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Follow these eight steps for winning succession planning

by , 12 November 2013
If you don't have a succession plan in place, you expose your business to risk every time a valuable, skilled employee leaves or retires. If you had to sit down and calculate what it costs you in terms of the value of the intellectual property and the skill (not to mention the relationship with key clients and suppliers), you'd probably find you actually can't afford NOT to have a succession plan in place.

Today, the HR gurus at the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management list the eight steps for succession planning.

Need a succession plan? Follow these eight steps…

Step #1: Develop a policy and procedure
Include the following in your succession planning policy and procedure:
❑Its purpose
❑Its scope, i.e. for which positions you'll identify successors (all or only key or critical positions).
❑Its objectives
❑The procedures and processes involved
❑Which technologies will support the processes.
❑ Timeframes, i.e. how often you'll review the process
❑Who's responsible for the various aspects of the succession planning.

Step #2: Train managers
Train your managers in the policy and all its processes to make sure the processes run fairly and consistently.

Step #3: Identify the key and critical positions
Don't identify successors only for management positions, but also for other key and critical positions.

Step #4: Identify the requirements for these positions
If you don't already have them available, develop job profiles for these positions that outline the positions':
• Purpose
• Responsibilities
• Qualification and experience requirements
• Competency requirements
This will help you to identify the most likely successors for positions.

Step #5: Identify the successors for key and critical positions
When identifying successors, you can consider:
• Career aspirations of employees. This'll help if you already have career plans in place for all employees; and
• Job profile requirements. Match assessment results (e.g. assessment centres) against these requirements.

Step #6: Conduct manpower and recruitment planning
If you're not able to identify suitable successors for certain positions, you'll have to recruit from outside your company before a certain time.

Step #7: Develop a succession and development plan for the development and appointment of successors

Step #8: Implement and review the plan
A plan is only good if you implement it. Ensure you review your succession planning process and objectives and the readiness of successors to assume their roles when needed.

If you don't already have a succession plan in place, start creating one today!

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