Succession planning is not as easy as it seems on paper. Implementing a successful succession plan takes creativity, time, commitment and intelligence. Companies that overlook the essence of succession planning die with their owners, and if not, they ultimately scramble when searching for the right replacements. Consequently, they end up promoting half-baked candidates or employing overly-paid replacements out of desperation.

10 succession planning best practices to embrace

Keep it simple

Some companies assume that including unreasonably complicated assessments criteria to their succession planning process leads to successful plans but that’s not always the case. In fact, over-engineering your planning process through extremely sophisticated assessments can be time-consuming unless done by a vastly experienced competent coach.

Assess potential and performance

Consider implementing up-to-date employee assessments for true potential and performance assessment of your employees. Don’t dwell on past performances when gauging your prospective successors’ potential. Instead; consider assessing your employees regularly for effective decision making.

Invest in Leadership Development

After identifying your potential successor through performance appraisals or succession planning applications, it’s important to devote yourself to enhancing their leadership skills and management capabilities. Investing in leadership development helps you prepare your designated successors for their future roles and engagements.

Align your succession planning with business strategy, goals and values

Your succession plan should be aligned with your business strategies, values, and goals; otherwise undertaking the entire process will be a complete waste of time. Your successors should be chosen based on your business roadmap if you really want to preserve its reputation, principles, and success.

Implement a comprehensive talent review process.

To find a viable successor, it’s imperative to come up with a natural talent reviewing system. This way, you’ll be able to identify both high and poor performers in your organization effortlessly. A comprehensive assessment of ability should include your potential successors’; behavioral competencies, learning agility, continuous re-assessment, defining potentials & performances and derailment factors.

Focus on Identification of Future Talent and Skills Requirements

You need to identify all the required skills, competency, and expertise that suitable candidates should have to qualify for various critical positions.

Embrace Transparency

You need to foster a transparent succession planning process for your legacy’s sake. Communicate openly about the open opportunities, team’s objectives and goals to avoid misunderstandings or misinterpretation of your succession plan’s purpose.

Involve top Management

It is essential to involve those in top management when implementing your succession plan. Involving them ensures that the entire succession planning process goes smoothly. Don’t forget that some of your executive team members are responsible for key activities that can influence the planning process. Hold them accountable by revisiting & revising your succession plan goals, and define their roles in the decision-making process.

Map out Targeted Development

Think of mapping out your potential successors’ targeted development to check their readiness and commitment for their future leadership roles. The advantage of prioritizing and individualizing their development expectations is that it highlights a roadmap for their growth and mobility.

Put it in writing

Focus all your attention and resources on ensuring that you have a well-written business succession plan with crystal clear expectations, timelines, milestones, and your end goals. For convenience and effectiveness, ensure that all your existing partners and carriers are all in agreement with your written succession plan.