The 3 Secrets to Successful Succession Planning
One of the easiest ways to make your workers resentful of the business is to allow them to become stagnant in a single position for too long. No matter what they might be doing on a daily basis, most people will get tired of performing the same basic tasks every day. Effective succession planning is an excellent strategy for giving your employees the opportunity to develop new skills and to grow within the company. You need to have a solid strategy in place so that your workers never become bored with their roles, and there are three crucial things you can do to accomplish that.
Make It a Mandatory Component of Your Business
Planning for succession is an easy thing to overlook as you are going about the day-to-day tasks of the business. However, it is definitely something you should implement so that you are prepared for anything. If the owner of the business is planning to retire in a few years, then you need to start looking for someone to fill his or her place right now. Succession planning is also good for unexpected departures. You never know when someone will leave unexpectedly or when tragedy befalls on someone. You do not want there to be a power vacuum in your company that no one can fill, so there should always be someone standing by to fill in should the need arise for it.
Making changes mandatory will also help prevent work fatigue. If people know they will be given a different role consisting of different responsibilities at a certain point in the future, then it will give them something to look forward to. People at every level of the organization will feel refreshed and challenged through the constant use of succession planning.
Gather a Wide Pool of Candidates
While you can certainly fill a higher-level position with someone outside, it can be much more beneficial for everyone to hire within your business. With that being said, you should never just have one person to fill a role. For example, if you are giving one person additional responsibilities to fill in for the CEO in a couple years, then you run the risk of the trainee quitting before that time comes. The successor could get a different job right before the CEO is set to retire, and then you are out of luck in finding a new person. It is never advantageous to put all your eggs in one basket, so develop a shortlist of candidates who can acquire the necessary skillset so that you have options when the time comes.
You should also consider getting a diverse crowd of candidates for your succession planning strategy. Everyone will start off with a specific skillset and personality, but by taking on additional responsibilities, each employee will develop new skills and temperaments. By doing this, each candidate will have the same basic skillset to succeed in a new role, but they still retain their unique advantages that make them stand apart.
Make Every Position a Learning Opportunity
Whether you give someone a lateral or promotional advancement, you want to be certain that there is something in this new role that the person will learn about. It will not benefit you and it will bore the employees if they are given the same basic responsibilities with nothing new to excite them. You can be much more productive in this endeavor if you are able to figure out what skills and experiences someone already possesses. Then figure out where in the organization you can send them that will present to them the opportunity to learn a new talent. If someone currently holds a job where they spend virtually every day in front of a computer, then you should think about offering them a role where they will have to interact with other people regularly.
Closing employees off to opportunities of growth is only going to create frustration. They may feel like they are no longer being challenged and become too comfortable with the work they are currently doing. When someone is ready for a new challenge and you feel like they have earned to take on a few more responsibilities, then you should look for opportunities within the company. Proper succession planning prevents staleness, and it keeps work interesting for everyone. It requires some investment on your end, but getting highly skilled, talented workers out of it is a stellar payoff.
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