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Training For Succession

Training For Succession

Businesses that intend to survive the long run need to plan for succession. Often in a family-owned business, a family member such as a son or daughter is the natural successor to the owner.  As children, they are groomed to run the business as nightly father discusses the business’ concerns at the dinner table. Their grooming and training for succession is an important matter for the sake of their business. Other companies must seek out successors from talented candidates within their ranks. The job of preparing those candidates to ably fill the shoes of the president of a company is one that should be taken very seriously.

Training for Succession

Identify candidates that might be appropriate for assuming the helm of a company early.  Employees come and go even those who have been groomed for greatness. There is no guarantee that a competent employee will want to wait around to inherit the top job.  You should have at least two to three potential hopefuls to ensure that there is at least one who is available to succeed when the time comes.

Provide succession candidates opportunities to be acquainted with all the workings of the company by ensuring they do a tour of employment in each department.  These working tours should last at least six months so candidates have a thorough understanding of the challenges and functions critical to the company’s success.

Ensure exposure of succession candidates throughout the industry and within the company.  Board members and upper management should be informed early either formally or by the candidates’ visibility within the company who is being groomed for succession.  There should be no surprises when a particular candidate is elected to succeed and certainly no mutinies among the rank and file.

Give candidates significant profit and loss responsibilities within the company. While favoritism will invariably play a role in who the actual successor turns out to be, all candidates should be given an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to grow the company.  Each candidate should manage departments or divisions and have their successes quantified in revenue generated demonstrated over a period of time.

Provide the highest ranking successor candidate the opportunity to shadow the head man or work directly with that individual on company projects that are both profit-driven and other projects that are philanthropic in nature.  A successor needs to be able to lead the company in all facets of its corporate role.  As the new face of the company, the successor must personify the best of the company in works and deeds.