Succession planning ensures school staff are recruited and developed to fill key roles within the organisation. Succession planning does not merely look at vacancies which need filling but rather at adopting an approach whereby we look at current strengths, growth and progression opportunities, future needs, as well as gaps which are then addressed through training and development. This ensures that pro-active and targeted support is in place. Well thought out succession planning is a way to showcase growth opportunities and improve retention.
For this reason, it is deeply intertwined with your recruitment practices, your appraisal and performance management efforts, as well as your training and development activities. The core components of a succession plan should include key short, medium, and long-term goals of the school and the identification of the experience and key skills required to deliver on these goals.
A great starting point is to identify what you have in place and the strengths and development opportunities available. Clear development pathways help you to develop staff and help staff to see their career progression within your school. This also serves as a motivation factor for them to perform better. Staff feel valued when they see their employer making efforts to help their career growth and as a result, they tend to stay with the organisation for a longer period.
Your succession planning efforts should include both teaching and non-teaching staff. This is so everyone who contributes to the successful running of a school is considered and fully developed. Staff who feel they are being ‘invested in’ are likely to be more engaged. They will also feel a stronger sense of loyalty, commitment, and job satisfaction. You should make all staff aware of staffing considerations and promote opportunities within the school, encouraging participation. This includes being proactive about identifying ‘potential’ and enabling training and support. When identifying ‘potential’, be mindful of the impact unconscious bias can have i.e., identifying people ‘like us’ and unintentionally propagating barriers to people who are ‘not like us’.
You should strive for encouraging conversations that inspire staff to buy into your efforts such as;
• “I can see you progressing into this role”
• “What are your interests?
• “What career ambitions do you have?”
• “Have you considered…”
• “Have you considered this training course?”
From here, you can progress to thinking about an action plan. Identify risks and potential future needs. Which key staff may leave or retire in the next few years? Is there someone who could fill their position? Succession planning is not just about upwards career movement. It should include considerations of sideways opportunities and provide contingency measures in the event of temporary or permanent staff loss.
Succession Planning steps:
1. Assess your current workforce as well as critical and vulnerable positions
2. Identify the organisation’s requirements and challenges over the next 1-5 years
3. Evaluate competencies, skills, and gaps.
4. Develop a pool of talent to step into critical positions through training and development plans
5. Create an action plan to prepare the successor(s)
6. Evaluate the succession plan
In the daily challenge of recruitment and retention in the education sector, having a successful strategy is essential. Your approach to recruitment processes as well as succession planning is crucial. Using an ATS like FACE-Ed can help streamline recruitment processes, providing a portal for applications. It also makes it easier for existing employees to see all your vacancies and to build a profile, encouraging multiple applications and therefore assisting your succession planning. To find out more about FACE-Ed why not join us for our next webinar, contact us for a chat or book a demo.
To learn more about succession planning, watch our past webinar from 20th October 2022 here.