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Free Succession Planning Templates [Ensure a Smooth Transition] PDF

    Succession planning, in simple terms, is the process of identifying and developing employees who are capable of taking on leadership roles in your company when positions become available. This way, you can have someone ready to fill in for your position if you speak. Succession planning is an important aspect of human resource management which begins with writing a succession plan template for better results.

    Succession Planning Templates

    Ensure the long-term success and sustainability of your organization with our comprehensive collection of Succession Planning Templates. Succession planning is a strategic process that identifies and develops talent within your organization to fill key leadership positions in the future. Our customizable and printable templates provide a structured framework for creating a robust succession plan that ensures a smooth transition of responsibilities and minimizes disruptions.

    From identifying high-potential employees to designing development programs and creating contingency plans, our templates cover all aspects of effective succession planning. By utilizing our Succession Planning Templates, you can proactively address leadership gaps, nurture talent, and build a strong pipeline of future leaders. Drive organizational continuity, retain institutional knowledge, and foster a culture of growth and development with our user-friendly templates. Download now and lay the foundation for a successful and sustainable future for your organization.

    Succession Planning System

    Succession Planning
    Succession Planning

    A succession planning system is a formal set of processes designed to ensure an organization’s future success while avoiding loss of skills and experience. The system identifies employees who are capable of filling key positions in the future, thereby reducing the risks involved in a change of leadership. The succession planning system has several stages, beginning with reviewing key business challenges and identifying key roles and competencies that will be required for successful performance in those positions.


    It is to plan, organize and ensure the execution of the works to be carried out by the institution to prepare the backups of the positions whose loss is risky due to the increasing competition conditions.


    The system to be established covers the processes related to the backup of the people who take charge in all key positions in terms of the institution’s functioning.


    Detailed job descriptions and work processes of all backup tasks are created. The person’s competencies required to work in this position are determined.

    Then, the candidates closest to these duties, responsibilities, and competencies are determined. Candidates’ employee development plans are created. Missing task responsibilities, experience, and competencies are completed. The level of specifications sought is determined by various valuation center applications.

    Why is succession planning important?

    Succession planning provides the company with a plan of action to avoid uncertainty when an employee leaves an organization. This can make the transition period more efficient and productive to minimize any interruptions during staffing changes. Establishing succession plans for critical positions within the company aims to ensure the company’s interests while handling a staff absence.

    What are the Benefits of Succession Planning?

    Creating succession plans is a great way to show employees that they are valuable, making them stay with your company longer. By including an employee in a succession plan, you give them a clear direction for their professional career progression. This shows them that they can potentially earn a promotion in the future by staying with your company. This can be particularly effective when the plan is drawn up for the employee to leave on a specific date, as it provides certainty to the employee.

    Performance Maintenance

    By providing employees with a plan to follow during a personnel change, they can understand their expectations and continue to perform at their best during the transition. This can minimize the number of employees affected by the personnel change and also minimize the impact on the personnel it affects. This maintains performance standards to keep production levels high in the company.

    Organizational Clarity

    Ensuring staff understands who is next in line to fill the position and any changes in their own expectations due to the transition provides stability for employees. This further minimizes any disruption to normal operation due to employee switching. Stability can help employees feel comfortable and secure, which can boost morale within the company.

    Crisis Avoidance

    During an unexpected departure, a succession plan provides more benefits. When a departure is not scheduled, it does not provide an opportunity to stay before departure to minimize its impact. With a succession plan in place, you can minimize this disruption by starting your response as soon as possible by eliminating the need to strategize the best decisions.

    Reduced Transition Costs

    Making changes in personnel can result in organizational costs. This ranges from lost production to the cost of looking for a new employee. With a succession plan in place, you reduce the financial impact of the outage. If your plan includes information about who will take on the vacant position or a shortlist to fill the position, it can eliminate or reduce the cost of finding someone new.

    What are the three steps in the succession management process?

    Identification of Critical Positions

    The succession planning system aims to find a suitable backup for a position in the organization, develop this backup in line with the position requirements, and continue business continuity without interruption.

    At this stage, it is aimed to define positions for succession planning by defining managerial and critical positions within the organization.

