An important part of succession planning is working out how to replace the gaps in your team in the event of a turnover, promotion, restructuring, or any other reason. When one of your team’s managers is promoted to a director role, you won’t be looking blankly at your org chart, since you’ll have at least a general strategy for how to go ahead.
As part of succession planning, it’s vital to remember that it’s not only about finding replacements—also it’s about ensuring that no one is left in a panic-inducing bind when the time comes.
Planning Your Succession: Points to Keep in Mind
You don’t even know what’s going to happen in the next few months, much less the next few years. As a result, succession planning software might resemble a game of darts where the goal is to hit a target while wearing a blindfold.
It’s true that you can’t predict the future with any degree of accuracy. This is all part of the preparation process, which is to identify all of your alternatives and be ready to roll with the punches if they come your way. A basic step-by-step technique is provided here.
Think about what the future could look like
There will be unforeseen openings on your team, whether it’s due to unexpected medical leave or employees going on to new positions at other firms. There are things of the future, however that you can prepare for and the most important of them is likely to be your professional progress.
Get hold of your present organizational diagram if you have one, or draw it down on a piece of paper if you don’t. Using your company’s long-term objectives and the talks you’ve had with management as a guide, sketch out how you anticipate it will expand and change in the future.
Go into each position’s specifics
If you don’t know the ins and outs of each role on your team, it’s difficult to identify successors. It’s likely that despite your best efforts, you’ll discover a surprising number of jobs and duties that go unnoticed every day by your staff.
So, be sure you use some of your one-on-one meetings with staff to check in on what they’re working on. A more accurate picture of their duties will emerge, one that goes much beyond what was originally outlined in the job description.
It’s possible to make this procedure a little more formal by making it a team effort. You may achieve this by providing them with a short questionnaire or paper that has the following questions:
- The abilities they believe are most important for their position.
- Their most common roles and the teams they usually work with
To avoid unnecessary anxiety about their job security, make it clear that these reference guides are not intended to replace them immediately, but that they will be very useful as your team develops, progression pathways are planned, and ways to keep things operating smoothly are discovered.
Identifying Your Alternatives
It is possible to replace an unfilled post with a variety of methods, depending on the nature of your situation. You might:
- Engage the services of a new worker
- An internal employee may be transferred to another department.
- Spread out the workload among the team members.
- Involve external service providers in your work
Decide on a Speculative Strategy
As a team, you’ve figured out where you’re going and how you’ll fill in the gaps. It’s time to find out what your ideal strategy is.
This plan may not be bulletproof when the time comes because things change. Having a preliminary strategy in place, on the other hand, offers you a place to start if you need to fill in any position gaps.
Focus on the most important roles
Make succession planning more doable by succession planning software and by not putting too much pressure on yourself, particularly if you’re doing it for the first time. As an alternative, begin with positions that need some level of supervision, such as those of leader and manager.
Succession planning is often seen as a process for identifying and grooming successors for senior jobs alone. The greatest place to start is with the leaders on your team, even though you ultimately want to know how you’d fill any vacancy on your team. Vacancies in those roles may do the most damage to your team.
Having Career Development Talks Early and Often Is Essential
All workers, especially those without a clear next step or career path, should have open and honest dialogues about their career growth on a frequent basis.
When you meet with a client one-on-one, ask questions like:
- What are your current professional aspirations?
- If you could take your career anywhere, what would it be?
- Does your company provide the training and development opportunities you need?
- What are your goals for the next year in terms of professional development?
- What are the most important aspects of your work?
- Are there any other departments in the business that you’d want to learn more about?
These questions and open dialogues help workers feel heard, respected, and supported, making them more productive. It’s also a great way to make sure that you have the correct people in place to carry out your succession plans.
Shine The Spotlight On Documentation
Making documentation a part of your culture and practices will make everyone’s lives so much simpler, regardless of what position gap you need to fill on your team. Documenting common procedures does away with siloed information and offers a resource that individuals can resort to when duties need to be either temporarily covered or permanently transferred.
Get on the crests and fill in the voids
With proper succession planning, you’ll have a clear path to follow as your organization expands and your employees take on new roles. When you’ve completed the procedure, you’ll be much more equipped to fill in any role voids that may arise without having to rush about.
Even if you prepare everything meticulously, it doesn’t guarantee a trouble-free voyage. Unexpected departures from your organization are possible, especially if a key player in the strategy leaves.
It’s also possible that a restructuring of your department will take place. In the end, you’ll still have to come up with some less-than-ideal answers in order to make it through.
Succession planning isn’t a one-and-done process. You must learn to adapt to the changing conditions. Keep in mind that even though it may seem paradoxical, the greatest plans are those that can be modified.