Planning for the future is an important step for any organization. The hard truth is, even the most successful businesses will fail without a proactive succession plan in place.
Whether you’re a coordinator or CEO, part of a small company or larger corporation, you can be prepared for sudden departures and other contingencies by implementing a succession strategy that identifies future leaders.
Instead of focusing on scaling up employees in current leadership positions, a well thought out succession plan identifies potential leaders at all levels and invests in them for the future. In accordance with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s definition, “succession planning and management involves an integrated, systematic approach to identifying, developing and retaining employees in line with current and projected business objectives” (source).
In other words, any forward-thinking business which values the skills and talents of current employees, especially those in Generation-Z, will benefit greatly from a plan that incorporates professional development, feedback, and opportunity. Not sure where to start? Here are 3 ways you can plan for success by investing in the future leaders of your business.
Offer professional development opportunities
Being adequately prepared for a new role is the confidence boost your employees need to be able to start looking ahead in their career. As they gain more experience and knowledge, they’ll be more confident in taking on new challenges and responsibilities. From online learning to virtual workshops and seminars, there are a multitude of educational opportunities available across industries. For new employees, or those early on in their careers, offer 1:1 mentorship sessions with leaders in their department for a chance to learn directly from the source.
Give them space to thrive
Showing that you have faith in your employee’s ability to complete a difficult project or that you have confidence in their skills to take on a new proposal are both great examples giving them space to thrive and take full responsibility for their work.
With proper team communication and systems in place for reasonable deadline reminders, staff will feel confident in what they need to accomplish next, and you’ll avoid the need to feel like checking in. Plus, you’ll be able to gauge their skills and areas of improvement which can then tie into your succession planning.
Find out their goals (and dreams!)
Being proactive in finding out where your current employees fit in the company’s bigger vision is a vital step in successful succession planning. It will ensure your employees not only fit into your future plans, but that they can also grow, inspire, and lead within it.
Having an honest conversation, whether it’s during a quarterly check in or a virtual coffee chat, will allow you to learn about their goals and where they want to be in the future.
Do they like their current role? Where do they see themselves in the next one to five years? Would they like to flex their skills in a different position? Have an open mind and take notes for possible mentoring opportunities for future leaders.