Succession Planning – Minimising Human Resource Losses

Succession Planning

What would be the cost to your business if one of your managers, or key staff suddenly left or could not work? The more crucial the role the higher the cost. When you add in all of the factors, such as; lost productivity, employing and training new staff, the cost of replacing just one person can run into the thousands. Succession planning is one of the key factors that can reduce, not only the costs associated with replacing key staff members, but also the the reliance on individual staff members within you business.

What is Succession Planning?

Succession planning is really planning for the future operation and management of your business. In reality it is grooming or training other staff members within your business to be able to take on the roles of more senior staff. It means putting in place a system of training so that junior members of staff (being in either in age, experience or position) are capable of performing tasks in the absence of their superiors or collegues.

Why Plan for Succession?

If you lost 10% of the efficiency within your business (i.e. loosing an additional $0.10 in the dollar from your bottomline) and then also added a few thousand dollars in employment and training  to your expenses, how do you think that your business would fair? Would this be easy to absorb? Add to this the time and stress that you have in looking for a new person to fill this position and covering the role in the intirim. The purpose of succession planning is to reduce the effect of all of these factors on your business in the event of a staff member leaving.

If you have a business where more than one person can do every required task,  then the business is not reliant on any one individual person. This is effective succession planning.

How to Plan the Succession.

Succession Planning is relatively easy, needs no formal assessment or structure and can ultimately save your business from loosing thousands in the case of the loss of key personel. By following the simple steps below you can start to put in place your succession plan and relieve one of the stresses of human resources.

  1. Identify Key Personnel – Fairly obvious. To start stick with the most crucial and their position (e.g. John – Restaurant Manager).
  2. Tasks & Skills – What tasks does the person perform and what skills do they have that ensures that the tasks are performed to the level required. (e.g. Staff & roster management, stock control, POS management, etc.)
  3. Duplicate Skill Sets – Next identify who else within the business has these same skills. In some cases there may not be anyone to fill one or two. Other skills & tasks you may find that multiple people can do.
  4. Train Complimentary skills – Now this is the objective of succession planning. By ensureing that skills are duplicated throughout the business, you are creating a safeguard, whereby a crucial business task never is reliant on just one person. Once you have highlighted the skills that have no duplication organise to train another staff member with the same skills.


Succession Planning ensures that, in the case of the loss of a key staff member, there is minimal loss to productivity and efficiency of your business. effective succession planning is having a business that is not reliant on any one individual person. Succession planning is simple and can be completed easily by identifying key personnel, the tasks & skills they perform, determining who else within the company has these same skills and training other staff where similar skill sets are lacking.


About Jason Purton
Jason Purton has 16 years experience in the Hospitality industry. His career has been built through experience in every aspect of hospitality. This experience encompasses all hospitality business types from the small local cafes, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, hotels to managing the development and opening of an entire resorts. Skills and work areas also cover a vast majority of areas including; management, marketing, digital & online strategy development, finance & revenue management and sales. Jason is currenty also completing an MBA with majors in International Marketing and Finance.

One Response to Succession Planning – Minimising Human Resource Losses

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