Have you thought about succession planning for your medical practice?

October 30, 2018

Great article by the Coker Group

Coker Group Website: https://cokergroup.com/

Preparing for 2019 entails developing budgets, sales objectives, and other forward-thinking activities. Another critical action to consider is your organization’s talent needs for the upcoming year.

Assessment of your organization’s talent pool should be part of your ongoing succession planning. Succession planning—a process for ensuring that employees are recruited and developed to fill each key role–is essential for healthcare entities due to the substantial increase in the number of leaders retiring each year. With a decrease in the pool of candidates who have the required skills and knowledge to lead a healthcare organization, it is critical to go about developing internal talent. Succession planning and talent acquisition should be a part of an organization’s strategic business plan. (See our previous white paper, Is Your Talent Pipeline Full, Half Empty, or Dry? Developing Internal and External Talent Pipelines.)

Why is planning for the future so vital?

  • Succession planning is the process of identifying and developing leaders who can replace current leaders when that position becomes vacant.
  • A succession plan will increase the ability of the organization to have job-ready, experienced, and capable people who are prepared to step into a new leadership role.
  • Internal candidates who have the potential to fill essential leadership positions should be identified and developed—not only in the C-Suite but down to key departmental level roles.

Succession planning, when done well, allows the business to be prepared to replace critical leaders as needed. Conversely, being unprepared and ill-equipped can result in adverse outcomes.

What are the steps in succession planning?

  • Identify critical positions in the organization and develop position profiles for those roles, including the necessary experience and skills.
  • Determine internal employees who are potential successors, and categorize them as job-ready or future-ready to assume the position.
  • Look at the knowledge and skill levels needed for critical roles and compare that to the current employee population. This review will recognize the potential successors for each role.
  • Prepare and implement talent development and training plans for internal candidates who are identified for specific positions.
  • Develop a plan for recruiting and hiring talent from the outside, if there are no internal successors. Incorporate the talent pipeline discussion as a part of regular, ongoing succession planning discussions in the organization.

How will the organization benefit from succession planning?

  • Current and future business goals and objectives are identified, along with the leadership talent that is needed to achieve these goals, as part of the strategic business plan.
  • Needs analyses are conducted, along with role definitions/position profiles for critical positions to identify which individuals may be able to move into those roles.
  • Gaps in skills or experience gaps can be addressed via individual training and developmental plans to prepare an individual to step into a role in the near future.
  • The successor can immediately move into the position without creating a vacancy in the key role. In the case of a retiring employee, and if appropriate, there may be an opportunity for the successor to work alongside the departing employee to learn the ropes.
  • Unwanted turnover of central employees can be reduced if they are identified and informed that they are on a succession plan. This security will reduce the likelihood of vital talent leaving for other opportunities.

Although succession planning is not swift, inexpensive, or effortless, neither are most other critical business functions that a healthcare organization faces each day. Every organization should have internal succession planning and external talent acquisition at the top of the list of their critical priorities to continue successfully performing at a high level.

Contact the Coker Group today to learn how they could assist your organization with succession planning or filling critical gaps in your talent pipeline.

 

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