Written by Lynée Miller
How to Design a Succession Strategy for 2016 and Beyond
A well-designed succession plan is essential, especially within the current market. Within every organisation, vacancies may occur for a variety of reasons, including the changing realities of the workplace, the destined retirement of baby boomers in high-level positions and the lack of employees poised to take over senior positions due to downsizing of middle management in the 90s.
Succession planning is critical for minimising disruptions and ensuring continuity during these times. Companies that put resources towards this issue have the advantage of maintaining uninterrupted top leadership talent and in today’s business climate, a well-designed succession plan is essential for every business, big or small.
So how can you ensure that organisational knowledge is passed on to the next generation of leaders? And what should you do about the expected leadership vacancies in the short and long term?
It all comes down to training and development. Train your most-qualified talent and position them to succeed in future leadership roles. If you’re not sure who those individuals are, utilise the knowledge of your current leaders, your human resources team and assessment tools to identify and cultivate your up-and-coming talent. Encourage mentoring by more seasoned workers so that their experience and knowledge isn’t lost.
A High-Quality Succession Plan
Regardless of the size or scope of your business, there are universal steps that every organisation should take to put a high-quality succession plan in place.
- Look to the Future: Think about the long term and visualise where you want your company to be in one, five, ten years and beyond.
- Explore: Find the skill gaps in your current group, figure out which core and technical competencies are needed and list the requirements for each job. Use templates and spreadsheets to keep track of the information.
- Prepare: Identify your talent needs early and often using critical competencies. Realise that these can change as time evolves. Implement individual assessment tools to uncover skill levels of your current workforce. Obtain feedback via a team assessment for development purposes.
- Success Strategy: Focus on recruitment, retention, learning and development strategies to attract and retain the best talent.
- Execute the Succession Strategy: Make it happen. Put goals and deadlines in place and ensure they are met.
- Track Selection: Gather leader feedback, as well as internal and external satisfaction information, through surveys or interviews. Use this information to fine-tune your plan.
Share the Knowledge
Each generation—and each person, for that matter—brings a unique set of skills to the workplace. Businesses can benefit by encouraging employees to share information with their colleagues. If your company becomes one in which information sharing is part of the culture, employees will commit and work together to pass the tribal knowledge on to each other and to on-boarding workers. This becomes a benefit for everyone.
Succession planning is not something that will happen on its own; it should be addressed in a systematic way, whether you’re a small non-profit or a large corporation. Every business will experience vacancies but with a strong succession strategy in place, you’ll be prepared to deal with those interruptions in the most effective way possible. By taking control of the future, your company will power into 2016 and enjoy success and continuity for years beyond.
Thoughts to Remember
Being self-aware and understanding that how your DISC style impacts what causes you stress will not eliminate it. However, it will give you more control over it. So, know your DISC and manage your stress. And take more time off to have recharge your batteries to have the energy to modify your behavior. Learn more tips on managing stress in our Managing Stress for the Different DISC Styles Managing Stress for the Different DISC Styles Webinar
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