Succession Planning - Part II

Succession Planning - Part II

Succession planning for your staff (leadership or team leaders) is a part of over-all strategy that gets included in the business plan and budget for the year &/or the 3 to 5 year plan (a longer time frame gives you perspective vs. reaction). You might consider this a jig-saw puzzle trying to fit all the pieces together; however it might be more helpful to consider this exercise lining up dominoes – if you move one player out of sequence it will have a cascading effect without immediate replacement of a similar player. You want to prevent disruption in operations, internal morale or external relationships by having a plan or a structure in place and known.
As you go through the process you should include key staff in the discussion including the specific department to be discussed and the department (HR?) that will update (or create) job descriptions and finance that will need to consider the salary and training budgets.
The questions to ask yourself or the leadership team as you build your strategy are:

  • What skills are needed in Position A? Position B? Position C, etc.
    • Is that skills list documented in any job description?
    • Has the skills list been updated in the past year?
    • Has the skills list been validated by person doing the job now?
    • Have the skills list been validated by internal staff?

 

  • Who has those (or most) of those skills now?
    • Are they a good cultural fit for the leadership team (or team leader)?
    • What additional skills do they bring to the position?
    • Who would fill their current slot?
    • Filling the skills gap is part of your staff development budget & schedule

 

  • Who can be backup or vacation coverage for Position A?
    • HINT: this is a great time to access a potential candidate with marginal risk to the company or either employee and to do a bit of cross-over or transitional training. It gives the potential candidate an opportunity to shadow the current position holder performing the job to see if it might be of interest or a good fit. There will be time to say ‘no’ at any point during the exercise; again with minimal disruption or risk to the company or the employees.
    • What information does the backup need to know?
    • Where is that information documented?
    • Who has access to the documentation now?

 

  • Who would like to be in Position A?
    • What are their current skills?
    • Are they a good cultural fit for the leadership team?
    • What additional skills do they bring to the position?
    • Who would fill their current slot?

 

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