Succession planning is one of the important levels of strategic planning that gives you an opportunity to formulate a plan on how your business is expected to perform after your tenure in leadership. Effective succession planning is highly advantageous as it gives you an opportunity to set in place mechanisms that ensure operational efficiency and transfer of leadership where necessary. When undertaking succession planning, emphasis should be put on ensuring that every aspect of business leadership is handled as comprehensively as possible. Whereas business owners understand the importance of performing succession planning, few put in place the necessary measures. Here are 7 key tips to consider when planning for smooth business succession.
Initiate the planning process early:
To be thorough and comprehensive in your succession planning, you need to ensure that you start planning as early as possible. Whereas experts do not have a recommendation on the definite duration of time by when you should start succession planning before implementation, it is generally agreed upon that early planning gives you sufficient time to come up with a comprehensive plan.
Starting as early as 10 years before effecting the plan gives you sufficient time to ensure that everyone who is involved is sufficiently prepared to take over. This also eliminates the rush that may set in in the event of a delayed succession planning process. Such delays may lead to unprecedented and unwanted hurried succession which puts the business’s future in jeopardy.
Nurture the prospected leaders:
When undertaking succession planning, especially in a family business, emphasis should be made on nurturing continuity in leadership. This ensures that once you leave as the top manager, your junior takes your place and steers the company forward. When performing succession planning, you should have that in mind and therefore focus on nurturing and developing the prospective leaders.
Leader development and nurturing should focus on, among other things, bringing the best out of the qualities you desire to see in them. This may be done in a gradual process such as delegating responsibilities and evaluating the prospected leader’s ability to perform with the integrity and precision demanded for in a top business manager.
Have an open-minded approach:
To be thorough and effective in succession planning, you need to avoid bias as much as possible. In a family business or a business where leadership succession is hierarchical, maintaining an open mind can be quite hard, especially since the second in command is the most likely person to inherit your leadership. To avoid such bias, you should have an open mind in regards to potential candidates who can take over from you after you leave office.
When looking for an appropriate leader to take after you, you may want to give a thought of every potential candidate available within the business. This gives you an opportunity to extend your options as wide as possible. It also ensures that you don’t miss potential employees whose skills, competencies, and experiences may come in handy in taking over from you.
Exposed potential candidates to training:
Training is quite crucial as it ensures that prospecting leaders within your business get an opportunity to advance their skills. In this regard, leaders that you think are capable of leading your organization in one way or another should be appropriately identified and marked for progressive training and development. Such training should be focused on anticipated areas within your business that are of importance for the employees to take over once you leave.
Succession training is also crucial and should be exposed to all workers who show an outstanding level of managerial skills. The well-trained workers get to be prepared for advanced leadership positions that may be created after you leave office. In some cases, promoting your immediate deputy in the hierarchy leads to vacant positions down the business administration structure. The well-trained candidates, once promoted, would be able to fill those positions effectively.
Dry-run your plan:
When planning for a smooth succession in your business, it is highly advisable to ensure that you, on several occasions, do a dry run of your succession plan. Dry running a succession plan gives you an opportunity to evaluate how potent your plan is in terms of meeting certain expectations. The dry running process does not have to be official and should be preferably done without informing the employees involved. This can be done by momentarily leaving your office for official vacation or even other official duties for a considerable amount of time such as between a few weeks to a month. The duration of absence gives you an opportunity to test how suited your prospected leaders are in terms of filling the void created by your absence.
Do your final plan in writing:
After concluding and making adjustments on your succession plan for your business, you should endeavor to put the final plan in writing. To be effective and thorough, you should consider engaging qualified, experienced, and reputable succession planning legal professionals such as Boss Lawyers in Australia. The lawyers, in such a case, help you to prepare the necessary documents including succession policies, how the current generation of employees will hand over to future generations, as well as how to resolve any arising disputes thereof. The exit strategy created from a legal perspective ensures that everyone within the business is bound while also creating a viable atmosphere for business continuity and harmony among the workers.
Make your wishes known:
Lastly, after every element of succession planning has been conducted, it is crucial to bring everyone on board the plan to ensure that they are well aware of the strategic direction that the business is taking. You should, preferably, convene a meeting with everyone in the business as well as your business’s key customers. In the business meeting, you should outline what your wish is and reveal any other pertinent information that was not captured within the succession legal framework. You may also use the platform to ensure that any questions or concerns that your workers may have are appropriately handled in a plenary session.