Passing the Torch – A Succession planning Guide

Succession planning, in layman’s term, is the process of ensuring that the work continues even when the person handling it decides to leave or retire. This usually applies to leadership positions. It is the process of identifying people with potential to lead and developing them to replace previous leaders when they leave the company.

Succession planning is a great way to ensure business continuity in the event of leaders leaving or passing away. It is also a good way to develop people within the organization and boosting company morale. To help make this happen, here are some tips for managers and leaders:

  1. Identify potential leaders – in an organization, some people would stand out while others would just blend in the crowd. If you are the current leader looking for someone to groom as your successor, it is important that you look closely at your people and see who has potential. Assign your people special tasks that they alone will need to answer for and see how they handle every situation that they encounter. Good employees will flourish in these situations while bad ones will flounder.
  2. Map a succession plan strategy – identify all the critical parts of the job and think about how you as a leader will develop your successor to be able to handle these critical matters. Don’t just dump information on your successor in one day. It has to be a gradual process that usually involves hundreds of man hours.  Succession planning consultants in Denver can help you achieve your goals.
  3. Communicate effectively – you will be handing over your work to another person who probably has less experience than you have.  You need to make sure that you are communicating with him effectively. You have to use the correct terms and jargon and to help them understand how your job works. Use tools, presentations, manuals and other things that can help communicate what you want them to know.

Proper communication also ensures proper handover of responsibilities. It also makes clear to the successor what he is expected to do. This also ensures that there will be very little to no mistake once the new leader is in place.

  1. Provide adequate training time and resources – if you see someone with potential, do your best to prepare him for the position by giving him tools that will help him perform the job. If he is being groomed for the position of head of the department, let him attend leadership seminars and the like. If he is being groomed to handle a new process let him train with the actual process versus giving it to the person in theory only. Give potential successors the chance to have actual experience in handling the type of job that you are grooming them for.
  2. Provide funding – Succession planning sometimes never commences due to lack of funds or support from the management. This needs to be remedied. The company has to look into investing on their people and this this includes funding for the right trainings. You will also need to provide a new person who can replace the person you are grooming to do their job while they are in training.