Succession Planning: Five Costly Errors to Avoid

Posted September 23 2013

competency-based-succession-planningTalent leaders must not only design and execute effective succession plans, but also understand and avoid the pitfalls that can threaten those plans. Here are five common mistakes and how to avoid them.

  1. No one works to incorporate succession planning into the corporate culture. Talent leaders must remind executives to have a strong, efficient talent foundation, or they will be repeatedly wasting valuable financial and other resources in filling key positions and training new hires.
  2. Not spending enough time on upfront planning or on defining desired outcomes. Talent leaders should take time to make sure everyone is on board. They should also be able to gauge progress and ensure updates are efficient and functional.
  3. After a solid kickoff with a full team of players, planning often falters or ceases to exist. Talent managers must be sure they have buy-in from key players and managers at the start, so they get the support they need to execute successfully and prevent fumbles along the way.
  4. Once established, succession plans are often left unchanged and become outdated or irrelevant. All talent management objectives should be updated and consistently aligned with company objectives.
  5. After benchmarking and talent identification, little emphasis is placed on employee development. Employee development is vital to retaining key players because it engages their interests and proves a commitment to their strategic growth within the company. By incorporating development into their succession planning processes, they can cut preventable turnover substantially while also bolstering internal bench strength.
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