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How To Develop A Succession Plan In 6 Steps

If you want to protect your organization’s future, you need to develop a succession plan. With the flood of Baby Boomers retiring, succession planning now is critical to future success.

If you want to protect your organization’s future, you need to develop a succession plan. With the flood of Baby Boomers retiring, succession planning now is critical to future success.

When you have a viable succession plan in place, it indicates to your employees that they too can have a future with you. It shows your clients that you aren’t going anywhere and they can trust you with their business. Succession planning also puts focus on developing talent within an organization, which will help you gain loyalty with Generation Y and shows employees that you value their career growth. Promoting from within will also save your organization a lot of money.

Succession planning not only makes good business sense, it also makes your organization sustainable. The following are six high-level steps to follow when it comes to succession planning:


Which attrition problems is your organization concerned about: planned departures or the unexpected? Are you concerned about succession because strategic changes to your business require a different set of skills than the ones key employees currently offer? Asking these questions and understanding why a plan is necessary will help you focus your plan to meet your organization’s specific needs.


Succession planning needs to involve excellent communication, an understanding of necessary roles within the organization, information about your hiring process and knowledge of your workforce. To develop an effective process, you need a team.


If you have major changes coming to your workplace or your industry, you need to identify the trends that will affect the leaders you need for the future. Your succession plan is a map for the future, so you’ll need to look at what is causing changes now and consider what those changes will mean for your organization.


Everything is connected. For your succession plan to lead your organization into the future, it needs to be aligned with the organization’s overall plans for the future. When you build your team, be sure to include a strategic thinker who understands the company’s objectives and strategy.


Knowing the key roles and the skills needed to succeed in those roles is the first step. The next step is to determine where you will look for potential successors . Do you have the necessary talent within your organization already, can you develop it, or will you need to recruit it?


Great, you have a plan! Now, you need to put it into motion. Create clear actions and assign them to specific people within your organization. Writing actionable succession plan items into job descriptions is a good way to make it clear what is expected and needed to be done. It also adds a level of accountability that will make your succession plan stronger.

People leave. New leaders emerge. Industries shift. Creating a plan and putting it into action is an excellent start, but don’t forget to review and revise as needed. Don’t let your organization limp into the future, make it strong with solid succession planning.

Take the first step towards your future.

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