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March 11, 2015

7 Steps For Designing A Successful Succession Plan

Does your company have a thorough, successful succession plan in place?

successful-succession-planSuccession planning is the process of identifying high potential employees, evaluating and honing their skills and abilities, and preparing them for advancement into positions that are key to the success of the business operations and objectives, and creating a diverse workforce.

When succession planning is properly implemented and the plan is reviewed periodically, unexpected vacancies can be avoided. Succession planning should be a priority for every business and should be part of your organization’s strategic business plan. 

Succession plans help avoid prolonged and costly vacancies in key positions and assure consistent business operations. They provide important developmental opportunities for potential candidates and identify the key leadership positions at risk at varying levels. Succession plans also help develop a diverse workforce by allowing team leaders to look at the future make-up of the organization as a whole.

Here are seven steps to help you in designing a successful succession plan for your organization:

1. Identify any legal and diversity issues that need to be considered. (age, gender, race etc.)

2. Determine the current and future leadership needs and objectives.

3. Select the key employees.

4. Evaluate their strengths, weaknesses and development needs.

5. Determine the development process and include a plan to retain current key employees.

6. Identify critical positions without successors or that are currently vacant.

7. Develop a plan for positions that cannot be filled internally.

Cast Your Vote Now!

Every organization should have a well-developed and current succession plan in place in order to avoid unexpected vacancies in key positions, and to ensure the stability of business operations and provide development opportunities while building a diverse workforce.

Cynthia Thompson, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Cynthia Y. Thompson is Principal and Founder of The Thompson HR Firm, a human resources consulting company in Memphis, TN. She is a senior human resources executive with more than twenty years of human resources experience concentrated in publicly traded companies. She is also the Publisher/Editor of HR Professionals...

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