    • Determination of Critical Position Criteria
    • Identifying Critical Positions
    • Identification of Position Risk and Key Success Factors
    • Establishment of Critical Position Promotion Criteria

    Determination of Backing Positions and Candidates

    At this stage, it is determined which positions within the organization will back up the positions to be backed up. At the same time, a backup plan based on both position and person is created at this stage.

    • Making Competency Evaluation of the candidates who will back up
    • Determination of Compliance with Critical Position Criteria
    • Performance and Potential Evaluation
    • Creating a 9 Box Talent Pool Plan

    Establishing the Backup Plan and Development of the Backup Candidates

    At this stage, succession plans are created based on all departments and critical positions within the organization, and systematic development activities are implemented to develop succession candidates.

    • Making a Backup Plan
    • Creating Short-Medium-Long Term Backup Lists
    • Approval of the Backup Plan and Making the Backup Decision Meeting
    • The announcement, Communication, and Updating of Job Descriptions of Backup
    • Making the Development Plan of the Backup Candidates
    • Integration of the Development Plan with the Training Plan
    • Making Job Enrichment and Rotation Plan of Succession Candidates
    • Monitoring the Process and Controlling the Performance

    How do you write a succession plan?

    A succession planning program is a process of choosing qualified individuals and promoting them to high-ranking roles within your company. You can identify these employees early in their careers and appoint them to leadership positions through constant evaluations and observations.

    Creating a succession plan is an effective way to protect your company and streamline the process of making any personnel changes. Follow these tips when creating your succession plans to get the maximum benefit:

    Develop clear policies on planning

    Just as backup plans provide valuable guidance during a change, policies regarding backup plans can show staff when to create a new plan. Identifying in company policies both positions that always require a backup plan and the conditions under which a non-essential position can benefit from a plan ensures you have the required backup plan coverage. This can improve the overall value provided by succession plans in your company.

    Encourage early warning

    The more time you have to prepare for a breakup, the more effectively you can plan for and mitigate the breakup effects. When a staff member moves into a position that requires a succession plan, it’s helpful to talk to them about the importance of giving advance notice of any changes. You can add clauses to contracts for senior staff who require notification. This gives you the time you need to start any migration plan.

    Plan for the unexpected

    When creating backup plans for a position, including both a planned and an unexpected transition is helpful. You may find that a key position in your organization is unexpectedly vacant for several reasons, and having a plan for a surprising opening can significantly reduce the impact of the change on your organization. Backup plans for unexpected vacancies may include both long-term plans to find the next specialist to fill the position and short-term plans to minimize the immediate impact of the change.

    Prioritize specialized studies

    When creating a succession plan, the most important job an employee completes for you to deal with the plan is any job that requires special skills. This behavior can be the most difficult to find coverage during a migration. You improve company performance throughout a transition by identifying individuals within the organization who can manage their specific responsibilities a transition.

    Providing development opportunities to staff

    Internal hiring is often the most effective way to replace a departing staff member. To devise a succession plan that includes internal promotion, it is important to ensure the employee has staff ready to move into the vacant position. Offering training opportunities and mentorship to employees with the potential to fill the role allows you to make the transition to a new employee easier and more efficient.

    Note your future leaders.

    Creating a list of employees you believe have the potential to move forward can help you create succession plans more effectively. In addition to providing you with a shortlist as you consider how to fill a vacant position, it also helps you identify employees who could benefit most from advanced training and mentoring. Talking to other senior officials in your company is an effective way to identify candidates by asking supervisors about top performers. Analyzing performance data can also help you identify the strongest potential candidates.

    Make the gradual transition easier.

    Creating a gradual transition from one staff member to another for planned departures can significantly reduce or eliminate disruptions in your company. Getting the new employee to work with the current employee or gradually delegating responsibilities to the new employee while the departing team member is still working for you helps make the change less noticeable. This also allows the new employee to ask questions they may have as they begin to fulfill their new roles and responsibilities.

    Know your future plans

    The transition from one employee to another can also be an opportunity to change the organization. Just as having succession plans in place is beneficial for you, it is also beneficial to have both short-term and long-term plans for your company or department. This allows you to identify areas where you can facilitate these changes during a staff transition and allow them to occur simultaneously, minimizing the overall impact of the two changes.

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    Betina Jessen

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