A company should always be prepared for contingencies. In most companies it is thought that crises can only be brand related or product related. Due to this reason, workforce related crisis is addressed either informally or not at all. It becomes a major issue when leadership positions are left vacant due to retirement, exits, or some misfortune. If there is no plan in place, how does an organization go about to fill these positions on a timely basis, it causes chaos and loss of revenue and business.
To mitigate the risks of this happening in an organization, succession planning for critical positions should be introduced in the organization and methodically practiced. Succession planning can be defined as deliberate and systematic effort by an organization to ensure leadership continuity in key positions, retain and develop intellectual and knowledge capital for the future.
Roadmap for Succession Planning-
Chalk out critical/leadership positions
Create an organizational structure for the company and then by method of eliminate, the positions that have multiple people handling and have large pools of candidate to choose from. With this, you will have the list of critical positions and leadership positions that need to have a talent pipeline built.
Working out competencies
With the critical positions out of the way, the next step is to work out the competencies and skill set required for those positions. The upcoming people need to be mentored and trained to take on those positions.
Scope alternates for the positions
There are two options by which alternates can be chosen, one is internally where potential candidates are picked and trained to take over the positions. This is sometimes done informally where the person currently at the position, grooms someone within the team to take over their position. Secondly, external candidates can be brought in to take on these positions.
Create a talent pipeline
Through the above these steps, a pool of candidates can be created from which alternates can be taken to fill the vacant critical positions without any hassle.
These are the broad steps to create a plan for succession planning, there are other smaller factors to keep in mind like tenure, permeance, transition time, etc.