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Mapping Out a Succession Plan for your Business

January 2016

In order to ensure smooth operations and continuous growth, companies should prioritise the task of effectively managing their employees to fill key leadership positions. 

Effective succession planning is about preparing suitable candidates to take on important roles within the company. As such, it should be an objective, systematic process that is deeply ingrained in your company. If it's not yet a concrete plan in your business, here are a few key steps in mapping out a succession plan that ensures you train and promote the right people.

Forecast your environment and consider your business' goals

Succession planning isn't just about your employees and how they fit in the bigger picture; it's also about outlining your employees' roles to meet your business goals. Always factor your company's long-term objectives into the process. When planning for internal structures, visualise the future of your company. Identify possible opportunities and needs in both your business and in the market.

Find out what your company needs

Identify the ideal characteristics, skills and mindset needed in the key roles in your company. Don't create roles for your current employees or just slot in people with aligned skills in key positions. Remember that attitude and mindset are just as important as skills and competencies.

Identify possible key candidates

While there are plenty of possible candidates out there in the market, remember that your very own employees have the knowledge, attitude and capacity to fill important positions within your company. They have a tacit understanding of your business that you shouldn't overlook. That said, try to be open about who you hire, train and promote. As long as they prove their dedication and worth, where they come from does not matter as much as where they'll help take your company.

Constantly train and evaluate your candidates.

The problem with most businesses is that they tend to train candidates for promotion or reassignment at last minute. Instead, create a culture of constant mentoring, character development, skills development and leadership training. Not only will this culture prepare your employees for future roles, it could also help them be better at their current roles.

Engineer the transition phase.

A transition phase ensures that candidates are eased into the roles. Develop and customise a transition phase that suits the needs of your company and industry. Establish benchmarks, actionable goals and contextualised timelines depending on the organisation role to be filled. No candidate is 'ready-made' for any role - create an immersion program that creates a smooth transition for your company and your candidates.

Topics: Operations, Business, Environment, benchmarks

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