We have all heard the phrase, square pegs in round holes, usually mean putting people in positions they are completely unsuitable for.
In business and for SMEs in particular it can have far-reaching consequences and weaken the long-term health of that firm.
So, managing the businesses efficiently call for square pegs in square holes, in other words, proper succession planning.
Surveys in the past have shown that organisations’ leadership pipelines are weaker than ever, with one showing more than half reporting a significant shortage of leaders for key positions and almost a third are unsure that their leaders have the skills required to take the business.
There are key steps to making sure your future leaders are up to the job.
- Avoid past performance – Many businesses decide on their future leaders, based mostly on past performance. That needs to be re-evaluated as the world of business is a fast-moving environment and there will be different demands on future leaders.
- Evaluate your plan – You can plan for a retirement or pregnancy absence for example. But you can get caught out by a sudden and potentially business-disrupting departure. Do not wait until there is a crisis to assess whether an employee can assume a more advanced role. Have a potential successor assume some responsibilities of a manager who is taking a holiday.
- Identify potential – Explain in confidence why to them why they are being targeted for positions of increasing importance. Explain there are no guarantees as circumstances can change rapidly.
- Preparing for succession – Job rotation and mentoring are effective ways to help talent gain additional knowledge and experience. The best leaders have strong communication skills, as well as polished interpersonal abilities, such as empathy and diplomacy.
- Do not put all your eggs in one basket – Staffing is a fluid thing, with events and turnover of staff. Do not rely on a single person to succeed an outgoing leader and discourage others from trying to step up. Create a pool of talent to ensure the right fit for the right role at the right time.
For expert advice on succession planning for your business, contact our team today.