Succession planning keeps organizations moving forward amid the inevitable changes that come with business operations.
Its function is essentially to have a plan and process in place to fill vacancies in key positions so that businesses aren’t left floundering. While not necessarily responsible for the creation of the succession plan, human resources is usually responsible for the process to create the plan, much of its implementation, and its ultimate success.
Here are five ways HR should be involved in your succession planning process to achieve the best results.
1. Reflect overall organizational objectives
Many organizations make the mistake of identifying a desired successor first and then backtracking to create a suitable process. Instead, succession planning should be in accordance with broader business goals. Keep the vision for the company’s long-term future in mind as you’re building the requirements and use it as the foundation for your planning efforts.
2. Talent management
Maintaining a pool of qualified potential succession candidates requires a deep bench of talent to be in place. Determine how prepared employees would be if they were in a leadership role, and then make sure they acquire the skills they need to excel in it. Recruiting, developing, and retaining top talent is a crucial part of any succession plan and should already be a part of existing HR processes involving training and development. It will also put your performance management systems to the test and can help to identify any shortfalls that may exist.
3. Implement strategies that support organizational policies
Succession plans vary by company size, industry, and culture, but they should always align with departmental policies and functions. For example, your proposed succession plan might involve attractive recruitment bonuses or performance incentives to keep your top internal candidates from taking their talents elsewhere. Policies like these fall under HR’s recruitment and retention functions, so having departmental involvement and approval is critical to the plan’s feasibility.
4. Identify skills requirements and gaps
When a key leader leaves, no one wants to be left to figure out what their responsibilities were and how they fulfilled them. Get input from those in senior positions to find out what they consider the key duties and the necessary skillsets for their roles. List these core competencies for the next generation of leaders, particularly as they relate to your firm’s overall strategic objectives. Analyze where your company falls in relation to these competencies. Do you already have employees with these skills, or is bridging the gap between current and future needs a critical part of developing future candidates? And although succession planning tends to target leadership roles, don’t forget to consider those who are retiring. Identifying successors is important, but ensuring that vital organizational knowledge doesn’t walk out the door with them is equally critical.
5. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation
A great succession plan requires ongoing work and attention from management. An evergreen document designed to respond to needs as they arise, it should be regularly revisited and updated. For example, as employees change positions or move in and out of the company, training needs, schedules, and potential successors all change. HR can help to ensure that succession plans remain accurate and up to date.
Keep your organization running smoothly by putting a current, well-conceived succession plan in place. The HR Team can help you remove the complexity from succession planning and create viable strategies that reflect your business goals. Please contact our knowledgeable professionals to learn more.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, the firm serves all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit https://www.thehrteam.com/.