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Set Your Organization Up for Success with Succession Planning

Sep 16, 2008
The hallmark of a great leader is one who sets his or her successors up for success, rather than failure. This article will provide you with information that can help you ensure the long term success of your company with succession planning. Whether you're an executive, a manager or a supervisor, the following information will be beneficial to you.

Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, 1991, found, in over three quarters of the comparison companies in his study, executives who set their successors up for failure or chose weak successors or both. Collins indicated that because of ego or what he calls the "Big Dog Syndrome", these executives did not leave behind companies that would be great without them.

Ensuring the long term success of your company is crucial and succession planning can help you do just that. Managers at world class organizations are using smart succession planning solutions to help identify employees who have the potential to be promoted and accurately chart a realistic course to get there.

Why recruit outside your company for talented people when you can develop the ones you already employ? Succession planning will help your organization build and create entirely new promotion and succession plans that will give your employees visibility into the future of their careers. This is an important part of your company's workforce talent management strategy as you think about career paths for your employees that will match them with the duties and responsibilities that maximize performance, employee morale and company success.

There are many succession planning tools available to your organization. Many of them will help you keep a record of your employees' talents, skills and preferences. This allows them to develop and manage their own career development plans and align them with organizational strategy. Succession planning can help you effectively manage, promote and retain your talent by providing you with objective, quantifiable data about individual employees so that you can make the best possible career development and succession decisions.

Succession planning tools can be used to identify top performing workers, highlight areas where their skills can be improved and spot high potential employees who can be groomed to become successors to your key executives. Don't let your company fall victim to the memory drain when top performers leave or retire. To ensure your company's long term success, it is important, as a part of your company's workforce performance management system, to think about career tracks for your employees that will match them with duties and responsibilities that maximize performance, employee morale, and company success.

With succession planning tools, you can predict performance in essential areas where you need to make the most effective promotion decisions. Today, many organizations use employee assessments to help them develop career and succession development plans that help them to ensure long term success. By measuring employees' attitudes, motivations and outlook on their careers, managers and job functions, organizations can gain a vital perspective on the current reality in their company and pinpoint areas of concern affecting succession.
About the Author
Jim Sirbasku is co-founder and CEO of Profiles International, a leading provider of human resource management solutions and employment assessments for businesses worldwide. For more information about using assessments for succession planning , visit our website.
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