As you start to build your business, you will pick up skills, methods and techniques. So will your employees, many of which are very specific to their job and their day to day roll.
Now picture this: for some reason one of your critical employees, or yourself, could not turn up to work anymore. All of their skill and ability has just gone overnight.
This is where succession planning comes in. Less than ½ of business owners have created succession planning according to [https://www.wilmingtontrust.com/repositories/wtc_sitecontent/PDF/The-Power-of-Planning.pdf]
Succession planning is the act of identifying valuable employees or people in your organisation, and creating a plan about how to grow them to be able to perform in their job.
One way of structuring a succession plan is:
- What processes need to be formalised and documented?
- Who has what skills in the organisation, and what skills are they missing?
- What are the critical points of failure in the business, and how do we minimize these critical points?
Once you have your ideas down on paper, you need a schedule of activities and goals to achieve.
If you need an employee to skill up, what training do you need to provide? Do they need to work with someone else so they can see how specific activities are performed? How will you test them, and give them the ability to demonstrate the skillsthey have learned and achieved? How will you provide the feedback?
Implementing succession planning is highly beneficial, not only from a risk mitigation point of view, but from a resource utilization point of view.
As people grow through your company and learn new skills and, abilities, their capacity to contribute and dedication to their position will general grow as well.
Having this level of skills spread between employees means you have a better ability to re-allocate resources and tasks as needed. If you’re a small company, this is almost definitely going to happen, and planning for this allows you to select employees based on what they best perform at.
Personally as a business owner, I want to be replicable on all levels of the business, because of the simple fact that I want to be looking at the future, how the company could operate, the changes, improvements and more.
If I am locked into a specific role or activity, then no one else will be looking forwards to the future.
And yes, succession planning can be tricky, watching someone work a lot slower than you or another employee can be hard to do, but everyone needs to learn and it will take time.
The investment and the returns will be worthwhile when you’re employees gain their new skills and you will be able to utilize them as needed.