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Succession planning best practices are simple and easy to implement, but knowing what they are is key. Wouldn’t it be nice if you went to tackle this important task with expert intel at your side? Lucky for you, we’ve got three of the most proven best practices for succession planning:

1) Don’t focus solely on individuals.

While identifying eligible individuals to fill key roles is indeed the whole idea, succession planning is also about making sure you have a full pool of talented employees to choose from if any higher-level positions should happen to open up. Having a specific successor in mind is ideal, but there are no guarantees. Therefore, it’s smarter to identify a whole group of potential replacements for a particular position (again, not an individual). Specific positions require specific skillsets. That’s another way that succession planning helps ensure your company’s stability.

2) Work smarter, by letting your software do the heaving lifting.

No more Excel spreadsheets. (Can we leave it at that?!) It’s crucial that you prepare a completely fluid solution to your succession planning so that all of the detailed steps of any of your equations don’t get held up due to human error, inadequate transparency, overlooked factors, undocumented employee progression, or unfiled certification advancements. In actuality, it seems there are endless reasons to make absolutely sure your organization is using its succession planning solution to its fullest potential. If you need an intuitive recommendation, we’d recommend SAP SuccessFactors Succession and Development, hands down.

3) Commit to continual coaching.

Once the process has gone full circle—in that a position opens up, an identified contender commits to the promotion, and onboarding is completed—make sure you keep checking in with the “new” person. While optimism goes a long way, reality will inevitably set in. That’s when you want to make sure the lines of communication are open and trustworthy. If it turns out your successor needs additional training, it’s pertinent that you get a proper professional development plan in place pronto.  

There are of course more ways to ensure a successful succession plan. Simply contact us and we'll be happy to help you streamline your HR processes!

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