Succession planning, within any industry, is essential to securing the future of a business. When considering succession planning within the manufacturing industry, it is vital to ensure that plans integrate the availability of skilled workers or external talent, who will move into senior positions, when they are vacated by the current holder.
With significant changes such as the referendum and Brexit causing a number of skills gaps within areas such as manufacturing and property development, it is now crucial for businesses to secure their future through succession planning. This includes establishing a pool of talent and ensuring that these individuals receive the appropriate training and education, ahead of adopting their new role.
How should you begin your manufacturing succession planning?
Regardless of the size of the manufacturing business and whether it operates globally or domestically, a succession plan is essential to longevity and survival of the company.
Revisit business objectives
Beginning with establishing realistic goals and objectives can drive the completion of a plan, ahead of a pre-planned departure, often due to retirement or movement into another position. It is also important to make arrangements for the action that will be taken, should an unexpected departure occur, which could be down to downsizing, illness or taking a new role externally. A contingency plan and a timetabled plan should be aligned in order to ensure your business does not fall into turmoil, should either of these scenarios occur.
Identifying candidates, both internal and external individuals, will allow you to pull together a talent pool or people who match the profile, skill set and attributes that you require from your senior and executive employees. Utilising these opportunities to refresh a position is important, as this can bring in fresh ideas and ways of working, which may not have been changed for many years if an individual has held a position for a long period of time.
Establish a dialogue
Contacting your potential candidates up to two years ahead of the position becoming available, can open a dialogue with potential successors and ensure that the company choice is the right one. This also allows candidates to determine if your business is the right move for them, this might include spending time within your manufacturing company, conversing with the current position holder and deciding if your business objectives align with their personal career goals.
Integrate mentorship and guidance
Implementing mentorship programmes and additional training programmes for existing internal staff can support in both developing your employees and identifying potential candidates for progression. If your talent management strategy does not currently have a plan for how to identify and nurture existing employees or how to develop new ones, it may be time to reconsider how this is failing your company. Integrating talent management and succession planning into one combined set of plans will offer your manufacturing business a clear structure for recruiting, managing, growing and promoting your employees appropriately and in line with company objectives.
Finalise transitional documentation
Finally, ensuring that your manufacturing succession plan includes a number of transitional documents which will support successors in their new role, is critical. These documents should include all vital information that is needed to ensure that the business continues as normal and continues to make progress and remain profitable.