Succession planning is an essential aspect of any business, yet many metal companies still don’t have a solid plan. This worrying trend puts the company’s future at risk and could lead to significant challenges when key leaders retire or leave the organization.
One of the main reasons why many metal companies don’t have a succession plan is that they don’t see it as a priority. Recovery from the pandemic, supply chain disruptions and the Great Resignation have forced owners to focus on day-to-day operations, leaving little time or energy to consider the company’s future.
However, a solid succession plan can help ensure the company remains successful for years to come.
Leadership Makes the Difference
Succession planning in the metals industry centers on three key components:
- Understanding the roles necessary to carry out the succession. As key leaders retire or leave, your company may struggle to fill those positions with individuals capable of maintaining the same level of success, possibly leading to a decline in productivity, lower morale, and a loss of market share.
- Having the right leadership in place. Metal companies need leaders in place who can drive the company forward, make tough decisions, and lead the organization through change. Make these choices before they become necessary, and your company will be ready for the future.
- Preserving company and industry knowledge. As new leadership prepares to take charge, they must also have the training and skills necessary to protect their competitive edge. Are you training your leaders of tomorrow?
Ultimately, your leadership team is the essential ingredient to succession planning.
Succession Planning for Metal Companies
By making five commitments, metal company owners can ensure that they have great leaders that will drive their succession plans. If you’re thinking about succession for your company, take these steps now:
- Begin immediately by identifying what talent you need. Although your current leadership team may have the skills, you also may need to train or hire for it, which takes time.
- Invest in leadership development. Provide training and development opportunities, expose leaders to different areas of the business, and give them opportunities to lead projects.
- Involve leaders in any discussion and decision-making of the succession planning process to make the transition smooth and seamless.
- Be proactive in your approach to succession planning by anticipating future challenges and preparing for them with a solid plan. This means having contingency plans for key positions and being ready to make tough decisions when necessary.
- Be transparent about your succession plan. Tell employees who is in line to take over key positions and how decisions are being made. Doing so builds trust and ensures that everyone is on the same page.
Keep in mind that carrying out a succession plan can take three years or more, even when transitioning the business to a family member. A proactive plan ensures a competitive advantage, making it possible for the new owner and their leadership team to have a bright future ahead.
Need help finding great leaders for your metals company. Take a look at great candidates for leadership here.