Succession planning is a process for identifying and developing employees who have the potential to fill key business leadership positions within an organisation. Effective succession comes from creating a talent pool from which individuals can be plucked to fill senior management roles having been given access to career development opportunities to build skills and experience.  It can provide fast track opportunities or those at a slower pace depending on organisational needs.  Talent pool management tends to be more strategic than one step or job layer succession whereby individuals just below senior management level are groomed as key replacements for identified roles. The individuals are considered to be almost ready for promotion and this type of succession process doesn’t take too much planning.

Succession planning can only be successful when there is key commitment from the CEO and strong engagement from the senior management team.

There are three stages to succession planning.

1. Evaluate all employees and their current needs.  List all employees on the team and their positions then list the current number of open positions/positions to be filled in the future and the required skills.

2. Review the employees who can be promoted and into what position.  This might be in a few months time or a few years.

3. Develop an action plan for those employees who are to be promoted.  Make a list of skills and experience they need to gain and develop a training plan.

A succession plan is an effective way to formulate a recruitment and development strategy.  It should be reviewed several times a year to ensure it is on track.

Succession planning gives a win win solution to both the organisation and employees alike.  The organisation benefits because there is always a drip feed of talent to come on board and head it up.  Employees benefit because succession planning provides career development and job satisfaction opportunities.