Alliance Bizsmart > Knowledge Bank > Who's Your Successor?

Nobody wants to think about the day they have to leave their business unexpectedly.

But when a brand and jobs are at stake, you’ve got to plan for the “what ifs” in life.

If your business is your legacy, it’s good to start thinking about the “what ifs” and prepare for them.

If you have a business partner, both of you should have an understanding on what happens should either one of you become incapable of continuing your commitment.

If you’re still not convinced, think about this: if you’re hospitalized for major surgery and likely to be inactive for a prolonged period of time, is there someone in your company who can make decisions on your behalf?

Or, can you take a day off, unplugged, without worrying that something will go wrong in the office?

If you’ve answered “no” to both questions without hesitation or doubt, you might want to read on.

1. Decide key roles in your company.


Identify the critical positions that are needed to effectively meet your business objectives.

These jobs are the lifeblood of your company and will need to be filled by the most qualified persons.

Once you’ve zeroed in on those positions, consider what capabilities are needed to fit those roles.

Is it a position that involves technical capabilities? Will it require client rapport building skills?

Recognising the specific skillsets will ease the process of finding the people you need to take your company to the next level.

2. Identify the right people.

Are there current employees that show strong potential to fill critical positions?

Have a review with your staff to pick high-potential candidates based on their capabilities and the ones you require.

Keep a look out for individuals who display positive traits such as enthusiasm to learn and passion for your company.

They may or may not fulfill your requirements just yet, but they are potentially the ones who will grow the most down the road.

3. Plan a mentoring process.


Prepare a proper mentoring process that allows your successor to envision their growth potential. This will help them understand the skills they will need to assume future roles and perform their responsibilities successfully.

Start with something small before building up to more substantial tasks so as to not overwhelm them, especially if it’s something that’s out of their comfort zone.

4. Invest in their development.

Your successor will need to be trained and prepared mentally to handle key management roles. This means, you will need to spend time and money training them.

At the same time, your successor will need to put in extra effort on top of their day-to-day work.

There are many training programmes available that can help fill virtually any gaps in employee skillset.

You may be able to get some financial assistance to train your staff if you use the training providers approved by the Human Resources Development Fund.

Effective succession planning can help keep your company stable and sustainable by putting an established process in place to meet staffing requirements.