Build a Strong Organization with Smarter Succession Planning

November 23, 2011

The most successful organizations plan in advance for growth through succession planning. Succession planning is a process that involves identifying employees who demonstrate core strengths and developing employee skills to fill future key roles. In this way, an organization builds a stronger foundation from within that enables it to grow and adapt over time.

While succession planning is generally a function of human resources, it is also something that the executive team should be mindful of as new hires are brought on and existing staff members are trained. This takes advance planning to decide how and when departments need to add more team members, which is difficult to predict. However, by identifying key abilities and experiences, an organization can better ensure that the right skill-sets will be in place when the organization is ready to expand.

Here are a few tips for building a strong organization with smart succession planning.

Focus on staff development. Chances are, you’ve already got a strong base of employees who possess the skills you need, and they have demonstrated loyalty. Instead of continually searching for new, untested employees, look at your internal employees to evaluate their skills, then offer ongoing training and development programs. This investment will pay off in the form of higher productivity, and you will be able to identify employees who have the skills and attitudes suitable for bigger and better assignments.

Recruit strategically. Be careful about the people you hire by taking more time to screen and interview candidates. Just because someone looks good on a resume, doesn’t mean he or she will be a good fit for your company. Take the time to find out if each candidate has up-to-date skills, a forward thinking personality, and the ability to bring more than just a college degree to the job. Consider how each candidate will complement existing team members, and how to use this to launch new ideas and improved processes.

Use lateral promotions. Before you hire another entry level person, why not consider promoting some of your existing staff into higher roles, and then hiring more skilled employees to fill mid-level assignments? While it may be a little more costly up front to do this, the advantage is that you will be able to recruit from a more advanced pool of quality candidates. This brings more value to your talent numbers, rather than more people to spend countless hours training and replacing—a practice that leads to a large waste of resources.

Looking for more ways to strengthen your organization through effective succession planning? Consider downloading the FREE Dale Carnegie white paper on this topic today!

This post is brought to you by Dale Carnegie Training of Central Indiana, expert providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Indiana. We would love to connect with you on Facebook!

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