What comes to mind with mention of the term “succession planning”? Depending on your situation, it raises a lot of different scenarios. For small business owners, it is concern about who will take over the business when they retire. In larger organizations there may be concerns about certain cohorts of employees leaving the workforce which then results in vulnerabilities and stresses on the organization. Big gaps to fill create serious headaches. Succession Planning is also a pain when managers or executives leave the workforce as losing a strong leader is costly and problematic. Most importantly, financially, losing highly trained and top performers is very problematic – we all know what it costs to attract great people, train them, and maintain a healthy and productive workplace.

So how is it you can limit the financial, structural, and cultural damage of outgoing people and ensure a seamless transition through attrition? We have found through 25 years of experience solving this problem for our clients that defining the competencies of the roles to be filled in all these scenarios is a good place to start the succession planning process.

Here’s why:

A well-developed competency profile defines the exact skills, knowledge, and abilities required for top performance in a specific role, function or job in a specific organization. Through capturing this information properly to structure your team, you can create effective training and a whole host of other super useful workplace tools. Succession planning efforts should focus on recruiting, developing and training to the specific skill set that is known to make the organization successful.

In that past 25 years of working specifically in competency-based products and services, The Competency Group has come across some very good examples of how taking a competency-based approach can provide a solid foundation for succession planning.

A Case Example:

Take for instance the case of one of our clients, a large construction company with several offices across the country and abroad. This company was losing many of its construction Superintendents to retirement who had developed extensive expertise through many years on the job. The organization was rightfully concerned that the incoming superintendent group, while selected for their high potential, would not have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills on the job over several years. To avoid this pain, the solution of some sort of training program was required. This organization recognized that a competency approach was needed to create an effective foundation to create a training program for the new cohort, which would also enhance onboarding and help the transition of incoming employees go smoothly. To help this client, our team developed a comprehensive competency profile for the role of Construction Superintendent. To make this happen, we brought together a group of top industry performers who could share their opinions on what it takes to be the best Construction Superintendent in context of the organization in question. Our highly trained and skilled facilitators then identify the specific and important knowledge, skills, and abilities required to excel in the role. Our consultants then organized the results of information gathered and turned it into workable and useful documentation that could inform training, succession plans, compliance directives, and a whole host of other useful tools.

The Outcome?

The competency profile we provided helped our client speed up transition in succession, reduce attrition cost losses, as well as provided a structural foundation that could generate a whole host of other useful workplace tools with many applications. The upshot? We saved this company time and money. Your company can do this too – for a free introductory consultation, please email sales@thecompetencygroup.com and tell us about the succession planning problems you need solved. One of our consultants will respond to you promptly to get started!