Succession Planning: Are you Succession Planning Ready?

Posted by Heba Asaad on March 15, 2016


Build Succession Plans Around High Value Jobs: Making a plan for if someone quits (and not just your execs)


In today’s business world that highly focuses on human capital as an organization's most important asset and due to the increasing percentages of turnover especially among the top talents; many companies have started looking for solutions to keeping these talents and not losing them to competition. After a series of studies done by different sources on employees it was found that multiple reasons contributed to the departure of talents, however, the most common and highly impacting reason is the lack of career visibility. So what is succession planning?

Succession planning is a process for identifying and developing internal people with the potential to fill key business leadership positions in the company. Succession planning increases the availability of experienced and capable employees that are prepared to assume these roles as they become available.


How does succession planning start. First and foremost companies and leaderships have to be really ready and open to change management and to succession planning.

Assuming so the first step would require them to have a clear understanding of their employees’ qualifications in terms of competencies and skills. Second is by making sure the relevant skills and competencies are tied to each position for benchmarking and that they have a clear understanding of their company’s needs. After that managers need to make sure they are involving employees in the right trainings to improve their level of gaps in these competencies and skills which will participate in cultivating future leaders. So really succession planning is a full cycle that involves different activities and the participation of different stakeholders.

In some cases some companies lack the efficient tools to help flag out these top performers thus resulting in employee dissatisfaction and departure.

A tool like the 9-box can help managers flag out these top performers so they can be recognized on a timely manner and therefore retained within the company.


Now is succession planning only applicable to senior and leadership positions?

The answer to that is a definite no. In the earlier business days it was thought that best practices was applying succession planning to senior/leadership positions as they are considered to be positions earned over time, however, over time and due to lack in specific talent areas many companies have been applying succession planning to positions that they are facing difficulties in hiring for due to lack of availability in the business market.

Succession planning is an ongoing, dynamic process that helps an organization to align its business vision and goals and its human capital needs. From recruiting the right candidate to developing new leadership from within, succession planning is crucial for an organization to meet its strategic vision and goals.

Top management has to really embrace succession planning and be open to change management in order for the succession planning process to be a success. Credibility of management level in employees’ eyes is very important to build and retain trust, therefore, never promise or commit to something that you cannot achieve.

The question is: How Ready are you for Succession Planning? And if you are not ready, are you ready for the consequences of this on your business?