I’m sorry that I have not been able to get these out as I use to…I’m constantly thinking of topics that I want to write about and things that I want to say…however, LIFE gets in the way…and studying, clients and my family are my priorities….as they have always been…Now that the weather is better, my outdoor walks with Oscar are relished and my indoor 45 minutes of dancing is grabbed whenever there are a few minutes….and I, surprisingly, get in the 45 minutes….maybe at the expense of my BLOGs…hmmmm....
I'm going to aim for my two (2) BLOGs per week, however, if I only get one (1) out, I know my loyal followers will understand that my GPHR is so very important to me....
Succession Plans….I just did one for a major client….very complicated but they don’t have to be…this was a large entity and they had never had any type of replacement plan in place so we had to begin at Ground Zero. Surprisingly, most small businesses don’t have anything in place as far as Replacement or Succession Plans.
Small/family owned businesses are endangering their company’s survival by not having a succession plan in place. It can be devastating for a family-owned business after there is a change in leadership. The Small Business Administration shows that two-thirds of family owned businesses will not survive a leadership change. Since most small businesses in the US are initially started and run by ‘families’, the high failure rate has a tremendous impact on the country’s business and job growth, not to mention the thousands of people those businesses employ.
Decisions on who will be the next CEO can be emotional and not attached to the reality of the business or strategic plans. It is an extremely painful decision to make and many parents want their children or possibly their grandchildren to follow in their footsteps, however, leadership decisions based on family ties may not match with a company’s business plan or strategy for growth. This disconnect is an issue with many small to mid-size businesses, family owned or not.
In smaller companies, succession planning is hardly ever integrated into the business strategy and doesn’t connect with immediate business needs. Some small businesses may have an HR person on staff or have someone who handles the HR role; these individuals can be key players when developing a good succession plan. It can also help to bring in an outside consultant who will look at the company’s situation objectively. It can often be a very tough and emotional decision to make, but if survival of the business is tantamount, a decision must be made.
Small, growing businesses need to evaluate how they attract and hire talent while offering a limited amount of opportunities for promotion and career growth. Potential candidates may find a lot to like in a growing company but then become disillusioned because a viable succession plan does not exist.
Corporate succession plans are designed to develop and promote leadership in the business….from the CEO/Store Manager/Project Manager/Human Resource Manager, etc. on down…. What happens when the present ‘leadership’ has no faith in the succession process? Korn Ferry (Global Leadership/Talent Group) did a survey and found that less than 23% of executives were pleased with how ‘successors’ were being developed and not more than 24% of small/mid-size businesses have any type of replacement plan in place. This is a significant number….and the respondents are from businesses of all sizes.
The traditional approach to succession planning has been for managers to groom their own replacements. However, in many instances, management trainees need far more extensive training than their mentors can provide. Succession planning consists of identifying future management replacements and developing them for their new assignments.
Basically, in a ‘nutshell’, what a company needs to do is to have a ‘skills analysis’ on file for each of its employees and make sure that it is kept up to date. A ‘skills analysis’ consists of the basic information from a resume/application blank for the individual plus information from a Questionnaire that an employee completes once the individual has begun to work for your organization.
The information requested on the Questionnaire can be as simple as languages spoken (maybe the employee grew up in a multi-lingual household), places lived in their lifetime (it is amazing the experiences an individual can absorb by living in another ‘culture’, even without the benefits of a ‘formal’ education), volunteer activities (leadership roles can often be developed in volunteer positions), countries visited/traveled to (again, experiences that the average ‘college graduate’ without the benefits of world travel cannot imagine), interests (many individuals garner a good deal of experience doing things they ‘enjoy’ outside of work that help them become better employees inside the workplace), etc. You get the picture….however, spin classes, unless you lead them, don’t count. I will put a link to a sample ‘skills analysis’ questionnaire as well as additional replacement charts on my website.
Once the questionnaire is completed and ALL the information from all sources (application/questionnaire/job history within the organization/test scores, etc.) are added to the HRIS system, a computerized analysis may help one identify those individuals that could, potentially, be slotted for replacement positions.
1. The information about managerial candidates should be reviewed, including such factors as career progress, experience, education and future career interests.
2. The performances of prospective managers need to be assessed to determine whether they are already promotable, or, if not, what developmental experiences they need to prepare for advancement.
3. The requirements for each position need to be determined. A position profile identifying the activities that must be performed by a manager should be prepared.
4. The responsible managers at each level of the organization should conduct a thorough review and discussion of the foregoing information. The discussion should focus on identifying the most likely replacements for each managerial position.
5. Developmental activities should be initiated to accomplish the identified needs.
Succession planning is useful to the extent that it contributes to the development of new managers and facilitates the promotion process. If promotion decisions continue to be based on subjective, ill-defined criteria, then the planning process loses much of its effectiveness.
A ‘plan’ is like a budget….not written in stone. However, it is better to have a ‘plan’ and deviate from the plan then not have one at all and find oneself ‘scrambling’ when it is necessary to replace oneself or another individual in the organization. A chart, similar to the one above, can be created which shows the position which will eventually be ‘replaced’ and the possible individuals that could fill the spot. An identifying marker shows how soon the individual would be ready to ‘fulfill’ the spot….this chart is ‘successive’ in the sense that it shows a continual ‘replacement’ plan with ‘replacements’ for the ‘replacements’….Trust me, it is not as complicated as my description may sound.
As a small business owner, you may think that it is not important to have a succession plan in place. It is….especially if you want to grow the business…you may limit your ability to obtain and retain good talent by not being able to offer ‘growth’ or ‘opportunities’. At least begin the process….see where it goes. If you have any questions or would like further information on putting together a succession or replacement plan, please contact Rosanne Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 484-798-1236.
I recently read that using sarcasm every day will add three (3) years to one’s life….I intend to include a little bit of sarcasm in my regular BLOGs….if you have a problem with that, I apologize…