There are a number of areas to keep your eye on as part of your succession planning activities.
Top of the list has to be that as you formulate your ideas to get those people organized to be top class performers, you need to know how they are doing, right now.
The most important priority, above all, is that you keep your eye on overall performance of the business.
Then, it's all about those who work for you, because from them, and them alone, will your business success come now, and into the future.
Managing Performance Of All Is Vital
You need to carefully use your performance management skills for all of your people, to make sure that you are clear about their current performance, as well as - for your succession planning needs - that you know what their potential is too.
So it is certainly something that you have to keep a close eye on as a manager. And if you do not have any kind of performance management measures then you will struggle to manage your business adequately now, let alone later on.
Looking to your future needs will almost be impossible.
Performance Management Matters in Succession Planning
The performance management part of succession planning is important because it gives you insights into individuals and their actual performance as well.
If you are closely observing them and prepared to challenge in uncharted waters, their potential for the mid-to-long term, will start to fill the spaces that you will need as your team gradually moves along and you need great replacements.
Succession planning for the future evolution of your key players is a vital step, that will prepare you for keeping balance as changes happen when your people leave you - however good you are at managing them!
There are several ways for you to make sure performance management is successful to help you with your succession planning.
It's vital to develop metrics in performance management. What do we mean by metrics? You need to measure the performance of your people in a controlled and precise way. How will you measure their performance?
You can measure the performance of all of your people by their outputs, carefully agreed in advance between you as well as regularly reviewed formally and more especially informally too.
If you can make these outputs easy to measure with some numbers in there too, it will be all the easier for the two of you.
Metrics help because they are factual and not hearsay or subjective. In fact, by setting up clear measures for each of your people in the achievements you want from them, removes the nasty taste you can get when you feel something is wrong and cannot define it.
With metrics you can! So any controversy or 'wriggle-room' (for them) is resolved.
The Link To Successful Succession
Succession planning is challenging to start with, but if you have the right performance management tools to get you through it then you are going to make everything work.
If you are having trouble with performance management during succession then you should remember that it is your responsibility to drive it - no hiding places here!
Gradually, as you introduce new measures for your people, equitably and consistently, you will find performance management will lift the overall outputs of the business.
The great opportunity then is to ensure that you use this information to tease extra performance from all your people and notice, just notice, who starts to show up as capable of more, much more.
Then you really are starting to build real value into the succession planning tactics you are adopting as part of the bigger strategy to sustainable business success.
About the Author
(c) 2007 Succession Planning Toolkit. Want a free e-course? Then sign up with a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on developing and build an easy to run business, you need to develop your people well. You can find out how, right here, on Martin Haworth's fascinating website at http://www.SuccessionPlanningToolkit.com