Talent Connection Blog

Making succession planning preparations is different than making other company preparations. Unlike most organizational adjustments you make, succession planning doesn’t warrant immediate results—it’s more focused on the long-term and the what-ifs. Since you cannot immediately see firsthand if your succession plan is effective, you may want to take a peek at the best practices shared by companies that are clearly doing it right, based on their bottom line results. Ivyexec.com has compiled a list of 10 succession planning best practices that are all commonly shared among these successful companies.

  1. Assess performance and potential. Past performance isn’t always an indicator of future performance. It is necessary to have an accurate, up-to-date assessment of your employees’ performance. An ideal way of doing this is by implementing employee assessments, such as the ones offered at Talexes, where you can assess employees at every stage of the organization.
  2. Align with business strategy. There should be a clear understanding of how succession planning will affect your specific business strategy, and of the consequences of not having a succession plan.
  3. Have regular talent reviews. These should be held on every level of the organization. This way, star performers can be found wherever they are. Also, poor performers are quickly identified and dealt with.
  4. Only identify viable successors for a handful of key “C Level” positions. This way the focus can be on finding high potentials for top levels of the organization, as well as for positions that may not even exist yet.
  5. Take a pipeline approach to development in order to identify and develop talent at all levels of the organization.
  6. Manage the irrational, political, and emotional dynamics of succession. The term “it’s just business” comes into play here. Some employees may take it personally if they are not chosen for promotion. You need to make it apparent to your team that succession planning decisions are made purely on business terms—no irrational, political, or emotional factors are swaying your decisions.
  7. Integrate succession planning with performance management, recruitment, selection, development, and rewards. Just like any other part of the employee lifecycle, the succession planning process is not meant to be done in secret.
  8. Hold the executive team accountable. They are in charge of key activities and results that can sway the succession planning process.
  9. Have commitment and involvement of the CEO and Board. There should be somewhat of a checks and balances system between the CEO and the Board, and they should each play a part in the decision-making process.
  10. Make a serious commitment to development. Making lists of employees for succession is a wasted effort if you don’t commit to developing those employees.

It’s never too early to start your succession planning preparations. If you need more guidance, contact Talexes today!