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5 steps to an effective succession planning process

What is it?

Succession planning is all about identifying, nurturing and upskilling your workforce so that you’re able to fill future leadership positions. When senior figures leave a business, your succession plan needs to be able to accommodate the effective replacement of these key individuals and their essential roles.

Succession planning step one: Audit your internal talent pools

An integral part of succession planning is auditing your internal talent pools. This is a necessary step to take in order to identify pockets of expertise and knowledge within the team, and understand which individuals demonstrate attributes of a becoming a potential future leader.

This activity also allows you to spot any skills gaps, ensuring these can be filled as part of the succession planning process. Widening your skills search and re-thinking talent acquisition strategies will help to inform and structure an effective process.

Succession planning step two: Allow different generations to learn from each other

Today, there are a whole host of new, creative and innovative ways of working. Harnessing emerging technologies provides the opportunity for workforces to take a collaborative approach and adds a new dimension to creating an effective process.

Importantly, sharpening talents and re-skilling both older and younger members of the team will benefit the effectiveness of your succession plan immensely. From innovative schemes such as reverse mentoring and internal workshops to mastering the latest trends across social media or understanding new technology, upskilling your workforce could be the key to unlock the potential of your succession planning process.

Succession planning step three: Consider external talent to enhance your team

Sometimes the necessary talent within the business does not exist or is in its very early stages of development at the time that you most need it. This is when it is worth considering sourcing individuals externally to ensure you are well equipped and demonstrating an effective succession plan.

It is important to keep an open mind about how your process will run. Often, you may find that succession planning does not operate as smoothly as you may have hoped. However, pinpointing key external talent will ensure that the team is enhanced, providing further opportunities for up-skilling and future-proofing your business.

Succession planning step four: Ensure job descriptions and expectations are clear

Carefully defining the roles that are required to lead the business moving forwards is a key part of succession planning. Without a defined vision or drive for future leaders, messaging and communication can become clouded and unclear.

An effective process will incorporate the board, and all senior team members, engaging them in what success looks like as the business evolves. This is also a good place to identify talent that stand out as future leaders to drive the succession plan forwards in years to come.

Succession planning step five: Regularly review your process

It is important to remember that succession planning is an investment in the future of your business. Therefore, having regular reviews of the succession plan will ensure that you are well-prepared to accelerate the growth of the business, as and when it is needed.

A key part of this is also tracking the results. You need to be able to identify how effective your talent development systems are and ensure that you are putting the correct measures in place to continue to offer an effective succession plan.

Are you looking to strengthen your senior team? We’re here to streamline your search for the perfect candidate and ensure you’ve made a successful long-term placement.

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