Succession Planning in Human Resources

By Franki Colbert, eHow

Succession Planning in Business

Succession planning helps organizations develop and select successors for critical positions. Organizations often select leadership positions to manage through a succession management plan. The responsibility of managing succession planning often falls on human resources with the executive team as the primary stakeholders.

Planning

The first step in succession planning involves creating a strategic plan. This plan will provide an outline of the steps necessary to implement succession planning throughout the organization. One planning activity, leadership bench strength, involves assessing a group of employees for a particular position to determine their strengths and weaknesses. This helps the organization identify gaps in knowledge or experience. During the planning phase, human resources also determine their goals for the plan. This will later help them measure the outcome.

Talent Assessment

Organizations take a talent assessment to identify high potential employees in the company. To measure, they use tools such as performance evaluations and multi-rater feedback. Organizations identify the skills needed for the key leadership roles and then evaluate a pre-determined talent pool against the required skills. They also rate employees on other aspects such key behaviors, advancement potential, time with the company and educational background. Some organizations utilize a nine-box chart during the talent assessment. The chart provides a graphical comparison of the employee’s potential and performance. Each attribute receives a rating within one of nine boxes on a low to high rating scale.

Talent Review

Organizations take a talent assessment to identify high potential employees in the company. To measure, they use tools such as performance evaluations and multi-rater feedback. Organizations identify the skills needed for the key leadership roles and then evaluate a pre-determined talent pool against the required skills. They also rate employees on other aspects such key behaviors, advancement potential, time with the company and educational background. Some organizations utilize a nine-box chart during the talent assessment. The chart provides a graphical comparison of the employee’s potential and performance. Each attribute receives a rating within one of nine boxes on a low to high rating scale.

Development Planning

Once an organization has determined any gaps within the talent pool, the next step involves creating development plans. These plans contain a list of skills and goals an employee needs to develop for consideration of a key role. The development plan can include leadership skills and additional training courses the employee needs to take. Human resources administer the plan and monitor the employee’s progress against the plan. Employees can receive development plans throughout the year or once. The timeline depends on the company’s succession plan strategy.

Measurement

Once the company has implemented a succession plan, they measure the results of the plan. Measuring the plan helps them determine whether they achieved their desired results. Human resources align the originally set goals with key metrics such as the “time to fill” for open positions. Once they complete gathering and analyzing the succession data, human resources communicate the results to the executive team and managers involved in the process.

 

Franki Colbert has been writing professionally since 2002, focusing primarily on career development and human-resources technology issues. Her work regularly appears on Break and other websites. Colbert is a certified product manager and product-marketing manager. She also holds a certificate in project management from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in business administration.