You Can’t Afford NOT To Have A Succession Plan

By May 14, 2020 August 17th, 2020 COVID-19

These blogs have warned of the likelihood that you will have a turnover in your supervisory/managerial staff due to this pandemic. An often forgotten management tool for small business owners is a Succession Plan. Most business owners have either not thought of having an effective Succession Plan, think they can’t afford one, or don’t know how to implement one. These plans don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Here are some tips to develop one:

1. Survey The Situation

First, on a spread sheet list your critical employees that determine the success of your business. Next, list by each incumbent an employee you have who can legitimately replace each person and can effectively perform the tasks in short order. You will probably be surprised how few successors you currently have if you are objective about your assessments.

2. Strategize

Start by comparing each replacement list to the skill sets they are lacking to effectively perform the responsibilities of these positions. Then ask the current incumbent as well as the partially trained potential successor to list the skills that are lacking and compare the three lists.

3. Identify Challenges

Next, ask the potential successor to identify the external training needed and the cost of this training. Also, make a list of the internal learning opportunities in your company such as job rotation, mentoring, and learning from an existing employee. For example, your Accountant could teach this individual how to read a P&L and how to prepare a budget. Then hold the successor and the incumbent responsible for this training with realistic deadlines that you can afford over an extended period of time.

Ignorance Is Not An Excuse

You may think this is a naive approach for developing talent in a small company. If you compare the cost and time of recruiting and training an external replacement for an important management position, these expenses will pale compared to the actual costs and time of training an existing employee. At least try the first two above recommendations. My prediction is it will frighten you enough to implement the other steps. Ignorance of implementing a Succession Plan is no excuse for you not to have one. It is not only imperative to implement a plan, but also you can’t afford NOT to have one, especially if you want to grow your business after this pandemic

Author: Emory Mulling

Emory Mulling is a nationally recognized HR Consultant and Executive Coaching expert. As Founder and Chairman for the Mulling Corporation, the Mulling family of businesses is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The firm was founded in 1986 and is a leader in HR consulting for small, medium and large companies.

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