Succession Planning

What is Succession Planning?

Succession PlanningSuccession planning, is the process of selecting and grooming current employees to fill advanced positions within the same company.

Job seekers often come across companies that prefer succession planning over traditional hiring. They speak to a manager and are told, "We like to promote from within." Promoting from within is exactly what succession planning is – promoting employees that are already with the company instead of hiring new ones.

"Homegrown" is another succession planning term. Bottom-level employees are like seeds. They are planted in the company "soil" and monitored. Some employees don't grow at all, while others sprout from the earth and break through the ceiling. The fertile employees are plucked, prepared and planted in a more powerful position.

Succession planning process

Succession planning involves several steps. Each step needs to be met if the candidate is to succeed.

  • Identification: A company must first identify the likely seeds. Sales figures, appearance and attire, personality and leadership ability are all taken into account. An employee that can push a lot of product, maintain a professional dress code, get along with co-workers and take charge may be a candidate to move up the succession ladder.
  • Training: Once the candidate has been identified, he/she needs to be trained. The new position will present more responsibility and pressure. The employee must be able to handle it. A company should put the employee through a comprehensive training program that covers all areas of the new position, while still retaining the knowledge and experience accumulated in the previous one.
  • Supervision: After the employee has been trained and transitioned, a period of supervision needs to occur. Being qualified and trained isn't always enough to ensure success. Sometimes a prime recruit burns out or just can't perform. Experienced leaders need to observe and advise the employee. They know the hurdles and how to jump over them.

Succession Planning Benefits

  • Time: Hiring external employees can be a long, laborious process. The company has to headhunt, interview and review all candidates before an offer can be made. Succession planning removes this step. The candidate already works for the company.
  • Cost: It's estimated to cost over $20,000 to replace the average employee. This expense can be waived by promoting from within.
  • Cohesion: Attitudes are everything in business. It's said that resumes win jobs, but attitudes lose them. Bringing a new person into a tight, family-like company can be tenuous. It's no different than introducing an animal into a different pack. Loyal employees are protective of their jobs. They want the best for the company and will do what it takes to retain cohesion. Succession planning is a great way to ensure that the newly appointed leader "fits in."
  • Retention: There is also a higher retention rate with home-grown leaders. They've been with the company for a long time and know what it takes to stay on the roster. Although new skills are required, the basic "feeling" for the business is already there.

Companies prosper or wither based on their staff. With succession planning, a business's crop of talent can extend for as far as the eye can see.

Related Links:  •  Mind Mapping Software

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