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  • Writer's pictureMeyrick Consulting

Do you have successional planning capacity in your business?

How do you start if you've never done it before?

More so than any other type of company, medium size businesses need to think very hard about succession planning. Many of the staff in key positions are business critical. Therefore, when someone makes the decision to leave the ripples caused within the business can grow into a tidal wave. The key question is how to go about succession planning if you’ve never undertaken such a process before.

Another way of looking at this is thinking about identifying staff within the business that may well end up as potential senior managers or future leaders. This is something that should be ongoing. The whole aim is to manage recruitment effectively as and when any individual decides to leave. It is worth considering the following questions:

13 Questions to help you attract, train and retain staff


· Is there any tailored work experience that might prepare people for future promotion?

· Have you identified business critical roles that will require succession planning?

· Do you have a pool of staff that are trained and have appropriate skills to manage in an emergency?

· Is there any disaster planning in place?

· Do you have a group of individuals outside the immediate organisation to aid continuity?

· How far is it appropriate to plan within the business? A

· re you going to focus on key positions and or senior jobs and or middle managers?

· Do you have a program of secondments around departments or across the business?

· Do all workers have career pathways that are clear so that you can cast your net as widely as possible?

· Have you identified groups of jobs rather than specific roles where people can be trained to cover roles or functions at different levels to develop generic skills?

· Is your staffing agile enough? Rapid change and flatter structures negate the need for highly structured and top-down succession.

· Is your company scissoring talent management? The cost of the hire can be significant so retaining, engaging and motivating talented individuals is recommended. In addition, attract

· Attracting external talent as well as nurturing internal talent strikes a good balance. Have you thought hard about how and why your company might be considered attractive to external candidates? In many contexts, remuneration is not the only driver.

How much staff training do you undertake?

With these ideas in mind, it is worth considering the development of your staff at different levels. Giving a voice to those below management level may actually spotlight talent that could have been overlooked. Theories can be tested by offering lateral moves. Understanding different parts of the business helps gain valuable additional experience. It is also worth looking at competitors’ staff and investigating who is doing what role. With a list of 40-60 potential candidates to start with it is much easier to track down a shortlist and can reduce the lead time considerably.

It is a good idea to nurture existing talent

Photo: Shridhar Gupta

It also pays off when you work hard to look after any new hire. It is an unmitigated disaster when a new hire lasts for less than a year and is a considerable drain on resources. That doesn’t mean that all company churn is a bad thing. Bringing in new blood into a company can transform a business. Everyone needs a new injection of different ideas and processes but what really is important is the symbiotic relationship that should exists between organisation and its workers. Much can be learned from both parties.

It’s always worth making plans for the future in advance of a crisis

Certainly, with talent in certain niches being highly sought after and in short supply taking the temperature of staff sentiment is not a bad idea and also helps pre-empt any significant changes. However, in addition it is always worth planning for the future and looking for new people that will transform your existing business. To learn more and solve your issues why not give me a call and see how I can help you prevent staff shocks.


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