Why Succession Planning Is Important for Your Organisation

Vicki Mann

Posted 08/11/2021
by Vicki Mann

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Why Succession Planning Is Important for Your Organisation

Succession planning is the process that involves recognising and developing individuals in organisations. A good succession plan can also be utilised as a formal process of identifying and developing new leaders who can replace current leaders in any event. Planning for eventualities is key to future-proofing your business, so analysing high-potential employees and development potential in your workforce is the smart way to ensuring the succession of your business. Succession planning focuses on what you need to provide employees for them to progress in your organisation. A good succession plan and strategy is data-driven ands can often be time-consuming as they require a detailed understanding of your organisation and its key players. The succession planning process also involves doing an assessment of skillsets and knowledge gaps, in addition to setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the organisation. The earlier the plan is produced, the better for the organisation. Effective succession planning makes sure there is a smooth transition in the eventuality of a disruption in business operations.  

Prepares for any kind of change

The aim of succession planning is so that organisations are prepared for any kind of transition or unprecedented events. In doing so, creating a succession plan helps you prepare your business for the future. A lack of succession planning can leave your business vulnerable to extenuating circumstances as you assume the health and loyalty of your employees are secured.

Life is unpredictable, so more often than not there are changes and unforeseen circumstances that can have knock-on effects on your business. The COVID-19 pandemic was a prime example of this, as leadership teams had to adapt to different styles of working and many high-performing employees may have had to take time off during lockdown. Of course, succession planning isn't just about one-off disasters, a member of your leadership may be poached by another organisation, hand in a sudden resignation or take a career break.

Although you cannot anticipate a disaster, having a good succession plan in place will ensure that you are able to respond to these kinds of events.

Builds a development structure

Succession planning guarantees a development structure is built into organisations. When there are holistic training and development programs in place, it makes it easier and smoother for employees to move into positions within the company. The aim of the development structure is so that employees are aware of the career possibilities in the organisation they may or may not have considered. A succession and development program should also include occasions to mentor and coach potential candidates as you can get a head start on creating your next generation of high-performers. Training for succession sends a message to your employees that you are interested in guiding them forward and progressing their careers. An effective succession plan = effective employee development.  

Helps Identify skills gaps within an organisation

When key players assess the current state of their organisation, they are able to pick out the necessary skillsets, competencies and knowledge gaps it has. Succession planning matters because you begin to see areas of weakness that may affect your organisation’s strategy. Taking leadership on developing your employees skillsets enables the pro-active and effective implementation of succession plans for your business in the long term. Once this is done, behavioural and cognitive training programs and tests are can be utilised to fill these skills gaps. Offering skill programs show that an organisation is willing and is able to invest in its workforce. This could motivate the top talent within the organisation to progress further, improve the productivity of current employees and improve employee retention. In some instances, succession planning notifies the management of the organisation about the lack or limiting talent for certain key positions. In this regard, to ensure continuity, management with Human Resources (HR) will start to look for successors in the organisation. In turn, it leaves employees feeling more prepared when it is time for them to take on that leadership role.  

Establishes clear communication in the organisation 

The succession planning process involves getting heads of departments along with all members of the organisation. This is an excellent way of improving and promoting communication in the organisation. Because succession planning involves long-term or future planning, it can enhance the manner in which everyone in the organisation works on a daily basis. Succession planning also creates a positive atmosphere in the workplace and employee engagement is higher because there is clear communication over the expectations and timelines of business progression. It reinforces that the message that the stakeholders are committed to developing the workforce for future leadership positions. Succession planning matters as it establishes that senior management of the organisation are dedicated to nurturing internal talent. According to Herzberg's theory of motivation, when the management of an organisation meets the personal growth, achievement and recognition needs of employees, it promotes motivation and trust with them. Meeting these three motivators through clear communication aids in the retention of employees.  

Cuts costs 

Putting a succession plan in place can cut significant costs for a business. In the event that there is a sudden vacancy, whether a resignation, illness or death, an organisation risks bearing a lot of costs. The organisation might have to end up paying a huge sum of money for external candidate in salary and recruitment costs. In addition, it is highly likely that an external hire for an executive role could bring along their own team which could also cost the organisation more than they would have anticipated. Creating a succession plan reduces the time and money used in looking for a successor for the top management roles in the organisation. There is also less need for onboarding and high costs for external recruitment because potential successors will have already been identified and trained internally. In summary, with successful succession planning in place, you avoid paying a significant amount to fill a leadership position.  

How can Skillsarena enable successful succession planning?

Developing a good succession and development plan takes a lot of time, knowledge, skill and expertise. Here at Skillsarena, there are multiple tests that can accurately identify key traits and abilities employers look out for in current or prospective employees that they include in their succession plans.

Situational Judgment Tests

This is a psychometric test that measures soft skills sets such as common sense, non-academic behaviours, techniques in identifying solutions and practical intelligence. They work in a realistic and practical way, presenting applicants with different workplace situations when performing the functions that the job requires. These situations help give a prospective employer an insight into how a prospective employee might respond to a given situation with solutions.

Logic-Based Aptitude Tests

This test measures a candidate’s non-verbal intelligence – their capacity to analyse situations, extract rules, and find the right solution using logical and abstract reasoning. This is an in-depth cognitive test that provides an accurate indication of a candidate’s success when faced with workplace problems they have to solve. This test does not measure knowledge in a particular subject area, but rather their thought problem-solving process. This is a useful tool in the recruitment process for any employer.

Bespoke Tests

At Skillsarena we give you the opportunity to create your own tests tailored to the demands of your organisation. This is a successful means of guaranteeing the right hires and ensuring good job performance. At Skillsarena, we have the expertise to create a quiz or any other test experience that will assess the most important skills necessary to your organisation.

We believe our Situational Judgement Tests, Logical Reasoning Tests, and Bespoke Tests are the best methods of guaranteeing a good hire who can progress in your organisation. Skillsarena tests can assess an applicant’s ability to solve a real problem in ways that cannot be measured solely by interview questions. Skillsarena will assist the organisation in identifying the potential leadership skills in applicants and ensure your organisation is equipped with the succession strategy tools needed to succeed.

Contact our team here to find out how our personality tests can identify potential succession development with your internal teams and in pre-employment checks for potential hires.

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