Succession replacement required to achieve organizational goal
Right quality (KSAO’s) and right quantity (level) of people at right time are obviously required to achieve organizational goals. It can be ensured through Succession Management and Replacement. Due to retirement, dying, quiet or termination or growth of the organization, may organization face human resource crises. It can be mitigated through appropriate succession management and replacement.
Succession Management and Replacement
Succession management refers to the process of ensuring that pools of skilled employees are trained and available to meet the strategic objectives of the organization. Succession management might be viewed as part of the talent management process of an organization that focuses on the flow of employees, starting from selection to career management to exit, through the organization.
Replacement can be defined as the process of finding replacement employees for key managerial positions. If the CEO dies, who will be prepared to take over that position? Is there a replacement for the vice-president of marketing if she suddenly quits taking another job?
The 7 Most Important Reasons for Implementing Succession Planning
Succession planning is an all-encompassing process. It takes into account existing employees’ skill sets and strengths so you can ensure important positions within your company aren’t left vacant. The following are seven vital reasons you should have a succession plan in place in your organization:
i. Filling Future Vacancies
According to the survey, only about 37% of leaders cited filling future vacancies and shortages as a reason to implement succession planning within their company. This is an interesting finding, as one would think the filling of future vacancies is largely the foundation upon which succession planning was built. This begs the question: are you considering which of your existing employees could step into a critical role, should one become available? If not, you’re likely not properly preparing your current employees in ways that will help them grow within your organization. Bear in mind that succession planning is not only a pre-selection process; rather, it’s the development and enhancement of skills that can be further utilized when positions become available.
ii. Gaining Greater Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Among Leaders
In today’s world, it will likely not come as a surprise to you that 55% of survey respondents indicated they’re leaning on succession planning to gain greater diversity, equity, and inclusion among leaders. The responses, however, did vary between larger and smaller organizations, with larger organizations putting this as the top reason for having succession-planning processes, while smaller companies indicated this is the seventh most important reason.
iii. Increasing Talent Retention
Employee turnover is expensive, both from a financial perspective, as well as that of morale. Wise leaders look for ways to keep existing employees content by building their skillsets and finding ways for them to grow within their organizations. Succession planning can help you stave off a turnover and revel in the retention your efforts will glean you.
iv. Identifying Future Leaders
Who are your rock stars? Who are your go-getters?If you don’t know these answers, you’re probably not leveraging succession planning correctly. Your succession-planning program should help you identify future leaders who can step into vacant positions without batting an eye. If you’re not identifying your future leaders, you’re missing out on great prospects and the potential to turn lower-level employees into future leaders.
v. Preparing Future Leaders
Now that you’ve identified potential future leaders, what are you going to do to prepare them to step into their roles when positions open up? Preparing future leaders was cited by about half of survey respondents, indicating that the need to put job skills in place as early on as possible is important. You should be focusing on leadership readiness, particularly for key positions, because it can take time to hone one’s skills such that one’re able to successfully lead. This is why it’s important to identify potential leaders early on and get them into the mix of your succession plan.
vi. Creating Opportunities for Career Advancement
During the Great Resignation of 2021, a lot of companies were forced to realize that they were not providing employees with the futures they desire. Somewhere around 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021 alone, ushering in a phenomenal job shortage in the U.S.Did people quit because they don’t want a paycheck. Of course not. Sure, there were probably some extenuating circumstances, but in many instances, employees realized they weren’t getting the leverage they need to be better in the workplace. They wanted more money, better titles, and higher levels of responsibility than their companies were willing to afford them. If you’re not creating opportunities for career advancement, you should expect to realize high rates of attrition and overall talent shortages because, rest assured, top talent is seeking opportunities elsewhere.
vii. Risk of Loss
Surprisingly, less than a quarter of survey respondents indicated the risk of loss as one of the key reasons they wanted to implement succession planning into their HR programs. Succession planning shouldn’t only take skills into account—it should also reach for higher levels of employee engagement. Risk of loss means you should be asking your leaders if employees are excited about their positions, and if they’re not, maybe you should be looking for opportunities within your company that make them happy to come to work.
