Lisa Poole / Feature Articles

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Succession Planning; crucial for business continuity and your ongoing business success

We all have business plans that enable us to develop and grow our businesses, but do we put the same effort into planning for our critical job roles?

Seccession PlanningSuccession planning is designed to identify critical positions within the business so that a strategy for filling these roles, should they become available, is put in place. It’s a process of identifying and developing training opportunities for those staff with the potential to fill your key business positions.

Succession planning can start at the recruitment stage by recruiting superior staff. Rather than taking the mindset that a candidate is too good for the role and will get bored quickly and then move on, it could be time to look at the bigger picture and what they will be capable of offering the business as it grows. Alternatively, you may already have the talent and need to manage it to your advantage.

These employees (your talent pool) require nurturing and staff training to develop their skills, knowledge, experience and abilities to prepare them for promotion and this in itself is a motivator for staff that you might have once thought too good for a role.

The process to follow

1. Which are your critical positions?
These are the leadership roles that your business cannot meet your business plan without. In identifying these, consider your risk areas.

2. Know what skills and capabilities your critical positions require
Ensure your job descriptions and person specifications for these roles are comprehensive and up to date. These will assist you to identify the learning and development plan for your talent pool and also help to set clear performance goals that can be assessed through your performance management programme.

3. Decide your succession strategy
Consider whether you already have internal staff with the potential (with some training) to fill the critical roles or whether you need to recruit the talent pool.

4. Action planning
It can take some time, possibly even a number of years, to develop your talent pool so it’s a good idea to create an action plan that identifies critical dates and roles and responsibilities.

Need assistance to identify and nurture your talent pool? I’m Lisa Poole, and my company HR Protocol is here to help. To speak to me about how I can help with your succession planning, or any HR issue, please give me a call on 01476 861884

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