Succession Planning and Employee Management

Succession planning

Succession planning enables the organization to identify talented employees and provide education to develop them for future higher level and broader responsibilities. It helps the employees to build bench strength and helps them to decide where they belong to. As the workforce ages and competition for skilled employees get even tighter, the organization need to be proactive in Human Resources planning and succession management.

They should go for this planning if they want to continue to build high performance, high involvement and inclusive work place. According to Robert M Fulmer (2002, vol. 5, issue 1) “Succession Planning is a key strategy that any organization probably want to implement as a result of Human Resource planning process by carrying out a succession management program that is transparent and equitable to create an environment for people to develop their skills in preparation for a range of future possibilities. This results in a work place that will be positioned to face whatever lies ahead.” (para.2)

The importance of succession planning in an organization can be discussed in the context of Henrico County, Virginia’s case.The HR department handled the issue of ageing problem of the work force with a proper strategy and planning. In the first stage of planning, the employer took care of the employees by adopting a variety of tools and then they identified the holders of key positions and their strength to do the job well.The HR team has taken relentless effort to identify the potential in the employees and finally it became the responsibility of the employee to adapt to the change. Let’s now discuss the pros and cons of implementing a succession planning strategy.


As Jacobs.G. (2006) points out that “the advantages of succession planning greatly overweigh the disadvantages which can be overcome by proper planning and communication within the employees and the senior management.” (pp. 326-350). The employees observe that the organization offers career development opportunities for them. These sort of planning by the HR can improve the retention process and moreover managers find it easier to place the right person at the right position. The County could fill around six positions internally during the course of the planning and the managers could identify the real potential of the employees


For every decision there can be some disadvantages also.The main problem identified by Mike Cannell (2007) with succession planning is that the” whole process is expensive and time consuming” (para.7) as in the case of Henrico, county ,Virginia. The HR staff members spent around 400 hours to carry out the planning and has to spent another 200 hours to maintain the program.

Assessing the employee potential

According to Suff, R (2005) “an employee’s adaptability can be assessed by evaluating his performance.” (pp 46-48). The factors that could be used to judge a person is to identify the skills and competencies. Again it can be done by identifying the potential talent on team by organizing talent review meetings. Moreover they can be provided with development opportunities, coach them along and evaluate their potential.

Analyses and decisions

The analyses can be done by the HR managers who are skilled in the process and the ultimate decision can go to the senior management. This can be done internally in the case of the County as they have skilled HR managers.


Fulmer, Robert M. (2002). Strategy planning, vol.5, issue 1, (Journal citation).

Jacobs, G. (2006). Business succession planning: a review of the evidence, vol. 13, no.3.

Cannell, Mike. (2007). Learning, training & development in Succession planning. (para4).

Suff. R. (2005). Quick succession, IRS employment review, no.833.

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