7 Key Steps for Creating a Succession Management Model
Organizations can see a number of benefits that accompany a well-planned succession management program, including an engaged and motivated workforce, a qualified talent pool, an organized view of talent and talent management, sophisticated selection and development systems, greater confidence among stakeholders, and clear career trajectories for all employees. But where do you begin when constructing a plan for succession management for your organization? The process includes seven critical steps.
I. Develop an Organizational Strategy
The organizational strategy is the foundation for your succession management plan. Leaders must ask themselves: what will the company’s focus be in three years? Five years? Ten? Who will the competitors be then? Which, if any, new markets will the organization enter?
II. Define the Key Positions
Once you have a clear understanding of the organization’s overarching strategy, you then need to determine which positions will be fed by the succession management pool you are going to create. That is, you must identify the central positions that need to be filled by adequately trained, experienced, well-rounded employees who have made their way through your curated succession pipeline. Not all leadership roles in an organization are essential to the plan – focusing on the top 5 or 10 positions is a good jumping-off point.
III. Clarify the Applicable Performance Metrics
After determining the specific positions that will be fed by the succession pool, leadership should then define the core competencies required for success in these positions, keeping in mind the future of the organization and business itself. This step requires a thorough review of the position, an evaluation of future business and position-specific needs, and the specification of an organizational performance model. Drawing on the information gathered through these assessments, you can then define position-specific metrics or KPIs that will act as the foundation for the succession plan.
IV. Evaluate Bench Strength
Once competencies required for the position have been defined with the appropriate skills, knowledge and behavioral anchors, and the performance metrics that support them have been established, organizations can now begin to evaluate current employees. This step will provide a benchmark from which to compare candidates over time. If a candidate shows little or no improvement, this may be an indication to revise your succession management plan. In addition, clarifying the current bench strength enables organizations to get a clearer picture of the areas that should be addressed for future improvement.
V. Build the Succession Management Pool
Constructing a succession management pool can be done in several ways. Information can be taken from several different sources, including nominations or recommendations from supervisors, talent and leadership assessment results, and overall performance data. Talent assessments can also be a useful tool in determining the strengths and opportunity areas of candidates, helping leadership determine whether they will, ultimately, succeed. Each candidate should also undergo a regular performance review to ensure consistency in their growth.
VI. Professional Development
Once the succession pool is built, prospective candidates should then work closely with their leaders, creating and specifying a unique development plan. This plan should focus on three to five goals that align with the position-specific competencies and can be accomplished within the next six to twelve months. Results from these talent assessments can then be integrated into performance feedback. This helps candidates and their supervisors identify core strengths and any skill or leadership gaps that exist in their current performance.
Candidates that qualify for succession should always be made aware that they are in the queue for a senior leadership position and be provided with a timeframe in which this transition will occur. Aim to make them aware that this hinges on them continuing to meet the pre-determined performance metrics, which should be regularly and clearly communicated in advance (establishing expectations) and ongoing with consistently scheduled touch-point meetings.
Replacement Planning Is an Important Part of the Succession Planning Process
A replacement plan identifies “backups” for positions. Traditionally, it has focused on top-level roles, but it can be done for any position in the organization. Replacement planning is often mentioned in conjunction with succession planning because it identifies individuals who can assume roles at some point in the future and shows how ready they are for that position. But replacement planning doesn’t have to be defined as a subset of succession planning.
Having individuals – whether they are regular full-time, part-time, or contractors – identified as backups just makes good business sense for a variety of reasons. We’re regularly hearing stories about “The Great Resignation” and employee turnover. And as much as we don’t like to mention it, employees can become unexpectedly seriously ill or have an accident and be unable to work. The organization needs to find someone to take over their responsibilities—even if it’s only temporarily.
