Successful Facilities Management Succession Planning

February 14, 2013


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A growing trend in facilities management is the need for succession planning.  As a vast majority of Baby Boomers retire and the availability of a trained labor force tightens, successful succession planning is becoming a key business function to prevent disruption within facilities management and plant operations.

Succession planning is the preemptive process of identifying key positions and implementing a program that ensures the constant development of employees to fill these positions in order to minimize disruption.  A successful succession plan consists of five steps. The first step is to identify the key positions or roles for succession or replacement planning.  These are the roles that are critical to the continued success of the organization and can range from leadership positions to mechanics and technicians.  The people that hold these positions are typically highly skilled and technical or require soft skills that take time to develop, such as leadership and communication skills.

The next step in the succession planning process is to define the competencies and motivational profile required for the identified positions.  This should include basic job requirements, department specific skills, company values, soft skills and regulatory compliance skills.  In order to differentiate the importance of these skills, a rating, such as essential, preferred or marginal, can be assigned depending on their relative worth to the position.

The third step is to assess current employees against these competencies with an eye on the employees’ possibilities for the future.  It is important to assess employees based on their current knowledge and skill but to also consider their aptitude for learning and ability to adapt to a changing environment. By doing this, you will be able to identify the areas where the organization is experiencing a talent gap and what improvements need to be met in order to fill these gaps.

Lastly, the gap analysis can be used to develop an employee’s skills to be ready for advancement into these key roles, primarily through the right set of experience and training.  By focusing training on the skills needed to be eligible for promotion, an organization not only solves the problem of succession planning but also increases employee engagement. Investing in the growth of employees to fill key leadership and staff positions will make employees feel appreciated and valued by the organization.

Succession planning is continually evolving as positions change to meet business needs. Therefore, the need to re-evaluate succession planning on a regular basis is essential to ensure its continued success. To learn more about Facilities Management Succession Planning, contact Vanguard Resources.