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Succession planning, also known as replacement planning, means developing a strategy for making sure that all key roles within an organization are filled by qualified employees. In sports, it’s called having bench strength — a backup squad of top-quality players who can take the lead when the starting squad is unavailable. When employees and business leaders retire or otherwise leave their position, identifying and developing a potential successor to fill their role helps ensure a smooth transition without interruptions in business as usual.
An effective succession planning strategy begins with the recruitment process. That includes recruiting high potential candidates with skills and knowledge that can be easily adapted to roles that will need filling in the future. The succession planning process also includes career development plans for your existing workforce — identifying key employees within your organization who can be groomed for high-level leadership positions via training, education, and career development programs. Well-considered succession planning ensures long-term consistency for both large and small businesses by keeping leadership roles filled by competent, productive employees.