Inspiring Organizational Growth
Do you know WHO your next leaders should be? Are you looking around and thinking "No one here has the skills and abilities to take over?"
This is the situation facing MANY Canadian businesses and organizations. Current managers, owners, and leaders are tired and wanting to prepare for retirement BUT they don't feel there is anyone ready to replace them. Here are six steps you can take to start effectively succession planning NOW!
1-Create Job Profiles to determine what skills and experience you need
This is often the step organizations SKIP. Dust off your job descriptions and take a look at them. If current leaders/managers have been in the positions a LONG time you may not even have a current job description. Additionally, the job description may have been written or designed to describe the PERSON in the role, instead of the KSA's NEEDED for the role. Start by asking yourself these questions:
So often job descriptions for upper management positions are hidden or only posted when the job becomes available. Allowing current employees the opportunity to view the job descriptions ahead of time enables them to start their own succession planning. It also allows them to have informed conversations with their current supervisors to discuss potential training, and other opportunities that would enable them to "build their resume". The next step is to:
Mentorship can be a wonderful opportunity for leaders to pass on their wisdom, insight and corporate knowledge to others. However, before you encourage job shadowing or formal mentorship programs you need to ensure the process is set up for success.
Too often "performance evaluations" are only done when there are performance concerns. You are missing out on GREAT opportunities to meet with ambitious, goal-oriented employees who may have an interest in moving up within your organization. New employees want to feel inspired, engaged, and valued. Performance discussions provide managers and leaders the chance to learn more about their employees, what their goals are, and even ideas they may have for the business.
It is NEVER too early to start providing employees with leadership skills and training. Even if an employee is not in the formal role of supervisor, providing them with insight on the roles and responsibilities of a leader will benefit your organization. It allows them to develop a better understanding of all the issues that need to be considered in decision-making and strategic goal setting. Additionally, these same employees can then become your acting supervisors, trainers, team leads, and project managers.
This may be the hardest part... but you need to provide people with the opportunity to try out and practice their skills. You need to RESTRAIN yourself from the temptation to micromanage, criticize or re-do everything when you return. Allow them to have some autonomy, do things slightly differently than you may have, but still get the needed results!
JUST LIKE A TREE, organizations need to have great roots, and many branches to continue to reach higher, withstand winds, and endure turmoil. New growth, different options, and a strong base are key to business success. Developing and investing in a well thought out, multi faceted succession plan will help to ensure you are creating the type of "organizational tree" that can continue to grow and prosper long after you have left.
If you are interested in learning more about the author, her book Knowing Who You Lead, and the workshops she runs for leaders and businesses, please visit her website
Carrie-Lynn Hotson is the author of Knowing Who You Lead, has created a series of blog posts to generate discussion, insight and inspire transformational leadership growth.