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What is Succession planning process?

5 min read

Do You Know That Only 1% Of The Companies Admit That Their Succession Planning Process Is Outstanding?


And more than 60% of the companies bluntly admit that their succession planning process is fair or even worse.

Fundamentally, succession planning is a conscious decision by an organization to nurture and promote the continuous development of employees, and to make sure that the key positions in the organization maintain some measure of stability, thus enabling an organization to achieve desired business objectives.

Succession management is basically all about knowing the goals of the organization and its employees and improving the capacity to address emerging issues that will affect the business in the long run.

It is also important to acknowledge that the succession planning is different for different organizations.

Succession Planning Vs. Replacement Planning

When you ask an average CEO about what succession planning is all about, virtually 50 percent of the CEO’s confuse it with replacement planning. The truth is, there is a significant difference between both of them.

Replacement planning generally assumes that the organization chart will remain unchanged over a period of time. It identifies the back-ups for top-level positions and stops there. In contrast, succession planning focuses on developing employees for advanced roles rather than solely naming them as replacements.

The aim of succession planning is to build deep bench strength so that, whenever a position becomes vacant, the organization will have many qualified candidates internally who may be considered for undertaking the bigger role.

Identifying the top talent is an easy task to do, but providing requisite knowledge and skills to them to become leaders that present a challenge is important. It is essential to inform the “top talent” that they are in the loop for the advanced role in the organization and move them around within the organization so that they can gain experience and expertise.

Step-By-Step Succession Planning Process

Review Plans & Identify Key Positions

It is mandatory to review the strategic plans and objectives of your organization. The first step in succession planning is to identify current or future key positions or groups in the organization. At this stage identifying key positions thoughtfully should be your only focus rather than candidates.

Listing The Competencies

All positions require a particular set of skills, abilities, and knowledge. Therefore, find and list the employees who are perfectly suitable for the corresponding job role. One way to list the competencies is to review relevant merit criteria and job description for the associated position and interview current and former job incumbents.

Identifying Potential Candidates

This step of succession planning is similar to that of general job recruitment practice. But succession planning process goes one step ahead by helping candidates who show great interest in developing the requisite skills for the particular position. Helping and mentoring these candidates prior to the formal recruitment process that begins once, a position becomes vacant.

Development Plans

Once you’ve found the relevant candidates suitable for the role, based on their potential for success and interest in a key position, the organization should ensure that these employees have access to development opportunities and learning tools.

Modern succession planning is based on educating and mentoring the potential candidates rather than solely filling the vacancies.

Implementing The Process

The final step is to implement and evaluate the process. You have to plan the activities and inputs you have to make to get the desired outputs. Every step in this process has to be evaluated to measure the success and progress of the plan. It is essential to monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of the succession plan once it has been established.

Having a succession plan in hand will help you quickly know which employee is likely to take big positions in the company in the future

Succession planning is a not a one-time event and is not decided by an individual. However, it is important to acknowledge that the planning is made to retain and develop every key employee in the organization.

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    Meet the author

    Keka Editorial Team

    A bunch of inspired, creative and ambitious youngsters- that’s Keka’s editorial team for you. We have a thirst to learn new subjects and curate diverse pieces for our readers. Our deep understanding and knowledge of Human Resources has enabled us to answer almost every question pertaining to this department. If not seen finding ways to simplify the HR world, they can be found striking conversations with anyone and everyone , petting dogs, obsessing over gadgets, or baking cakes.


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