News Article

April 16 2015

Succession planning

Succession planning is becoming increasingly important for the following reasons:

  • Organisations are not developing and nurturing key talent within their organisation, which leads to poor retention
  • The sudden departure of key staff members within an organisation
  • The baby boomer generation is approaching retirement age and consequently causing a shift in the workplace
  • Succession planning provides the opportunity for potential leaders to grow and enhance their leadership skills
  • Being proactive is better than being reactive
  • It ensures a smoother transition when a senior manager or key office bearer departs
  • It can influence the organisation’s future and its stability as a whole.
  • A vacant position cannot simply be filled by anyone Someone with the appropriate skill set, qualities and experience is needed

Often, succession planning is only seriously considered when a key person reveals their thoughts on leaving their position, forcing everyone to react. Succession planning can help avoid future strains of having to restabilise an organisation after a loss of a key person as it is essentially about being proactive rather than reacting to change. It’s about having systems, policies and procedures in place to develop key staff and to ensure key roles are well defined.

It’s understandable why executives sometimes avoid the discussion of succession planning – they fear they might send the false message that they are preparing their departure. However, despite the uneasy nature of the topic, executives should not fear the topic but view it as a system that can create future security and opportunities for an organisation to thrive.

Succession planning also requires organisations to focus on career planning, professional development, and attraction and retention strategies in order to be prepared for future workforce challenges.

Succession planning should be a priority and should be dealt with as soon as possible – not later or next time, but now – to avoid the pressure of having to restabilise an organisation after a sudden or unexpected departure of a key person. Not only that, it can provide opportunities to shape a bright future and develop a highly skilled workforce within an organisation.

If you need some guidance in succession planning, please contact Dena Zarif on (08) 6242 0300 or email dzarif@anson.com.au

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