3 important inclusions in an owner or executive’s succession plan

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Estate Planning

Those in leadership positions at successful businesses generally want to see their company thrive. Even after they exit the organization, they may hope that the company continues to grow. Succession planning can help ensure that a business can continue operating even after a change in leadership.

Some people who step into executive roles must complete a succession plan to comply with the terms of their employment contract. Those who own or help run a business might also decide to create a succession plan on their own.

In either scenario, the inclusion of the right details directly influences how useful and effective a succession plan will prove to be for a business. What does an owner or executive typically need to include in their succession plan?

Potential candidates from within the company

Succession planning often involves reviewing the performance and competence of current employees. Someone who regularly works with members of middle management or the sales team, for example, might know when one of those workers could potentially take over their job. Creating a list of viable succession candidates can be a useful part of a succession plan, especially if the executive or owner has begun planning for an imminent departure from their role.

Key training and credential needs

A succession plan can name a specific candidate to take over one’s job. However, the strongest succession plans help identify the right party for a job based on their qualifications. A succession plan can include details about training, education and professional history that might set someone up to thrive in that position. Recognizing the professional background and training someone needs to do the job successfully is an important part of succession planning.

Otherwise undisclosed job functions and secrets

Anyone who runs a business probably performs far more job functions than their job description actually outlines. Tasks and responsibilities not included in the training or job description may require inclusion in a succession plan. Certain trade secrets may require disclosure for a replacement to adequately perform their job after someone retires or moves on to a new endeavor.

Someone who creates a succession plan may need to occasionally revisit and update their plan as the employee roster for their company changes and their job functions evolve. Taking the time to draft a thorough succession plan can help ensure that a company weathers any future leadership transition while avoiding significant challenges.

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