A Simple Succession Planning Template for HR Managers

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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):

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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 expert 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.

Cheese with holes on countertop with goal improvement quote for succession planning
Completing a succession planning template will allow you to start poking holes in your goals and get them done

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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