It’s inevitable that people leave employers and when a senior executive of a business leaves, be it hastily or planned, there remains a critical gap that needs to be filled.

Companies, no matter how big or small, can make such changes to their business relatively smooth by putting into place a succession plan. Failing to do so compounds uncertainty both from staff and external stakeholders including suppliers and customers. Business competitors may also see this as an opportunity to exploit.

Succession planning needn’t be overly complex. It boils down to identifying who within a company are the future leaders and ensuring that they are given opportunities through business exposure and training to develop themselves. This means they will be ready when the time comes to step up.

Not got a succession plan in place? According to a 2017 Nationwide Survey three in five small businesses do not have a business succession plan in place.

A good place to start can be found at where a step-by-step guide provides practical tips on how to navigate the succession path. It can be as simple as thinking about the worst case scenario when key personnel leave and writing up a plan on what would be needed to fill the gap.

Is there a pool of suitable internal candidates? What skills must they have in order to meet the criteria of the vacated role? If recruitment was required externally, where would you turn?

By answering these questions and knowing the skills and talents of key employees, you’re on your way to developing a basic succession plan.


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