Since organizations don’t always get to control the timing and circumstances, having a staffing backup plan (aka replacement plan) makes sense. Recruiters will want to have a say in how that plan is developed.
If your organization has a formal succession plan, there might be replacements identified. Or it could be an added step in the existing process. Even if you’re using talent pools instead of a succession plan for employee development, replacement planning can add value. Here are four steps to consider as part of a replacement planning activity:
Step 1. Identify key positions and the critical skills for each position. While every job is important, certain roles within the organization would significantly impact the business if left open for a long period. Using your average time to fill as your benchmark, identify which positions must be filled in less time. Ideally, we’d like every job to be filled quickly, but identify those that must be a priority. Those key positions are a place to start. And you should have much of this information from your workforce plan and staffing analysis.
Then for each position, list the qualities that anyone holding this position must have. This isn’t a wish list. Remember this is a replacement plan. If someone had the basic skills, then they could learn the other knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the position.
Step 2. Assess the skills of current employees and match their skills to the list of critical skills. Again, your workforce plan and/or staffing analysis should contain some of this information. If not, you can obtain it in the form of training records, performance reviews, coaching feedback, and 9-box grids. It might also be helpful to look at the skills of freelancers and consultants who currently partner with the organization or former employees who might be interested in returning.
This step is when organizations might be tempted to think that backup employees are currently in the department—for instance, the accounting manager is the obvious backup for the accounting director. However, a recent transfer might be interested in returning to their former department. Keep the planning activity focused on skills, not current job titles.
Step 3. Pay attention to jobs that don’t have matches and develop a plan to address the gaps. It’s possible that this exercise might surface some jobs that need immediate attention—meaning there is no immediate replacement available. While that’s not a place anyone wants to be, it’s better to learn this information during a planning activity than when you’re trying to fill an opening. And this is one of the reasons that talent acquisition professionals need to be a part of the conversation so there are no surprises.
Create a plan to address gaps including development programs, mentoring, coaching, special projects, and contingent staffing. Or a combination of all these programs. With replacement planning, the organization doesn’t have to identify a single replacement. Use talent pools to develop transferable skills for many positions.
Step 4. Evaluate the plan. On a regular basis evaluate the plan to make sure the company’s needs can still be met. For key positions, the individuals currently holding those roles can be tasked with helping to identify their replacements and train them. This goal could be rolled up into their performance review.
One other aspect to consider when evaluating the plan is how replacement positions will be filled. Another reason to have talent acquisition in the room. For example, if a sales manager leaves today, the company has identified someone to replace them. But what about the new opening that’s been created? Obviously, there’s a chain reaction that takes place and the organization needs to have a recruiting plan to address it.
Replacement plans do one other thing. They give the organization a sense of the investment they will need to make should a backup be necessary. Whether it’s temporary or long-term, employees asked to assume greater responsibilities need support. Regular replacement planning activities make the organization keenly aware of the support the affected employees will need to be successful.
While organizations are working hard to hire, engage, and retain the best talent, it would be naïve to think employees never leave. Replacement plans provide the organization with the comfort that a last-minute resignation, retirement, or employee illness will not leave the company at a talent disadvantage.
Succession management and replacement has a great impact to achieve organization’s strategic goal. As well as it can mitigate human resource crises of an organization. Every organization requires succession planning. By succession planning, organization's key roles are constantly maintained with talented people, so organizations can maintain its strength. When selecting people for key roles, their adherence to organization's mission and vision is important.
Succession management and replacement is a critical function of an organization, its not easy to formulate and implement. To implement it successfully need highly supportive management and also need a strong HR department with appropriate level (quantity) and quality (KSAO’s) people to deal it.
“Succession management and replacement can mitigate the human resources crises of an organization”. Formulating and implementing it, first of all need to align organizational strategy with HR strategy. Need to ensure free and fair judgment. Also need to focus on person job match as well as organization match.
Sheikh Mohammad Anisur Rahman, Head of People and Culture, Synesis IT Ltd