In episode 4 of "The JoyPowered Workspace Podcast," 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 questions from listeners about finding out if you're part of the succession plan and how to get your boss to consider creating a plan.
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.
Start at the top. Sit down with the leader of the organization and think about his or her direct reports. Then discuss any key players deeper in the organization and really understand their roles. What are the technical competencies for those roles? Think about who you include in the population of people that you want to consider for the roles; this may be the direct reports, but may also include the people who report to the direct reports, and there may be high-potential people deeper in the organization. Help the people you choose continue to grow, develop, and prepare for that next role, and make sure they're actually interested in taking it on.
Never tell anyone they are the successor, just tell them they're a potential candidate and you want to help them develop so they'll be a viable option in your search after the job opens. Make sure you follow through and give them an opportunity to show you what they can do when the time comes.
In this episode's listener mail, Tony from Cincinnati wants to know how to find out if he's on the radar for promotion, and Deborah from Indianapolis asks how to get her boss to think about putting together a succession plan. JoDee and Susan also discuss a bill introduced in Congress in early February 2017 to enable tax-free employer repayments of student loans.