Succession Planning – How to Get it Right

August 14, 2020 | Business in education Alaina Riley, Marketing & Wellness Coordinator, Focus OneSource,

If something happens to you, the business owner, do you know who will fill your shoes? Do you have a succession plan that outlines the next generation of leaders to step in? As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”

The answer to reducing risk in the event of change in leadership is a strong succession plan. Your succession plan should indicate who the successor is. Take it a step further by including training and mentoring opportunities to ensure the successor is ready to take over when the time comes.

Does your business need a succession plan?
Yes! All businesses, regardless of size, should have a succession plan. Whether your business is five or 5,000 people, you need to have a plan in place. Succession planning helps the business move forward in the event of a leadership change.

How do I identify successors?
Take a look at your internal team. Your current employees are already familiar with your business, your values and your mission. Evaluate your team from the bottom up and indicate who could be a good fit. Discuss career goals with your employees and assess their readiness for the position. Not all employees are interested in leadership, so ensure you and your successors are on the same page. Retaining your best employees should stay top of mind. However, you may need to look externally to fill some roles.

I have my successor(s) in mind, now what?
Is your plan transparent? Keep your team in the loop and inform all parties involved. Map out a path your successors can follow to be successful. Set aside ample time for mentorship between those who are in leadership roles and the qualified succes- sors. Learning through mentorship passes along valuable knowledge gained from experience and prepares employees for their future positions.

Take it to the next level.
Creating an expansive succession plan takes time and can be challenging, no doubt. But investing time and energy into developing an in-depth succession plan better prepares businesses for the next step.