One of the most important aspects of being a successful business is having a succession plan in place. Inevitably, you and your executive team will move on at some point in your career, and it's essential to have someone ready and able to take over. This ensures continuity for your business, but it can also help keep things running smoothly in the event of an emergency.
There are also positives to having a succession plan in the short term. This gives you the confidence to step away from your business for a holiday or an event with the confidence that there are people in your business capable of stepping up. This will also be an excellent test to see how your company runs without you, and gives your 2IC a taste for what to expect.
There are a few different ways to go about succession planning. One option is to create a formal written plan that outlines who will take over each role in the company in the event of a vacancy. This can be helpful if you have many employees or if your business is complex. However, it can also be time-consuming and challenging to manage.
Another option is to identify potential successors informally. This can be done by talking to your employees about their career goals and identifying those who have the skills and interest to take on a leadership role in the future. This approach is less formal, but it can be more flexible and easier to update as needed.
Before you can start having conversations about succession planning, you need to make sure you have a good foundation with your employees. This means regular check-ins and open communication about their career goals and development.
You should also be clear about what your company's succession plan is and how it works. Once you've done this, you can start having conversations with employees about their role in the plan.
Be sure to ask questions and actively listen to their answers. This will help you better understand their career goals and how they see themselves fitting into the succession plan.
Regardless of which option you take, having a clear map of each employees' roles and responsibilities gives you the foundation you need to build your plan. This is naturally important for every company to have so that your employees are clear on what it is they're meant to do and so that you can measure their performance. However, it is just as crucial for succession planning as it gives you an understanding of what skills gaps they will have when taking on a more significant role.
A critical error many companies make when giving people roles with more responsibilities is not training them on the new responsibilities of their position. This means that as they take on more responsibility, such as managing a larger team, finance, or strategic planning, they become ineffective, and you can end up losing a really valuable employee.
Furthermore, it's essential to keep your succession plan up-to-date. Regular reviews will help ensure that the plan still reflects the current state of your business and that the right people are in place to take over when the time comes.
You should update your succession plan whenever there are significant changes in your business. This could be when you have a change in leadership or ownership, changes in the economy or the industry you're in, or changes in the law or regulations that affect your business.
If you need to update your succession plan, the first step is to review the current state of your business. This will help you identify any changes that need to be made to the plan. Once you've done this, you can start making changes to the succession plan itself.
It's also a good idea to review your succession plan on a regular basis, even if there haven't been any major changes in your business. This will help ensure that the plan still reflects the current state of your company and that the right people are in place to take over when the time comes.
As a business owner, succession planning should be one of your top priorities. By putting a plan in place, you can ensure that your business will continue to thrive long into the future.
There are many things to consider when creating a succession plan for your business, but the most important thing is starting early and keeping the plan up-to-date. If you don't know where to start, book a call with one of our executive coaches to discuss how we can help you.