Succession Development

Rakesh Patel

Vice President HR

Schott Glass


With these days, lack of bench strength in the companies is the biggest concern. As they lack sufficient “ready row” candidates of planned and unplanned losses of key leaders which results the business performance at risk .Hence, whenever size and resources permit, a succession plan should involve nurturing and developing employees from within an organization. A very rare combination of Ability, Aspiration and Attitude will definitely climb the ladder of success. The most important role of Stakeholders is to identify such high potentials (HiPos) from different layers and develop them for Succession.

Here are some basic steps:

  • The process starts by engaging stakeholders in the development of succession. The plan should be living document delve deeply into both the competencies and experiences required for the next leader. In this way, board is to be engaged in setting the criteria and refreshing them once in a year not just when crisis requires.


  • The plan will generally include a combination of training and developing the internal workforce from different layers as per set criteria. In some cases, it may become apparent there are no internal candidates about whom the stakeholders are optimistic. Then the task becomes quite different. Then, it is advised to go out and recruit the new bench strength. Mix of Formalize education, training, coaching, mentoring and assessment should be included within the action plan linked to timelines and specific outcomes. We sometimes find companies adding excessively complex assessment criteria to the succession planning process in an effort to improve the quality of the assessment. So keep it simple and SMART as it reflects the organisational strategy and may lead to frustration if they are only promises and not realistic.


  • Review the outcome effectiveness and update the plan regularly. This ensures you reassess your hiring needs and determine where the employees identified in the succession plan are in their development.


  • There is no such thing as a “ready now” candidate. Anyone named as a successor has learning to do and mistakes to recover from. Crucial support must be provided–a good team, wise and accessible mentors, executive coaching and a feedback-rich environment–to create a setting in which the new Leader can be the most effective.

Thus, Succession Planning helps to identify future leaders in the organisation and develop them to fill critical or key positions. This way, it helps individuals to realize their career plans and aspirations within the organization and provide the uninterrupted business. It faces some challenges too like lack of financial resources, vacancy etc.  Succession plan is not a guarantee of a position; rather it represents a developmental plan to prepare an individual for opportunities arise within the organization.

Knowledge transfer is a key component of the succession plan. Ensure that core organizational processes are well documented. Whenever possible, ensure an overlap of time so the exiting employee can help orient and train the new employee. Thus, this process establishes a specific connection between the business objectives and HR strategic planning.

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