Succession Planning

Ensure employees are recruited and developed to fill every key role

Succession Planning is a process by which an organisation ensures that employees are recruited and developed to fill each key role within the company.

Succession planning is not just about promotion paths to the top. It’s about getting the right person in place for every job. If a firm plans to double in size in three years, they will need more talented managers and must plan accordingly.

This process of succession planning enables your organisation to:

  1. Assess if you have the right skills mix to achieve company goals – and determine what gaps exist that must be closed.
  2. Identify talented employees and provide education to develop them for future higher level and broader responsibilities
  3. Identify which employees are at risk of leaving.
  4. Retain superior employees
  5. Build “bench strength.”
  6. Determine where people belong on the bus.
  7. Determine if they should be on your bus – or someone else’s.

If you want to effectively do succession planning in your organisation, you must first identify your organisation’s long term goals. In the process you will also need to understand the developmental needs and goals of your employees. Then you need to make sure that your key employees understand the roles, responsibilities, and career paths of the positions that they are being developed to fill. There needs to be a match.
Also be mindful of the job employment trends in your industry and area so that you have a good appreciation for the roles that you may have a particularly difficult time filling externally.

Succession Planning Chart

Basic Succession Planning Organisation Chart

To help everyone get a clear picture on the workforce a diagnostic organisation chart must be developed. Any org charting software tool that helps you visualise the organisation and its personnel ‘hot spots’ will greatly help in a successful planning process. OrgChart is an organisation charting software that automates the organisation mapping and visualisation process.

One of the deliverables from the succession planning process is a diagnostic organisation chart. Using OrgChart and the succession planning process, here is a basic chart showing positions that are filled, currently vacant, expected to be vacant, ready-now for promotion, and contractor. Additional fields may be added for length of time on the job, expected departure date, skill sets, etc. But this basic chart becomes an important visual to communicate the urgency for sound planning and taking action to protect your company’s greatest asset.

Your goal is to hire superior people that have the passion, character, capability and track record for the job. Good people that fit are tough to find, which makes the succession planning and hiring so critical.

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