Succession Planning: Where to Begin

"If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail." 

You've probably heard this quote a time or two in your life. Quotes like these seem to show up often. You want to know why? Because it's true. Benjamin Franklin was a pretty smart guy. 

Makes you wonder if he missed his calling in Human Resources. 

In our Let Goals Be Your Guide blog post, we discussed the importance of having goals for employees and the role that plays in engagement. By engaging your employees with performance goals, and letting them know how their goals line up to the company's overall goals, they start taking ownership in your company. 

Let's repeat that statement: They start taking ownership in YOUR company. 

When employees start to see themselves as an integral part of your organization, they are going to want to stick around and do whatever they can to make it successful. They are invested. They are engaged. Your company is now a part of their career plan. You're a part of their life. It's an important moment, and you should treat it as such. 

Retaining Employees Guide Whitepaper

Here's How You Do It

So, how do you capitalize on these superior employees and make sure they aren't taking their talents down the street to your competitors? Through your succession planning process. 

These employees are the kind that appreciate the time and attention you are willing to invest in them. They become motivated by seeing that career path for growth and leadership development, and are eager to do what it takes to learn the job. Start investing in them immediately as you prepare them for more challenging roles in the company and lay that path out before them. Let them know that they are working toward something and that the company takes as much stock in them as they do in the company. Having a succession planning process in place will help you identify those highly skilled individuals in your organization that you want taking over these critical roles. 

How to Identify Employee Needs 

Throughout this process, it's important that you take the time to identify the developmental needs of these employees. Succession is vital to every company, preparing employees for advancement while also improving your workforce development. Be sure that both sides are on the same page as far as the career path being developed and that you have buy-in from all areas. Meet often about their career path. Make sure it's still their priority. You don't want to waste resources cultivating a career that an employee has changed their mind on. 

Being Proactive

Be proactive with your succession planning. It's inevitable that positions will open up within your company that need to be filled with highly trained and reliable candidates. Candidates that know your company are already up to speed on strategies, goals and culture. By taking the time to develop these key, engaged employees - you'll be ahead of the game when the time comes to grow. 

Techniques to Retain Top Talent Whitepaper