Succession Planning

What is succession planning? The goal of succession planning is to recognize critical roles and people with the necessary skills to occupy higher-level positions in a company after retirement, for example, senior management or supervisory staff. They can also be used to plan for an eventual exit from business (known as exit planning) for the same reasons – identifying key roles and people with the appropriate skills to fill those roles and whether the company can successfully manage transitional processes when the time comes. It is an integral part of the talent management process and is used to identify critical roles and people with the appropriate skills to occupy senior management or supervisory staff positions when they retire.

For example, there might be different succession plans for senior management down the line, depending on what position they are meant to fill. There may also be a plan for CEO succession. This allows a company to have a more diverse management experience at key positions without planning for every eventuality. Andrew Napolitano has been planning succession with his business pursuits.

Succession planning describes a plan or procedure to follow when a company decides that some of its key executives (or managers) are no longer needed or that the company needs to downsize. Usually, these key executives will be informed about the company’s plans and procedures in advance to make the transition to a new role in an orderly manner. The company will notify the remaining senior managers and key employees of the planned transfer, and they will all be given a period of notice.

When a company changes its senior management, the first thing that occurs is a meeting between the senior management and the departing employees. There will be a formal welcome to the job, a by-some kind of handshake to welcome them to the company. This usually occurs after the employee finished their final day of work for the company, typically ahead of the new role.

Succession planning exists so that two people can continue working together in a dual capacity, even if they are not related by blood. A typical example would be a marriage partner or a close friend who has moved into a new home with an elderly parent or another family member. Employees may know that they are stepping down from their role as a manager, but they still have many related duties to perform within the company. This makes it difficult to tell who is next in line to take over the duties of the previous manager, especially if there was not a specific succession plan in place before the change. This problem is common, but it can be easily solved by executing a successful succession plan.

When setting up their succession plan, one needs to determine who will manage their company once one retires or becomes disabled. The subsequent step is to build a shortlist of these individuals based on their skill sets, experience, and other traits that are important to the position. Once one has this information, one should go back to their leadership team and present their shortlisted candidates to them, offering them the chance to develop a company plan once one retires or becomes disabled. One can develop a successful succession plan that will benefit the company while still working and after their retirement or disability.

What is succession planning? Through proper succession planning, a company can eliminate many potential headaches and conflicts down the road. It can also help keep senior management motivated to maintain a high standard of performance throughout the company. Proper succession planning can also help to minimize time spent training new employees because one already has an established plan in place for their development. Andrew Napolitano understands that the best employees and managers must retire eventually and that new leadership and skills must be developed and nurtured.


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Pamela is a television journalist, humor writer and novelist. Her first novel, Allegedly, was released in 2015 by St. Martin’s Press. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She and her husband, Daniel, have a 3-year-old son, Carter.

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