Overview: Succession planning, which is a process for grooming strong internal candidates for leadership positions within the organization, preserves an organization's business goals, corporate culture and core values. As part of an overarching total rewards strategy, succession planning aids in the retention of top performers and key talent within an organization.
Succession planning should be updated on a regular basis, especially in response to fluctuations in employee retention rates and deficiencies in training budgets. Employers should design talent management processes so that top performers are retained, motivated and trained internally, which will in turn minimize outside recruiter fees. Organizations that optimize their succession planning tend to develop reputations as "employers of choice," reaping any consequent market rewards.
Trends: Through the use of specialized analytics software, employers may integrate their succession planning with other total rewards components, including training and development programs. More and more, employers are abandoning paper-based succession efforts in favor of software solutions that integrate internal data such as performance appraisals and individual employee competencies.
Marta Moakley, J.D., Legal Editor
Updated to include information on the forthcoming topics: Affordable Care Act, Flexible Spending Accounts, and Paid Time Off Benefits
An employer may use this checklist to develop and implement a succession planning process.
An employer may use this survey when considering initiating a structured succession planning process. Having input from key stakeholders and parties involved in the process has several potential benefits for the employer.
The Model Succession Plan is designed to help a user (often HR) document a proposed succession planning process for senior management (CEO) and, where relevant, Board of Director approval.
This How To details the necessary steps employers must take to develop a succession plan.
HR guidance on the benefits of succession planning.