When you have spent years of your life building a successful business, succession becomes a natural concern. Whether this will involve family members or outside hires, it’s essential to be objective to ensure the business’s successful continuity. You don’t have to wait till you near retirement; a good succession plan protects the business from future unknowns.
Here are some of the steps you can take in succession planning:
Identify crucial positions
The positions to consider in your plan are those that would affect the ability of the business to achieve its goals. There may be several positions in the company without identifiable successors but the critical ones are those that would result in knowledge loss once ownership/management changes.
Come up with eligibility requirements
Once you’ve identified the critical positions, come up with a list of attributes and skills that the appropriate candidate would need to have, as well as performance expectations for the role.
Assess your talent to identify high-potential employees who could be groomed for leadership roles. This assessment should consider both technical skills as well as personal qualities such as motivation and emotional intelligence
Nominate a successor
Encourage management to recommend candidates they feel are suited for the role. Announce the requirements for qualified employees to apply for the role to create an accountable process.
Develop a grooming process for qualified employees to go through. This includes providing training opportunities to expand their knowledge and let them know what to expect.
Evaluate the plan
Keep updating the plan each year to reflect the company’s current business needs.
It’s never too early to get a business succession plan in place. It may mean finding a buyer for the business or making changes to cover vulnerabilities that may arise from unexpected vacancies.