5 Ways Your Org Chart Can Kick-Start Your Succession Plan

An org chart is more than just a 2-D snapshot of a company’s hierarchy. When properly used as a workforce planning tool, it allows you to make staffing decisions that spur growth, including those involved with succession planning.

Here are some ways an org chart can help you put together a strong succession plan, so you can quickly curb any disruption to your business when key employees leave.

Look at the bigger picture.

A shift in power following the exit of an executive is a hefty challenge for any business. But succession planning isn’t just disaster recovery aimed at the uppermost levels of an org chart. Including your entire workforce makes it a part of the company’s overall development strategy.

“Any organization that is serious about its people will have a succession planning process for all employees,” says Eric Kilponen, manager of product marketing and operations of Insperity Performance and Organizational Management.

Chances are your executives aren’t the only key players on your team. With an org chart, you can easily look across your entire organization to identify employees who play critical roles in your business’s productivity and performance. An org chart can also make it easier to pinpoint employees who have the skills – or potential – to immediately assume these positions, so that you can minimize disruption should someone leave.

Identify key positions.

Use your org chart to explore prominent metrics, such as span of control, budget and headcount, to see who your most influential players are. Other factors to consider are age and tenure. Are any of your more seasoned members nearing retirement? If you can see the change coming, you can better prepare for it.

Getting your management team in on the act also helps them get to know your workforce as a whole, increasing visibility into your talent base. This way, they can recognize valuable workforce assets beyond their own department and outside of their own office building.

Identify top (and bottom) performers.

Successful succession planning isn’t about filling in the blanks; it’s about finding somebody who has the potential to take your company to a higher level. Factor in things like performance ratings and salary to get an idea of who can help your business take the next step.

“Succession planning is looking at filling a position with the best possible candidate, not basing it on personal opinions,” says Kilponen.

Finding internal candidates with the help of a hard-working org chart can save you time and money spent recruiting, onboarding and training outsiders. Additionally, you might determine that the company could operate more efficiently without some employees, allowing you to trim the fat and become a leaner, meaner business.

Give yourself more than one option.

Having to make a decision between a few employees makes it more challenging and ensures that you find the right fit. And if your first choice doesn’t pan out, you’ve already pinpointed some viable backups.

Find the right org charting solution.

Deciding whether to use a PC-based or Web-based system is largely dependent on the size of your company. Businesses with only a handful of employees can get by using desktop software. But if you have several hundred in your workforce, turning to an online solution will be more efficient and more cost-effective in the long run.

“With an organizational chart program, there’s a central database where leaders can easily identify and track the progress of employees within their succession plan profiles, so that they can make better hiring and staffing decisions,” says Kilponen.

An org chart can help a business cope with the many changes it will endure over time. With an adaptable org chart and a well-developed succession plan in place, your company won’t miss a beat.

Start creating dynamic, customized org charts today with InsperityOrgPlusTM, the world’s No. 1 organization charting program.

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