Posted 21/07/2022

A succession plan involves handing over leadership responsibilities to employees gradually over a period of time. The purpose is to allow the business to continually run smoothly and not become dependent on one specific person. 

Employees partake in cross-training to gain leadership abilities, multidimensional skills and a sense of the overall company objectives. Successful succession planning can take between two and several years. 

To be fully prepared for the future, manufacturing and engineering firms must ensure that the next generation of leaders are successfully developed. 

The Key Elements of Succession Planning 

Identify Critical Roles and Positions 

The first stage is to identify roles and positions that are paramount to your current success. You need to ask questions such as: What would happen if this person left the company? How would the business be affected? Would there be an immediate gap to fill? Are there any other employees who could step up? To plan for the future, you must consider the bigger picture and identify key players within your organisation. 

Create a Success Profile for Critical Positions 

Analyse the responsibilities of the job and how they relate to the business. Review the knowledge, competencies, experiences, personal qualities and leadership abilities needed for the role. It is helpful at this stage to create a job advert for your ideal candidate taking into consideration all of the above and the effect on your organisation.

Identify Successors 

To evaluate potential successors for crucial positions, utilise a rating scale including factors such as: 

Urgency: Now - 5+ years 

Level of confidence in the candidate: 1 (No Confidence) - 5 (Very Confident)

When do we need to fill this position? 1 (Never) - 5 (Now)

This will create a more objective outlook on potential successors, helping you to organise when succession planning needs actioning. 

Assess the Development Needs 

Once you have identified potential candidates for critical roles, you need to assess their development needs in order to move from their current position to the future role. Compare their present performance against their predicted future potential. Ask the employee, in the soon to be succeeded position, to evaluate their role to fully understand the requirements for the job. 

Develop the Talent and Planning

Create a timeline detailing how you will move from point A to point B. This could include appraising current employees, operation factors, their readiness for growth, areas for improvement, goals and objections. Take accountability for your plan, have completion dates and targets over the course of time. Regularly review the progress of employees against the timeline of the plan. 

Document your Plan 

Keep track of relevant internal and external training, staff readiness and gap analysis. This paper trail can serve as a guide for other areas of the business to be referred to in the future. 

If you would like any help actioning succession planning within your organisation, the Theo James team can help! Get in touch today.

0330 1340 274