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3 reasons your company should begin succession planning

Does your organisation have a succession plan in place? If not, you may want to consider developing one. Based on a recent report from Software Advice—an online reviewer of talent management technology—organisations that have succession plans in place tend to yield great results including:

  • A higher number of identified, well-developed leaders on board
  • A long-term commitment of ‘Gen-Y/Millennial’ team members
  • And a significant increase in employee engagement


What is a succession plan?

Leigh Richards, an expert in organisational management, defines succession planning as “the identification of job vacancies that can be expected to occur through retirement or attrition and the strategic consideration of where and how internal candidates might fill those vacancies. It involves assessing job requirements and skills of existing employees and then seeking to fill the gaps between needs and skills with targeted training and development activities.”


A higher number of identified, well-developed leaders on board.

One of the foremost goals of succession planning is to identify team members with the current skills (or the potential to develop the necessary skills) that would allow them to easily assume leadership positions within a company. Not only does this save an organisation money on external recruitment and training, but it ensures that key positions remain filled with competent performers. Often times, especially during periods of change within a company, an organisation may stumble in productivity and/or performance simply because of leadership vacancies. With a succession plan in place, you are planning for potential vulnerabilities, ensuring the longevity of your company, and also investing in its future by growing the up-and-coming leaders that will lead your organisation to further success.


A long-term commitment of ‘Gen-Y/Millennial’ team members.

When an organisation commits to professionally developing and training its future leaders, team members are motivated to stay on board longer, particularly younger workers.

From Software Advice’s report: “Results of previous Software Advice research show that over half of younger workers (age 18 to 34) say access to professional development training would positively affect their decision to remain at a company. Workers in this age group are members of what is known as the ‘millennial’ or ‘Gen Y’ generation. As this demographic is set to make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, employers would be well-advised to ensure these employees are engaged and committed to the company now in order to be prepared for stability and growth in the future.”


A significant increase in employee engagement.

Finally, organisations that have succession plans in place tend to find that their team members are more engaged and motivated in the work that they do. In fact, according to Software Advice’s report, ninety-four percent of employers surveyed report that having a succession plan positively impacts their employees’ engagement levels.

“According to Donald Delves, director of executive compensation at Towers Watson, a global professional services firm,” reads the report,  “a succession plan can serve as an incentive for employees. Knowing they have a future with a company ‘keeps people engaged and motivated, and retains them,’ he says. ‘It keeps them at the company if they’re looking elsewhere.’”

And this holds true for ‘Gen Y/Millennial’ workers as well, as “over 90 percent of workers age 18 to 34 say their engagement level would improve if working for a company with a succession plan in place, compared to a company without one.”


The results are in: having a succession plan in place for your organisation can help identify the company’s future leaders and begin the training processes that will increase their performance outcomes, can result in long-term commitment among younger workers, and can also positively impact the engagement levels among your employees. If your organisation doesn’t yet have a succession plan in place, consider developing one. It will be an investment in your company’s future and in its success.

In following posts, we will discuss how to go about developing a succession plan for your business, so stay tuned!

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