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Let’s delve into the elements of a beneficial succession process!

Put Success in Succession Planning

Worker experience is one of the Canadian manufacturing sector’s most important resources. Alas, this resource isn’t unlimited — as workers age out of their positions and began to retire, keeping what they’ve learned inside of your company can be a difficult task. If employees approaching retirement aren’t able to pass on their knowledge to their colleagues, critical manufacturing methods and processes could be lost.

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Through effective succession planning, long-time employees can keep their experience alive and well within their organizations - even after they retire – all while ensuring that new workers have a strong foundation of expertise to build upon. Let’s delve into the elements of a beneficial succession process!

There are two core parties involved in succession planning — the employee and their successor.

To make succession planning effective, both the employee and successor must have a shared goal in mind, and both should be willing to teach and learn from each other. Oftentimes, many long-time employees can be unwilling to share what they’ve learned over their careers with newer workers, feeling that these parties may not be able to understand something that has taken years (or decades) to develop. Overcoming this barrier requires that long-time employees understand why succession planning is taking place: for the collective benefit of the company. Consider that if an employee leaves a company without passing on what they’ve learned, the company will be without that knowledge entirely. Even if a successor isn’t able to fully comprehend a process or lesson, retaining a part of that knowledge will still provide the company with a net benefit. Strong communication is a necessary to provide workers with context for their goals.

Of course, successors must also be willing participants in the succession planning process. For this reason, only select a worker to be a successor if you are confident in their engagement, willingness to learn, and long-term commitment to your company. If, after an employee retires, their successor also decides to pursue opportunities outside of your enterprise, your succession planning efforts will have become redundant. The act of choosing a worthwhile successor shouldn’t come down to simply selecting a younger or more recently-hired worker — it should be a thorough, involved process that ensures the original employee’s talents remain actively-utilized in your business. Ideally, an employee’s successor should also be an effective teacher themselves, which can help propagate and spread knowledge throughout your entire organization. Remember that while the early stages of succession planning may only be possible between two employees, the right successor can help make pieces of specialized information into standard operating procedures!

As many employed by the Canadian manufacturing sector continue to age out of their roles, effective succession planning will need to become commonplace for businesses that want to remain competitive in a globalized economy. By selecting the right combinations of knowledgeable, experienced employees and enthusiastic, motivated successors, even the most obscure methodologies and processes can be continuously understood and employed by your workers. Stoke a culture of sharing and spreading knowledge throughout your business, and you’ll find that consistent innovation and progress become easy to achieve.

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