Succession Planning examples in HR is a planning process aimed at ensuring that there is a clear succession plan in place should the need arise for the organization’s top management to be replaced. A succession plan is a document that outlines who the organization’s key executives will be if a situation were to arise where the organization’s current top team must retire or be replaced.
A succession planning process can be divided into two key phases. The first is the identification of future leaders and the second is the actual drafting and implementation of the succession plan.
A Succession Plan Definition
A succession plan is a formal document that identifies potential future leaders within an organization. It outlines key competencies, experience required and a clear line of succession. Succession planning may be required due to age, illness, retirement, death, or other reasons. In some organizations, succession planning is done for every management team, while in other organizations it is done only for key positions such as the CEO, President, and other key senior leadership teams.
Succession Planning Model Example: 5 Steps
Step 1: Identify Key Stakeholders
In order to initiate and successfully execute a succession planning process, you must identify key stakeholders, their roles, and the purpose of their involvement. Who are key stakeholders? Key stakeholders may include the following: – Your direct reports: – a supervisor – a manager – a team member – Your manager’s manager: – this individual may have knowledge of the manager and what they do in the organization – this individual may have knowledge of the manager’s potential successors – Your manager’s manager’s manager: – this individual may have knowledge of the manager’s potential successors – Top executives in other departments: – other managers in the department who work directly under the key leaders in the organization – other departments that are related to the organization’s business – other stakeholders in the organization that are important to the organization’s success
Step 2: Define Potential Successors
In order to identify potential successors within the organization, you must define who these individuals are and what their roles are within the organization. Who are potential successors? Potential successors may include the following: – Employees at each level of the organization – employees at each level of the organization have different experiences, knowledge and skill sets that may be useful to another team; – managers at each level of the organization have different experiences, knowledge and skill sets that may be useful to another team; – executives at each level of the organization have different experiences, knowledge and skill sets that may be useful to another team
Step 3: Outline Key Positions
Once you have defined potential successors and potential positions of succession, you can outline key positions within the organization where the successors may take over. Key positions may include the following: – executive leadership roles – department leadership roles – functional leadership roles – interdepartmental leadership roles
Step 4: Plan Professional Development Activities
Succession planning requires that all leaders in the organization have an understanding of the key competencies required to support the business, customers, and people. Successors must have a clear understanding of the organization’s key values, culture, and strategy. The organization must also have a clear understanding of each person’s strengths and weaknesses. Succession planning also requires that the organization provides opportunities for each successor to learn and grow professionally. Opportunities for professional development may include mentoring, coaching, training, workshops, and other programs to help each successor develop their strengths and weaknesses.
Step 5: Assess the Progress
Once you have completed the succession planning process, you must assess the progress. What has been done? – Has each key stakeholder been identified? – Has each key position been defined? – Has each successor been identified? – Have opportunities for professional development been provided? – Has each successor been assessed?
Utilizing a succession planning process creates a clear plan in place should the organization’s top management need to be replaced. This may occur due to age, illness, retirement, death, or other reasons.
Succession planning can be challenging and can require that you identify those individuals within the organization who may be able to step into the top roles should this need arise. If you have not identified these individuals within your organization and provided them with opportunities to learn, grow, and develop professionally, then your organization may be at a disadvantage should this need for succession arise.