Ready for succession planning? 5 areas to check

Posted on January 09, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Effective succession planning is about making sure that you have the right people in the right place at the right time and is a cornerstone of talent management.

Whether you see succession planning as focused solely on leadership and senior positions, or whether you take a more inclusive view and extend the process to a wider range of key roles it can be difficult to know where to start.

We’ve seen that there are 5 key areas for you to take a look at within your organisation to help you determine if it’s ready to implement effective succession planning. 

Step 1 - Look at your Key Roles
Look at whether you have in place the key roles identified and defined – and whether you have progression paths mapped out and these publicised across the business. Ask yourself if your line managers are empowered to identify and develop those with high potential and whether the ownership of and responsibility for the co-ordination and execution of succession planning activities is made clear within the organisation.

Step 2 - Take a look at your Competency Framework
We suggest that you take a look at how you have defined – and continue to define – the competencies for key roles. Look at whether they are written with sufficient detail to differentiate between roles and also to consider the language in which they are written: are they free from jargon and expressed in terms used within the business? Consider how often your competencies are reviewed and updated in line with business strategy.

Step 3 - Look at your assessment strategy
We suggest that you review the assessment strategy you have to identify those with potential to develop into key roles. You may need to look at whether you have identified through research the ‘early markers’ of potential – and check that the competencies used in the role profile are actually assessed and there is a clear link and flow of information between the assessment process and other succession processes.

Step 4 – Consider the approach to development planning within your organisation
A significant factor within effective succession planning is the development planning activity that you offer, commit to and undertake. You may like to consider, how candidates receive feedback, guidance and support to reach their career aspirations; how development plans are followed up and monitored; how the organisation tracks and monitors talent pools for key positions.

Step 5 – Consider the commitment to succession planning within your organisation
Ask yourself, have all the relevant stakeholders bought into and engaged with the succession planning strategy and process? Are you able to collect evaluation data so that the effectiveness of succession planning can be monitored and measured? Have you considered how you will communicate with those identified to be within the talent pools – as well as those not selected to be part of this? And have you mapped out and agreed the processes by which successors will be tracked, managed and promoted?

Implementing succession planning successfully takes time and commitment.

If you would like to learn more, then do get in touch.


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