Posted by: Gary Thompson | December 17, 2012

Succession Planning


At every organization, there are key employees who are integral to the survival of the company. These individuals may be top executives, owners, shareholders or those who have expert knowledge of company processes and services. To preserve the organization in the event that one of these employees leaves, many human resources professionals engage in succession planning. This is the process by which you determine specific critical roles within your company, identify and assess possible successors for these roles, and provide these successors with the necessary skills and training for future opportunities. By creating a careful plan of action, your organization can ensure the least business disruption in the event that a key employee leaves.

Need for Succession Planning

Organizations need to develop initiatives to prepare for employees who unexpectedly quit, move to a different position within the company, are terminated or fail to fulfill the role they were hired for in the organization. Recruitment and training of top talent can be difficult, time consuming and expensive, particularly when trying to fill a vital position that was suddenly vacated. It is generally more effective to recruit from within to fill these roles and succession planning can make this process more efficient.

Succession Planning Process

The following activities are typically part of the succession planning process:

  • Determining the roles and skills critical to the company‚Äôs growth
  • Identifying key employees who could fill other roles in the event of a vacancy
  • Identifying and understanding what employees filling those positions will need to effectively make the transition
  • Starting to train backup employees on various roles to prepare them for a possible unexpected role shift
  • Ensuring that all high-level employees recognize and understand their career paths and the roles that they are being trained to fill
  • Identifying key employees in all areas of the business and working to ensure they are highly engaged and satisfied with their role and the organization itself
  • Understanding the time needed to back-fill key roles
  • Reviewing, evaluating and improving the succession planning process as role filling takes place

Losing a key employee can be devastating if you are not prepared. Succession planning can help ensure minimal interruption so that your business can continue as usual.

Please see our video on Succession Planning for your personal affairs as well as your businesses.

If you would like more information on Succession Planning please feel free to contact Gary Thompson with CS&A Insurance at 800.999.1109. If you would like more information on CS&A Insurance visit our website. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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