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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. This is because it can feel like a ‘woolly mammoth’ (Time Management term for a task that is huge and therefore people don’t know where to start). The Journal of Accountancy cited that 79% of businesses recognise that succession planning will be a problem for them within the next 5 to 10 years. The purpose of this simple succession planning template is to give HR Managers a foundation to work from. This succession planning template is not intended to be the ‘be all and end all’ of succession planning. This because most companies just need to start, not create the best succession planning ever made.

Succession Planning, according to Wikipedia, is a process for identifying and developing internal people with the potential to fill key business leadership positions in the company. Like Tim Cook taking over from Steve Jobs. 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 a last minute panic.

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 succession planning is to save money. Plus it is a relatively low cost option to implement. How many external people have you hired in the last 12 months? (No. x £30,614 = !) Additional advantages include increasing employee confidence because they have a career path. Plus identifying what support each employee needs to be promoted.

Poke the Succession Planning Cheese to Begin!

‘Just start’ is our advice on 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.

poke the succession planning cheese to begin - succession planning HR template

By Ekg917 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Benefits of Using this Simple Succession Planning Template

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

  • A noteworthy succession plan that ticks the box for a HR Manager.
  • The business has identified all critical positions.
  • 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 that each line manager could share with 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.
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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