A Simple Succession Planning Template for HR Managers

Tick the ‘Succession Planning’ Box by and Complete this Simple Succession Planning Template.

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, 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; see our Coaching Skills guide.

Let us help you to deliver Succession Planning in your business, with 121 Executive Coaching Support – Click on the tin can below to see the options that are available to you (A new window will open):

Purple tin with Executive Coaching on the label

MBM Executive Coaching and support

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.

Picture of cheese with holes in with a quote over the top

Completing a succession planning template, will allow you to start ‘poking holes’ in your goals

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.

5 MBM GROW Coaching cards fanned out

Coaching Cards
To help you become the best version of yourself, check out our GROW coaching cards. These cards are for anyone that wants to find solutions, improve performance and get better results – theirs or their team.

Related Articles:

You may also like:

Great HR Management Tips
employee takes the handle to the resignation envelope while being handed

Exit Interviews: Best Practices & Tips to Get Best Results For All

How Important Are Exit Interviews For Your Company? Exit interviews have a questionable place in the departure of any employee…
You can do it encouragement note on woman’s lap

How to Build and Improve Self-Esteem: Boost Your Self Worth

What is Self Esteem? In simple terms, it is the opinion we have of ourselves. Psychologically self esteem is denoted to…
Wooden blocks spelling Survey with wooden figures behind

The Importance of Employee Surveys When Returning to Work

Employee Surveys are Key to Reintegrating Staff As the UK begins to ease lockdown, many businesses are planning how to…

Written By:

You must be logged in to post a comment.
Menu