Succession Planning Myths

Succession planning is the process in organization development wherein suitable employees are identified and prepared through mentoring, training, and job rotation, to replace key players such as the CEO once their terms expire. However, this practice is not done by a lot of companies. According to a recent study, less than 60% of companies have a succession plan in place, reasons of which include some false impressions.

Here are some of the most common myths about succession planning.

If there are no imminent retirements, succession planning need not be a top priority

Companies expect that 10 to 25 percent of their top performers would retire within the next five years. These key players contribute significantly in a company’s success, often serving in high-level supervisory roles. For successions to progress smoothly, the employees chosen to fill these roles need to be prepared and adequately trained. Such process takes time.

Succession planning is only an issue for big companies

Around 85 to 95 percent of all companies in the United States are family-owned or family-controlled. The smaller the business, the greater the impact that would be felt from a replaced employee. Small companies also need to plan early and invest in necessary training to help the new or promoted employee succeed. This may mean researching outside learning opportunities and setting aside a budget to cover them.

There need only be a succession plan for C-level team members

An Economic Policy Institute report shows that employee productivity has increased 4.1 percent each year. Manager- and director-level professionals have been asked to assume more responsibilities than ever before. With such, it is important to look at a cross-section of departments to ensure proper succession plans are in place for each division.

Succession planning should be handled on a case-by-case basis

Continuity works best. Allowing each department to come up with its own unique process of succession planning can be a troublesome and time-consuming endeavor. Instead, companies should create a company-wide process that could be used by each department.

Good talent is easy to spot

As an employee moves up the corporate ladder, soft skills would become more necessary and valuable components of success. Examples of soft skills include management skills, emotional intelligence, and leadership ability. However, these skills can be difficult to quantify and measure. In order to spot and cultivate employees with such skills, an organization needs an instrument to help measure and assess talent.

Succession planning only pertains to baby boomers

A 2005 survey says that 76% of all employees are looking for a new job. It won’t be too long before you see top performers leaving sooner than you imagine. It is important to think about succession planning not as a one-time effort, but as an ongoing process to continually grow and develop your company.

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