Succession planning is vital for any business to minimise the disruption that a change in key management or leadership position can cause within an organisation. Identifying potential leaders internally prior to looking outside the business is key. This will create a positive culture of learning and development and ensures staff feel valued as they progress their careers. Importantly, your internal staff already understand the company culture and have intrinsic knowledge of business plans, internal systems and processes. Even better, the transition can begin well in advance!
As specialists in talent mapping, specific to travel recruitment, we have worked with many clients on this important process as they progress potential leaders and backfill roles in their businesses. Here are some insights we have to share:
1. Plan ahead
You never know exactly when a key management figure or leader may choose to move on, so putting plans in place early will help alleviate the disruption to the team. A continual process of succession planning is vital and should be regularly discussed and reviewed by the executive and board.
2. Identify potential successors
Get to know your entire team and identify those who display leadership qualities and have expressed interest in career progression. Keep in mind that you may need multiple successors to fill in gaps as other team members move up into their new roles. It’s important to note that not all top performers make good managers. They need to be respected by their colleagues and have the ability to connect with their team and to empower others to bring about the best results for your business.
Start including your future leader in meetings & planning sessions where appropriate and identify in what areas they may need further education or training. Knowledge is power, so the better you equip your potential leaders, the better they will be able to empower the team to reach company goals.
4. Operational planning
Update your organisational chart and compile new job descriptions, contracts & inform key internal stakeholders, suppliers & customers as changes occur.
Plan with internal or external recruiters to back fill any roles which will be required to fill gaps as your new leaders are further developed to step up.
Proactively manage staff through the changes which will impact them as peers or line managers progress into more senior roles. Consider appointing a key staff member in your management team to oversee the change management process throughout the transition.
5. Continually review
Give your future leaders time to learn and utilise their new skills, handing over responsibility at various intervals along the way to ensure you have made the right decision for both parties. Regularly review, offering an open forum for the successor to express their feedback or concerns.
It is critical for any size business to appoint and develop inspiring leaders so your business can be positioned as an employer of choice. Specific to the travel industry, we support businesses to develop and maintain the best possible organisational structure ensuring that top talent are attracted to their brands for travel industry careers. A well-executed succession plan is the key!
“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” — Tom Peters
Want more information on how to improve your workplace culture? Read this popular blog 6 tips to improve your organisational culture.