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Have you considered that one of the major success factors for organizations are the people who work there? It is crucial to have the right people in the right place at the right time. But how do companies identify and develop these skilled people and leaders? Leading organizations recruit superior people, develop their knowledge, skills and abilities, and prepare them for advancement or promotion.

executive_succession_planningSuccession planning, an element of career management process, is the process whereby an organization ensures that employees are recruited and developed to fill each key role within the company. Actively pursuing succession planning ensures that employees are constantly developed to fill each role in the organization. As the organization expands, loses key employees, provides promotional job opportunities and increases sales, succession planning ensures a group of employees are ready and able to fill new roles.


Who Needs Succession Planning?

All organizations, no matter their size, need succession planning. While it is less likely that you will have potential successors for every role in a small company, you can minimally cross-train to keep the company operational if a key employee leaves. It allows all managers to know who the key employees are in all areas of the organization and helps them to consider strong players when any key role opens up. Some companies have introduced the concept of succession planning in their organizations. Others plan succession informally and verbally for key roles. In an informal system, managers organization-wide may not know the value of the employee and his/her skills

Effective succession planning brings advantages for both employers and employees; employees who know that a next role awaits them receive a boost to self-esteem, which enhances their efficacy and value as an employee.

Knowing the organization’s plans for your next potential opportunity – and that there is one – reinforces the desire for career development, which is one of the areas that employees want most from their employers. Employers identify the experience, skills and development opportunities necessary to help the employee prepare for career progression. Having a mentor and supervisor is key in the employee’s ability to get the experience and education needed for career progression.
 

How Do You Prepare Employees For Your Succession Plan?

To develop the employees you need for your succession plan, you can:

  • Identify and understand the specific developmental needs of your employees.
  • Assign them to special projects.
  • Have them take on team leadership roles.
  • Expose them to internal and external training and development opportunities.

The result is retention of superior employees who appreciate the time, attention and development that is being invested in them. Employees are motivated and engaged when they can see a career path for their continued growth and development.

Succession planning and career planning are extremely important tools to build trust, relationships and loyalty. And at the end of the day, the winner is the one who can predict the changes and create the best opportunities for the people to grow to be a part of organizational success.
 

Click here to read part one of this article “Four Steps to Executive Career Planning”.

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