You’ve hired for fit, you’ve got the right people in the right roles, and everything is humming along smoothly. Everyone knows what they need to be doing, and you’ve put together a high-performing, cohesive team. Though it can be tempting to rest on your laurels and enjoy the view, it’s important to acknowledge that your employees won’t be with your organization forever. And when key team members depart, will you be scrambling to fill the void?
This is where succession planning comes in. Succession planning ensures business continuity by having the right people prepared to fill critical positions when vacancies arise.
While it’s true that succession planning requires time and forethought, it’s a worthwhile investment.
Here are 6 of the key benefits of effective succession planning:
1. Mitigates risk. By identifying which positions in your organization are critical to successful business operation, you’re able to plan for continuity and minimize the risk of being left high and dry by a key player’s departure.
2. Eliminates recruitment. Recruitment can be time-consuming and expensive. While you’re unlikely to be able to avoid the recruitment process entirely, you can certainly streamline it by filling critical positions requiring specialized knowledge or skill sets internally. By eliminating the need to recruit externally for those tough-to-fill positions through succession planning, you’ll save significant money and time. For more on recruitment time-saving strategies, Click Here.
3. Easier retention. Retaining rock star employees can be tough, and succession planning is key to making sure your top performers can visualize a long stay with your organization by highlighting what their future career path with you could look like.
4. Facilitates future growth. When the right people are in the right positions at the right time, and there’s a contingency plan to deal with unexpected departures, you won’t be scrambling to fill the gaps. That means you’ll be free to focus on the big-picture stuff like planning for growth, taking advantage of opportunities, and executing on strategic plans.
5. Smarter use of training dollars. You devote significant resources and energy into training team members. A course here, a seminar there, and countless hours of on-the-job training all adds up to a big investment in your people. And when those super-skilled employees leave your organization, they take that training with them. By developing your talent in-house and strategically placing top performers to progress within your organization, you get to continue to reap the benefits of your training investment, while minimizing the time it takes for them to become productive when they take on a new role.
6. Knowledge transfer. The ultimate goal of succession planning is to have every key position filled by internal candidates who have been thoroughly prepared to be highly effective in those roles. As predicted, Baby Boomers are starting to retire, and they’re taking with them years of organizational history and internal knowledge. If that information isn’t captured, all that history can be lost when they depart. By making knowledge transfer part of your succession planning process, preparing well in advance when you know employees are going to retire, and creating a formal method to capture their accumulated knowledge, you’ll help ensure their successor has the tools to be effective.
Your Engaged HR Assignment: If you haven’t yet made succession planning a key priority for your organization, it’s time to take the first steps by identifying critical roles in your organization and drafting a preliminary development plan.
There are many elements to consider when it comes to succession planning, so if you need help developing your approach, we’re here!