Succession planning means different things to different people, but it can be broadly defined as a process of developing high-potential employees to fill future strategic roles within the organization. Many organizations engage in succession planning activities informally or not at all, especially if they are small to medium-sized businesses.
However, lacking an official succession plan opens up a company to substantial risk and danger. Many baby boomerleaders act like they’ll be working until they die, but if something happens and they have to leave the organization suddenly, without an adequate knowledge transfer what will happen to those key roles? There is grave potential for at least a moderate disruption of business.
Why Succession Planning is Good for Everyone
Obviously, senior-level talent is essential to keep an organization meeting its current goals, but growth plans should be considered as well. As a company expands and offers new products and services, it will require more fully trained employees to guide its hand.
Formal succession planning not only provides a ready pipeline, but communicates details about that pipeline to the organization so talented candidates can be placed in the best possible role. And frequently, these roles are difficult to fill externally.
Formal succession planning is also one of the most effective ways to motivate and retain your best employees. Employees who understand that they are being groomed as future leaders experience increased loyalty to and respect for the organization.
By focusing on these individuals’ career development and customizing a plan for each person that might include classroom training, cross-functional assignments, and temporary project leadership, companies appeal to a universal hunger for new skills, challenges, and innovation. They also show high-potential candidates that they are valued and worth the investment of time and resources.
For more where this came from, check out the SilkRoad blog.