Succession planning is the process of turning your business over to the next generation of leaders. Many business owners dread this transition, as it signals the end of their involvement in an enterprise they worked so hard to build. However, succession planning doesn't have to be a stressful or negative experience, especially with the following tips from American Express.
Focus on management training & mentoring
Even if you have a person you're eyeing to succeed you, it's crucial that he or she has access to the appropriate training. Very few people can seamlessly fit into the role of a leader without extensive knowledge of processes and tasks. Management training ensures that your successor will have an idea of what to expect, while also providing the skills necessary to do the job right the first time. Employee mentoring is also a good idea, as it provides hands-on training for important procedures.
Cross-training entails acquainting staff with all the different facets of your business. This is important for successors, as it's likely they'll be consulted about a range of issues during their tenure. Cross-training enables a big picture view of your company, which is essential when in a leadership position.
Make your intentions known
If you're looking at a few people for the role of a successor, make sure they're aware of the process. Not only will this boost confidence within your staff, but it will also prevent potential successors from being surprised by their selection when the time comes. Although transparency is encouraged, be careful about making any promises. These can result in legal conflicts if you should change your mind.