Think back on your career, from the time you got your first job, through the first promotion, up to the present day. On that career journey, it's likely you had mentors—supervisors and managers who recognized and nurtured your talents.
If you are in mid-career or later, the next generation of managers is right behind you. And now it's your turn to identify the talented up-and-comers on your staff who can support you now and step into your shoes when the time comes.
You'll find your efforts are amply rewarded. Not only will you be doing your protégé a favor, but you'll also improve your chances of retaining that worker. Talented employees who perceive that they have a career track are less likely to look elsewhere, thus avoiding all the costs of finding, hiring, and training a replacement. On top of that, you may be clearing your own path to promotion—training a capable successor gives your own bosses assurances that you will not leave a void.
Without question, it's a smart career move to establish a succession plan for your department. But how do you go about doing that? What follows are four tips for ensuring a smooth succession: