Episode 16 of “The JoyPowered™ Workspace Podcast,” extends our popular “The Importance of Succession Planning” episode and is eligible for one SHRM credit. JoDee and Susan discuss why you need a succession plan, how to create your company’s plan, and how often to update your plan. They also answer small business owner Joe’s questions about succession planning and talk to succession planning expert Lisa Geller.
Whether it’s formal or informal, it’s important that your company has a succession plan. That means you should take time to figure out who’s going to replace the people in key positions if something unexpected happens. You should have a plan for every key role, and that may not just be the C suite; anyone that’s pivotal for the company’s strategic objectives or is the only person who knows how to do a certain task should be considered.
It should be a living plan; don’t create a succession plan and then never look at it again, because the skills required may change and the candidate you chose may not be the right person anymore. Update your succession plan no less than once a year to make sure you have the right skills identified and everyone in the plan is still at the organization and the best person to fill that role.
Small business owner Joe calls in with questions about his organization’s succession plan. He owns a professional services company with about 15 employees, and he and his partner have gone through the process of creating a plan for transferring ownership. Joe wants to know how important it is to share the plan with employees who aren’t part of the plan, and what level of detail should be shared. JoDee and Susan ask questions and help him figure out what to do.
Succession planning expert Lisa Geller from Geller Consulting Group shares the knowledge she’s gained from helping companies of various sizes with their succession plans. The critical elements of a succession plan are understanding and identifying what the critical roles are, putting together clearly defined success profiles, and having a well-defined strategy and action plan so you’re able to fill those roles when you need to. It’s also important that it’s revisited at least annually and when the company’s going through significant changes, and isn’t treated as a one-time exercise. If you don’t understand what’s required and get the right person in a critical role, the company won’t be able to deliver results. Lisa also gives advice on gathering the data on the requirements of critical roles, bringing in external candidates, and whether you should use software to keep track of data.
In this episode’s listener mail, Tony wants to know how to find out if he’s on the radar for promotion, and Deborah asks how to get her boss to think about putting together a succession plan.