The importance of a succession plan in a company

As a way for seeking greener pastures, people change jobs too often. What happens when a very skilled employee or CEO suddenly submits his or her resignation letter? Does your company have a succession plan in place to keep the organisation running like a well-oiled machine even after the CEO is no longer available?

According to executive search firm Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters, only 50 percent of SA’s blue-chip companies have a clear succession plan should their CEO or MD depart.

CapeTalk/702’s Redi Tlhabi spoke to Neville de Lucia, Business Development Director at Dale Carnegie Training, about the importance of having a succession plan in a company.

We’ve got to make sure that everybody knows what their performance result is in the business, what the description of that performance result must be and hold themselves accountable to their direct supervisor.

Neville de Lucia

De Lucia says that every company should have a succession plan and that succession plans revolve around communication.

How companies can navigate through change:

  • Have a 3 year – 5 year plan
  • Communicate the company’s succession plan with employees
  • Companies need to be flexible
  • Train and develop employees for the future

According to Du Lucia, managers should not feel threatened by employees which they’ve developed, but should take that as an opportunity to move and try other things.

Top-down succession plan communication

  • look at the potential of the employees and develop it
  • Keep employees engaged and motivated
  • Pay attention to employees (who is good at what?)

Bottom-up succession plan communication

  • Volunteer
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions
  • Make people like you
  • Identify the lazy people and do their job
  • Avail yourself for anything
  • As an employee you can also approach the management and show them your potential – sell yourself.

Managers have a big role to play in developing people but the people have even a bigger responsibility to make themselves seen and heard.

Redi Tlhabi

Listen to the full conversation below:


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