Succession Planning

Seven Things to Look For

Deciding whether to promote an employee to a management position and succession planning in general is a challenge for many of you. However, not every employee is a born leader. When looking at succession planning there are seven characteristics of a potential candidate that may not be what you’d like to see when thinking about offering a promotion.

Succession Planning

Do not fall into the trap of promoting someone just because they have been there the longest. Here are some traits to look out for that may make you want to think twice about that promotion offer.

Never asking for help

When a high-performing employee never asks for help, it might seem that they are extremely talented and self-driven. However, a self-sufficient employee doesn’t always make for a good candidate for a managerial position. A good manager can effectively delegate tasks and ask for input from their teams. If an employee never asks colleagues for help, this may be a sign that the person would not reach out to staff once promoted.

Ignoring colleagues’ problems

Employees who go above and beyond on their own projects, but never lend a helping hand to co-workers in need, may not be manager material. A study by Gallup found 57 percent of employees who feel ignored by their bosses are not engaged at work. Good leaders are willing to step up to the mark and help employees when needed. Neither do they ignore the challenges they face.

Blaming others for their mistakes

When something goes terribly wrong with a project, does the employee look away? Good managers hold themselves accountable when a problem arises and are the first to take action and try to figure things out. An employee being promoted should show they possess integrity.

Lacking passion

Pay attention to your employees’ level of passion. Strong managers can inspire others. People who interact with their boss at least six hours a week are 29 percent more inspired than those who only spend one hour a week in such dealings. Some bosses do not even know all their staff members names or speak to them from one year to the next! Do you?

Overlooking long-term goals

Many you may have a few great and exceptional employees who meet weekly deadlines and exceed expectations. But just because they meet short-term goals it doesn’t necessarily mean they understand how to fit into the overall mission of the company. Good bosses look at the big picture. They create short-term goals that help their staff come closer to accomplishing the company’s overall goal.

Striving for continuous learning

Although not everyone knows everything about their job, taking the initiative to learn as much as possible is important. If an employee doesn’t demonstrate this quality, they may not be the best candidate for a promotion. Try to notice which of your employees take action to improve their skills. Strong candidates for management positions are self-starters who make professional development a priority.

Clock Watchers

Employees who are in a rush to leave work on time (or even early) each day may not be the best fit for a management position. Although it’s definitely not necessary to work late every night, doing so when needed is crucial. Natural leaders are willing to put in the time to accomplish goals at work and are available to help when needed. We’re not saying your staff should be working extra hours without pay, but if asked to stay behind to finish an order and they constantly refuse, they may not be what you’re looking for in succession planning.

Contact Us

If you think you may need advice on succession planning, then please call us on 01706 565332 or email

Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. We specialise in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium-sized businesses. Call us now on 01706 565332 to discuss how we may help you. P

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