“The truth is succession planning does not just start with talents; it starts with the requirements of the position.” – David Ulrich
Why are succession planning and business continuity suddenly appearing on every company’s sensor radar? They are not mutually exclusive, no doubt. By this, I mean you cannot say you are planning to continue your business sustainably without talking about succession planning and succession planning without thinking about business continuity, which is futile, so they are necessities from the same plains. For organisations who intend to ensure business continuity at a sufficient capacity, succession planning is a MUST, especially where most businesses do not survive past the first generation.
Why Succession Planning?
Succession Planning is a powerful management tool that ensures that the organisation outlives its people and does not suffer huge performance setbacks when critical talent exits the organisation. It has hitherto played a background role in many organisations, however, increased staff turnover, regulatory policies, and the need for effective corporate governance have prompted many leading organisations to focus on succession planning.
Most times, succession planning and business continuity only happen when companies go into a merger, when they don’t have the qualified talent to fill a critical role, foreign brands buy them over, or they fail (or die a natural death). From research conducted in a survey, it is said that 80% of advisors do not have a written succession plan and 75% of advisors do not have a plan for the continuity of their business in the event of a death or disability, only 19% of independent advisors have an actionable succession plan in place. Succession planning has become increasingly popular as a result of businesses’ responses to covid-19. In an ideal world, companies need to approach succession planning and management daily to ensure the right quality and quantity of staff to drive the business. The new normal has brought this to the fore.
Ambitious businesses must set up some Talent Management initiatives required for good succession planning to benefit the individual and overall strategy of the company. Initiatives like having an employee comprehensive competency framework to fill the critical roles, a performance-based reward system that helps measure every vital role’s performance, and building an effective training policy are good for sustainable succession planning. The traditional methods that companies relied on in the early times do not meet the requirements of today’s workforce anymore.
Succession planning is an important way to identify employees who have the current skills that can help them move up in an organisation or on to another position. It also provides help in ascertaining which areas require innovation, setting realistic goals for growth and planning for the future needs that may result from that growth.
The dangers of poor succession planning pose a threat to businesses. The truth is that succession planning does not just start with talent; it starts with the requirements. While succession plans often focus only on getting a replacement ready, they should cover the requirements of anyone whose sudden departure could disrupt the flow of the business.
pcl. Succession Planning services/ framework seek to link employee potential and development to performance in a measurable manner. It addresses employee readiness, organisational capability, and capacity for coping with its goals, objectives, and result.
How an organisation can champion an effective succession planning
We position our clients to handle current and future business needs gearing towards continuity. Organisation leaders must have a holistic approach to talent and skills management linked to strategy and periodical review for relevance. They must also provide adequate support to successors to guide them through new work practices, new technologies and new policies. On the other hand, employees would be required to learn faster as new skills, products, and tools would be introduced to aid new working processes.