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You Can Tick the ‘Succession Planning’ Box by Completing this Simple Succession Planning Template for HR Managers.

Most companies do not have a succession plan. They neglect to implement even basic succession planning tools. This is because it can feel like a ‘woolly mammoth’. A Time Management term for a task that is huge and therefore people don’t know where to start!

The Journal of Accountancy noted that 79% of businesses recognise that the succession planning process will need to be addressed within the next 5 to 10 years. The purpose of this simple succession planning template below is to give HR Managers a foundation to work from. This template is not intended to be the ‘be all and end all’ of succession planning. This is because most companies just need to start, not create the best succession planning ever made.

Succession Planning is a process for identifying, developing and managing people of potential, otherwise known as the A-Players. The aim is to prepare them to fill key business leadership positions when the incumbent retires or moves on.

For instance, like Tim Cook taking over from Steve Jobs at Apple. Tim had worked his way up the ‘Apple tree’ for 13 years. Apple’s share price would have suffered without an immediate and credible successor. Knowing that ‘Andrew’ will take over from ‘Mike’ when he retires give great confidence, rather than panicking at the last minute.

Succession Planning in the FMCG World

In the FMCG world of Account Managers and Category Managers succession planning might seem less critical, and yet the cost of recruiting people from outside is high. HR Review states that the cost of replacing someone is £30,614. Some of those costs will still remain when promoting within, but the majority of costs are still spent on external recruiting. For example, using a recruitment agency, advertising the job, interview time, organising time, HR processing time, induction, etc.

Most businesses struggle to achieve their margin targets and therefore one of the key advantages of business succession planning is to save money. Plus, it is a relatively low-cost option to implement. Think about your business. How many external people have you hired in the last 12 months? (number x £30,614 = ?) it adds up fast!

Additional advantages include increasing employee confidence because they have a career path. Furthermore, by identifying what support each employee needs earlier can help to improve staff retention over the long term.

Succession Planning Best Practises: Poke the Cheese to Begin!

‘Just start’ is our advice for succession planning because procrastinating is a challenge for everyone. As Alan Lakein, the original time management guru suggested, ‘…just make holes in the cheese’. He suggested that big tasks (Woolly mammoths) were like a piece of Swiss cheese. Start poking holes in the cheese. Then, before you know it the cheese will have disappeared.

Benefits of Using Our Simple Succession Planning Model

Finally, this simple excel template has 7 instructions. You will gain the following 7 benefits once you have completed this simple succession planning worksheet:

  • A noteworthy succession plan that ticks the box for an HR Manager.
  • All critical positions identified by the business.
  • Each critical position will have people ‘lined-up’ to take the position on 3 timeframes, from ‘ready now’ to ‘ready in 36 months’.
  • Each person will have had support identified that they need to achieve the next position (Use our competency frameworks to help assess their soft skills).
  • Knowledge shared by each line manager in their reports that would provide a career path.
  • A template that you could email to department managers to complete.
  • In addition, at the very least, a document to base a discussion on for the heads of departments.

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Darren A. Smith

About Darren A. Smith

Darren has been working in the world of UK Supermarkets and Suppliers for over 20 years. He began his career as a buyer at one of the big 4 UK supermarkets and after rising through the ranks he decided to leave after 13 years and set-up Making Business Matter. For the last 14 years he has run MBM, which is a training provider to the UK grocery industry. Helping suppliers to the big four supermarkets to develop the soft skills that will secure them more profitable wins.

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