What is Succession Planning and Why Is It Vital In Business Performance?

Succession planning is the process of identifying key skills required for your business to run smoothly, ensuring you have adequate skill overlap.

Enabling any employee in the team to be absent for any reason and for any length of time – and enabling seamless future business growth.
Sickness, bereavement, annual leave and resignations can all create employee absences, planned and unplanned.

Many business owners are caught by surprise when a key employee is absent and are required to step in themselves – or they decide to perform key roles themselves and struggle to also run the business.

As your business grows, the requirement and focus for the owner is to spend increasingly more time managing at top level to provide direction and support. Stepping into the role of an absent employee becomes counter-productive.

In addition to employee absences, planned or unplanned – all your employees (including the business owner) need to feel that they can take leave as required.

This is the basis of succession planning – ensuring that every aspect of every key role can be covered at any time.

The first step is a skill matrix and gap analysis.

This identifies potential gaps and overlaps both now and in the future. The optimum way of conducting this process is in light of future business strategy. Strategic gap analysis enables the business owner to consider future skill requirements – in the light of present employees, which obviously shines a light on training and development for current employees and identifies experience and higher skills that need to be recruited to build business growth.

Succession planning reduces one of the most significant employer risks – the loss of productivity due to employee absence. More than this however, having skill overlap in the team creates a more consultative environment, which is always a positive – and is especially valuable for employers who have employed skill bases they do not have themselves.

Succession planning has been the cornerstone for overseas recruitment becoming so widespread in New Zealand – enabling employers to continue projects without loss of productivity due to skill gaps. While some industries have seen this as an extreme situation, skill gap management presents a risk to every business owner.

To find out more about our Strategic HR Process, speak to one of our ConsultingHQ Consultants, or to learn more about employing skilled workers from overseas, please make contact with our RecruitNZ International Recruitment team.