure that they are meeting the current and future needs of the organization.
The importance and major benefits of succession planning are discussed below:
Ensures a Stable and Capable Leadership Team
Succession planning helps an organization prepare a stable and capable leadership team in place to guide the organization through times of change and uncertainty.
By identifying and developing capable employees to fill key leadership roles, an organization can be better prepared to handle the departure of key leaders or other disruptions to the leadership team.
It allows supervisors and mentors to transfer their expertise to whoever is next in line to avoid loss of cost, productivity, and time throughout the replacement process.
Also Read: What are the top leadership skills to acquire in 2023
Builds a Pipeline of Talent
An organization identifies suitable employees and prepares them while creating a pipeline of talent that can be tapped into leadership positions when required.
This is an efficient process rather than recruiting external candidates who may not be as familiar with the organization's culture and operations.
Promotes Diversity and Inclusion
It helps in identifying employees from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
This creates a diverse and inclusive leadership team, which can bring new perspectives and ideas to the organization and better reflect the needs and concerns of the organization's stakeholders.
Facilitates Smooth Transitions
It ensures smooth transitions when key leaders leave the organization or new leadership roles become available.
By having a pool of well-trained and qualified candidates who are familiar with the culture and operations, the organization can avoid disruptions and maintain continuity in its leadership.
The given image can be referred to understand what an ideal succession planning model looks like:
What Are the Types of Succession Planning?
There are different types of succession planning and every organization can tailor them as per their requirements and goals.
Emergency Succession Planning
This type of succession planning focuses on identifying and developing employees with high potential who can quickly and effectively step into leadership roles in the event of an unexpected departure or other emergencies.
It is most important for organizations that rely on key leaders to function effectively.
Long-term Succession Planning
This type of succession planning focuses on employees who have the potential to fill leadership roles in the long-term future rather than at present.
It is often used to build a pipeline of talent that can be tapped into leadership positions when they become vacant over time.
Succession Planning for Specific Positions
This type of succession planning focuses on developing employees who have the potential to fill in definite leadership positions within the organization.
It is often used to ensure that qualified candidates are ready to step into specific roles as they become available.
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Internal Succession Planning
This variation of succession planning is focused on identifying and developing current employees within the organization who have the potential to fill leadership roles.
It helps the organization build a strong pool of talents internally so they can be tapped into leadership positions as and when required.
External Succession Planning
This approach of succession planning is focused on recruiting candidates from external sources who possess the right set of skills and experience to fill leadership roles within the organization.
It is often used to bring in fresh perspectives and new ideas from outside the organization.
The 5 Stages of Succession Planning
Every organization has its own set of goals and hence the process of succession planning differs for all according to their specific requirements.
However, the common succession planning process includes:
Identifying Key Leadership Positions
The first step in succession planning is to identify the key leadership positions that are critical to the long-term success and stability of the organization.
This may include positions such as CEO, CMO, CFO, and other top-level executives.
Determining the Skills & Experience Required for Each Position
When key leadership positions have been identified, the next step is to determine the skills and experience that will be needed for each position in the future
This may involve conducting job analyses and evaluating the current and future needs of the organization.
Also Read: What skills to put on a resume
Recognizing & Assessing Potential Candidates
The next step in succession planning is to identify and assess potential candidates who have the potential to fill key leadership positions in the future.
This may involve conducting assessments such as performance evaluations, skills assessments, and personality tests to identify employees who have the potential to be successful leaders.
Strategizing a Plan for Employee Development
Once potential candidates have been identified, the next step is to develop a plan for employee development that will help them gain the skills and experience they need to succeed in leadership roles.
This may involve providing training and development opportunities, such as leadership development programs and mentorship opportunities.
Monitoring and Reviewing the Succession Plan
The final step in succession planning is to regularly monitor and review the succession plan to ensure that it is meeting the needs of the organization and that potential candidates are making progress in their development.
This may involve conducting regular evaluations and assessments of the succession plan and making necessary adjustments.
Also Read: What is job evaluation and what is its importance?
- Succession planning is the process that helps an organization identify and develop potential employees who can fill key leadership roles.
- Succession planning in HR is an important aspect in every organization to identify and develop potential candidates for filling suitable positions.
- It helps establish a stable and capable talent pool for any future transitional changes.
- Every organization can opt for various succession planning strategies as per its set of goals and requirements.
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