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Succession planning: Why you need one before your entire company crumbles

by , 13 April 2015
Last night, DA leader Helen Zille announced she's stepping down from the party.

As the head of her party, this comes as blow to the DA's plans.

Luckily, in an organisation this size, the DA's sure to have thought about what they'd do if one of their leaders resigned.

What about you?

Have you considered the far-reaching implications of having one of your key staff members resign?

Have you thought about how you'll fill the hole they leave?

If you haven't, read this article now.


Why you need to worry about your succession plan before you're left wanting

If you've never thought about succession planning, this frightening stat reveals why you should: 
70% of executive appointments made externally don't succeed! 
That's where succession planning makes all the difference. It helps you retain the skills vital to your business by appointing from within your existing staff complement as opposed to finding someone external to fill your employee's shoes.
But what positions do you need to have a succession plan for? And what skills do you need to consciously focus on retaining?
Here's what out experts behind the Practical Guide to Human Resources say you need to focus on. 
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Here's what you need to put a company succession plan in place today

To set up a succession plan you need to identify what will creates 'right' leadership and the knowledge/skill necessary to drive your company forward. And the only way to do that, is to must focus on the following in your organisation:
1. Individual characteristics of existing leaders
2. Key competencies
3. Knowledge base
4. Skills and experience
Then you need to look at the following company positions to ensure you don't lose any of these factors when an employee resigns:
1. Leadership: This applies to any management role. From directors, executive management and board members down to line management and supervision, you need to ensure you know who'll fill the gap if a vital employee resigns. Then make sure this person gets the training they need to take over this job/
2. Operations: Do you have key positions that keep your company's operational wheels turning (e.g. logistics, maintenance, finance, production)? If so, don't let an employee leave a gap when they leave. Have a succession plan in place that details who has the skill to take these positions over. If no one does, get your existing staff member to teach it on in case he leaves one day. 
3. Critical, scarce, unique skills: Every company has at least one employee who has a skill that enables you to offer the company's unique services, (e.g. technical skills, creative skills, specific disciplines). In your succession plan, make sure you include a training framework that allows this staff member to pass his knowledge on so there's someone who can take over this role if he resigns. 
There you have it. Don't leave your business wide open to ruin just because an employ has resigned. Plan for it with a succession plan and you'll sail through this rocky tide with ease. 

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