What information should be included in a succession plan?

Author: Warren N. Rothman, Blue Prairie Group, LLC

A comprehensive succession plan should include the following for each employee being considered as a succession candidate:

  • Last two or three (at least) performance ratings - objective performance against measurable goals and subjective ratings against competencies or behavioral qualities;
  • Current rating of potential to move up in the organization (the number of levels, if any);
  • Current rating of readiness to move up (the timing of being ready to move up);
  • Current rating of vulnerability (the extent of the employee's long-term commitment to the employer);
  • Narrative description of the employee's strengths and development needs; and
  • Development Plan - how development needs will be addressed.

In addition, once all discussions have occurred, a summary should be completed (typically by HR for CEO approval) that shows all succession candidates, prioritized by readiness, for targeted job categories in the organization.