Succession planning is not something most people think about until they are ready to retire, but the consequences of waiting could have a lasting effect on your business.
So do you have a succession plan? Succession planning is one of the most important tasks and responsibilities of senior managers today. According to Pew Research Center, 10,000 baby boomers retire every day and with them goes decades of knowledge and workplace experience.
The generation that will be replacing the retiring baby boomers is the largest generation in history, the Millennials. There are about 92 million Millennials in the workplace today, or nearly 20 percent more than the 77 million baby boomers. With the accelerating retirement rate and a large number of younger workers coming into the business world, a fierce, tight talent competition will be created to fill up leadership positions.
To achieve the goal of proper succession planning for a senior manager, it usually requires a minimum of two to four years of training, coaching, shadowing, and mentoring to develop the capabilities and people skills necessary to substitute for the exiting executive. The sooner you start, the better it will be for your organization.
The following are the basic steps necessary to start succession planning:
1. Define and write the company's official retirement policies,
This will need to be adopted and implemented within the organization. Include retirement age, detailed process to apply for retirement and benefits based on years of service.
2. Develop a key employees' retirement matrix
This is to identify retirement time lines in your company. Make a list naming all the mission-critical management team members with their age and remaining amount of years until they reach age 65.
3. Identify and make a list of each key mission
These are critical positions (vital for the functioning of the company) throughout the company that will need developed individuals to succeed the previous employee.
4. Define the technical skills and levels
All the skills and levels of experience required to qualify for each position need to be defined, as well as the ideal attributes and characteristics required to be appointed to each leadership and mission-critical positions.
5. Identify the internal candidates matching the requirements for each position.
Define what managerial and technical training, tools, experience, and empowerment your internal "high potentials" will need to be ready to occupy the key positions in the future. Conduct personality profiles to make sure their personality, strengths, and attributes will fit within the position they will be occupying.
6. Recruit from the outside
If you don't have the inside talent to occupy your current positions, look elsewhere. Recruit talent by using recruitment ads, listing the attributes, characteristics, skills, and experience each position requires. Make sure you describe the working environment in a Millennial-appealing way.
7. Develop a retention plan attractive to Millennials
Include points like engagement, training, coaching and mentoring programs, open communication policies, participation and inclusion policies, modern, flexible work environment, loyalty programs, career opportunities, values-based management, company-sponsored social and community involvement opportunities, networking opportunities, and wellness programs.
The term succession planning denotes a passive activity, which has to do with the replacement of old managers. The reality is that every company, whether their management team will retire in two or 10 years, needs to establish a proactive process to identify internal talent, train, and develop them. But retirement is not the only reason to think about succession planning. High turn-over is also an important reason to always have a succession plan in place. This new generation stays with their companies half the length of previous generations. So for the long-term success of your organization, follow the provided steps and have a solid succession plan in place.