Whether you are a large or a small business, the ability to address the turnover in key leadership or talent is critical to your ongoing business operation. Whether due to termination, retirement, or other causes, odds are that your business would be at risk if a key resource were to exit your business. Having a plan to address this issue is known as Succession Planning.
Succession planning is an ongoing, comprehensive process that the Human Resources department of a company undertakes to ensure the organization has a plan to replace critical resources and ensure business continuity. The basis of succession planning requires the company to identify, assemble, and organize skills, knowledge, and company practices so that the next generation of workers can seamlessly integrate into the organization.
Perhaps not a practice enjoyed by many business leaders and HR practitioners, succession planning has enormous value for both large organizations as well as small. Not only does it manage human and financial resources, it safeguards against preventable hiccups when employees transition.
Designing each job in the company with careful thought, creating opportunities for employees to develop, and building a sustainable overall organizational structure contribute to creating an environment that promotes employee engagement and retention.
Succession planning helps your organization adapt to changing employee demographics and talent pools, articulate and prepare for skill gaps and training needs, stay abreast of evolving knowledge in your industry, and identify specialized competencies.
As new talent joins the workforce, companies need to be prepared to transfer skills and knowledge to new hires. Be proactive in harvesting organizational knowledge so that new employees can hit the ground running with core skill sets; this is a way that companies can circumnavigate skills shortages from otherwise good candidates who simply lack experience.
Succession planning achieves the following:
- Helps companies retain institutional knowledge and experience
- Boosts morale and retention by investing in human resources and providing opportunities to grow
- Prepares for the replacement of leaders and other highly-specialized competencies, so that an unanticipated vacancy in a key position doesn’t disrupt the company (or at least mitigates the impact)
- Identifies and develops new leaders, investing in the critical skills and capacity of employees who can assume leadership roles as they become available
- Advocates for people development (starting from hiring) through training, coaching, mentoring, and opportunities
- Decides the organizational flow for a company’s executives, and determining who successors are (especially in an emergency) and beginning to groom talent as needed
- Captures critical knowledge, not just in leadership roles, but from anyone transitioning or retiring as well
Is succession planning a part of your regular business planning? If not, do you know how you will deal with critical employee vacancies?? If you need HR assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact the CTCS Group today at (770) 282-2304!
Chris Thomas, SHRM-SCP is the Principal Consultant with The CTCS Group in Canton, GA. The CTCS Group is focused on providing HR Leadership, Behavioral Assessments, and Consulting to help small businesses grow and thrive. You can subscribe to this blog or request a free consultation at www.thectcsgroup.com.
Disclaimer: The information and recommendations provided in this document should not be considered legal advice and should not substitute for legal advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. Recommendations are provided based on good faith assessment and interpretation of the available legal and regulatory resources.