If you’re an executive or manager, you’re busy. It’s likely your hard work got you to your current position and hard work is the only way you’re going to keep it. Hard work is great, but if all you do is work hard, you’re going to fail at growth and succession planning. Ensuring the future of the firm isn’t about working hard, but working smart.
It’s the responsibility of every executive or manager to have a plan for the future of your company, your division, or your department. This plan is built around talent. The end goal is to ensure that your firm has the right number, type, and quality of people in the right roles, at the right time, to execute its strategy.
Most managers understand that there’s a connection between business strategy and talent. However, very few managers create plans or processes to leverage this connection for the benefit of their business. Below is an action-based outline for talent development and succession planning that supports your firm’s business strategy and goals.
- Create an ideal candidate profile based on your firm’s strategy. Begin this process well in advance of your expected need. Consider both short and long-term business goals. What experiences, traits, competencies, and skills will this person need for success?
- Get an accurate assessment of current candidates’ strengths and weaknesses. This is best done utilizing 360 performance feedback from the candidate’s supervisor, co-workers, and direct reports.
- Think ahead. Don’t just plan how to replace the incumbent, plan one or two moves ahead. Succession planning is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Dig deep and learn who the potential candidates are in the mid-level and junior positions within your firm.
- Develop the skills needed for future roles with on-the-job training, coaching, mentoring, and education. Your executive team should make recommendations on how to prepare their successors, spend time mentoring these employees, and advise them on the unique challenges they may face down the road. Leaders should include their successors in routine projects to help them understand their decision-making process.
- Stay up to date on candidates’ career goals. Have a quarterly discussion with employees about their career aspirations. What are his or her goals? What does he or she want to do? If their goals have changed, your succession plan may have to as well.
- Put succession planning on the agenda for meetings of your senior leadership team. Succession is an ongoing process. As potential leaders emerge from within your firm, the senior leadership team should be updated on plans so they know how to meets the future needs of the organization.
- Link your talent management and development planning to your longer-term business strategy. The future is unpredictable. As your business strategy shifts, so must your talent development process.
At the mid-level of your company, proactive succession planning leaves your organization well prepared for all contingencies and ensures a strong talent pool. At the leadership level, the results are even more significant. It allows your business to continually strengthen the leadership team that will support your firm’s strategy and goals well into the future.
Contact our team today at firstname.lastname@example.org to formalize your staffing and succession plans. There’s no time to wait. The future of your business is too important!