Succession Planning isn't just about preparing for boardroom changes or grooming your son or daughter to take over when you want to retire. It's much more about how those managing others create seamless changeovers, preparing who you have, for opportunities that might present themselves.
And it's about making managing people much more effective, creating spaces for whoever you are, with people management responsibilities, to focus on your job, not theirs. Through empowering them, you generate enthusiasm and engagement. Everyone thrives, especially your business or organisation your business.
By cranking up others development to meet your business needs, big or small, not just for right now, but for the future, you will find payoffs, big-time. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
By ensuring that you have informally built good relationships with every one of your team, you will have a head start when developing the intelligence needed for effective succession planning. This is not just about the business, it is about aligning with whatever is important to each individual and showing an interest in them.
Create a Vision
Clearly understanding what ‘good looks like’ is the first stage of planning for the future. Taking the time out to develop this is well worth the effort and provides a marker against which all decisions, people or otherwise are made. If possible, involve as wide a range of people in this activity.
Right People, Right Place, Right Time - Ignore Names
Once you have your vision, deciding who is need, when and where becomes easier. It important that you focus on the facts rather than the emotion first, so that you ignore individuals in this assessment. You can fit people in afterwards, as long as they will have the capability to deliver your vision for your business. Some may be a work towards.
By considering your key people, their aspirations and expectations for the future, you will gain an insight of where your gaps might come and then you can start planning to avoid problems. This will enable you to provide for anticipated change and start developing others to cover at least. This also helps when changes happen unexpectedly.
As individuals are involved in the possibilities for their future, without over-promising, they start to want more. They appreciate learning and developing as they see what might unfold for them. As they learn and experience more, their confidence builds and they want stretching.
As your communication processes involve everyone in Succession Planning, a groundswell of positivity generates a shift in your business culture. Your people start to realise that there is more to this than a job – it’s building their feelings of self worth and future. This culture becomes just ‘the way we do things around here’ and new employees commence at a higher, different level.
As you start to build the capacity of those around you, there is a lot that can be delegated safely as a development opportunity, suitably supported and coached. You crate space to do the more important things in your role. They develop and build confidence. With confidence comes improved customer relationships, greater efficiencies. So managers, employees, the business and ultimately stockholders all are winners.
There is a certain amount of workload involved in creating a Succession Planning process. Once these initial stages are completed, only a small amount of time outside normal activities is required. In fact, with the added skills and development of your people, far greater efficiency and effectiveness results.
Using a Succession planning process sits very appropriately with Performance Management. As potential has been identified, the next steps in development are constructive and clear. The individual takes accountability for their own development and practically self-manages their performance.
By using management skills far more effectively, skilling up all the people in the business and creating seamless transitions when people move on, all improve business performance. Developing the latent potential of many of your people raises the bar for their performance – it is just shifted up several notches. And ultimately with greater sales and efficiency, bottom line profit is maximised.
And with these ideas in place, you will create more effectiveness and involvement in your people - which can only be good.