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6 Tips for Succession Planning

Tips for Succession Planning

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Succession Planning

A succession planning strategy is more than just identifying a successor. Deciding which roles within an organisation to have a succession plan in place is crucial. Many organisations are realising it should not just be the top-level positions that are succession planned. How to create a succession planning strategy, and who should be responsible for the succession planning, is also vital. To get the most benefit from succession planning, your company’s top management must begin with a clear idea of who your company is in order to plan properly for its future.

Succession planning ensures you have a systematic process for preparing employees to fill key roles as they become vacant. It involves assessing and developing a talent pool of employees who are highly capable and show great potential for career growth. The Software Advice research highlighted that 62% of employees surveyed said they would be ‘significantly more engaged’ at work if their company had a succession plan. Hence, having proper processes in place would act as an incentive and motivate employees to perform better at their job. Here are 6 tips for succession planning:

  1. Timely communication
  2. Establish who needs to know what and when
  3. Balance transparency with confidentiality
  4. Convey a standardised, formal selection process
  5. Regularly review the succession plan
  6. Highlight the career development aspect
  1. Timely communication

Often companies do not inform the employee they have been identified as the next successor in line for a key role in the organisation. Research reveals that 25% of employees in line are not aware they are the chosen successor.

Informing the successor in line that they have been chosen for a future role lets them know that they are valued by the organisation. it also signals to them that the organisation has plans for them to progress upward in the organisation. Hence, making them feel more engaged and likely to stay with the company longer.

  1. Establish who needs to know what and when

Timing is everything. When making the announcement of the departure of a highly-valued employee, it can cause uncertainty among the team. Hence, only make the announcement once the successor has accepted the new role. This would give more time for the team to adjust to the change.

  1. Balance transparency with confidentiality

Discuss with the C-suite and the successor on the types of information to be shared internally or treated as highly confidential. As succession planning can often include sensitive issues, it is key that only those who are affected need to know of this.

  1. Convey a standardised, formal selection process

Depending on the nature of the role and size of the company, it is best to have a formal selection process in place. Sharing the formal process and criteria for choosing successors, ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to put their name in for the role. It also demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to mentor and develop the employee so that they are ready to take over.

  1. Regularly review the succession plan

In today’s fast paced world, a six-monthly review of the company’s succession plan for all key roles is best. Generally, succession planning is a long-term preparation process that takes between 12 to 36 months. It encourages team members and leaders to think and see the big picture during program development. Moreover, a regular review of the plans with the senior management team to look at the upcoming talent in the company is a valuable use of time.

  1. Highlight the career development aspect

Being an organization with a clear, well-managed and regularly reviewed succession planning strategy shows employees that there is a thought-out process to succession planning and career development at the company.

It enables employees to understand that there will be opportunities for them to advance through the ranks and can encourage employees to go the extra mile to ensure they are seen as a high performing individual – so they can be considered when the time comes to review the current succession plans.


9 Best Practices for a Successful Succession Planning Program

Succession Planning is a 2-day training course held from 26 – 27 March 2020 (Singapore) and 30 – 31 March 2020 (Kuala Lumpur). This training programme aims to equip participants with the necessary tools for succession planning through effective analysis and implementation. The programme outline is up to date and relevant to marketplace requirements, thus catering for all analytical prediction of training needs in the specified area.

Succession Planning Training Course
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