Weekend Poll Results: Succession Planning for Admin. Professionals

Thanks to all who participated in my latest weekend poll. This weekend’s question:

Succession Planning: What if You Left Your Role?

No one is irreplaceable, but has your management team thought about how to go about replacing you should you depart your role?

The results of my latest weekend poll suggest that there’s little in the way of formalised succession planning in place for admin. professionals – but should that change? Only 18.5% of respondents reported that they have had discussions of their long term career plans with their principals/executives. That’s relevant because, while 30.5% of respondents reported that they anticipate remaining in their roles for the forseeable future, and another 4.5% anticipate remaining for five to 10 years, that leaves a whopping 65% of respondents with other thoughts in mind.

Poll Results

Formalised succession planning for admin. professionals is not the norm

  • 68% of respondents reported that there is no succession planning in place for their roles
  • 16% of respondents reported that there is no succession planning in place, but that they anticipate there would be good internal candidates and interest in the job
  •  8% of respondents reported that there is planning, although it is informal and based on assumptions rather than actual planning
  •  8% of respondents reported that there is no succession planning in place, but that they have their eye on one or more good candidates

However, 12% of respondents were hired into their current roles as a result of succession planning

  • 76% of respondents reported that they were not hired into their current roles as the result of succession planning
  • 12% of respondents reported that they were hired into their current roles as a result of succession planning
  • 12% of respondents selected “Other”; some added comments, as follows: “The slot had been vacant for two months when I started”; “Boss was promoted via succession planning and I followed her”; “There (sic) was any EA in the company before me. It was a new role.”

I asked readers if they’ve documented processes and procedures, or otherwise created a manual in case someone should be required to step into your roles. Here’s what you said.

  • 38% of respondents reported that they have created such documentation
  • 38% of respondents reported that they have not created such documentation
  • 19% of respondents reported that they’ve documented workflow/processes for core responsibilities, but nothing further
  •  5% selected “Other”; one respondent wrote, “in the process of doing this”

Effective succession planning implies that job descriptions are current. Is yours?

  • 48% of respondents reported that their job descriptions are not current
  • 43% of respondents reported that their job descriptions are current
  •  9% of respondents selected “Other”; comments included, “Which job description? There is none.” and, “I have no job description.”

Next, I asked readers whether, if you left your role, your organisation would need to revise your job description to recruit the skills and person it needs. Here’s what you said.

  • 57% of respondents reported that their organisations would need to revise their job descriptions
  • 38% of respondents reported that their organisations would not need to revise their job descriptions
  •  5%  of respondents selected “Other”; one wrote, “The management does not understand what I do and is not interested in it either.”

If your job description reflected actual responsibilities, do you anticipate that would impact recruitment requirements? Here’s what readers said.

  • 29% of respondents said they anticipated that elements of the job would be assigned to another position
  • 19% of respondents said they anticipated a successor would likely require broader skill sets
  • 19% of respondents said they anticipated a successor would likely require more specialised skill skets
  • 14% of respondents said they anticipated that a successor would be required to have more formal education
  • 14% of respondents selected “No”
  •  5% of respondents selected “Other”; one wrote, “They would be hard-pressed to find a suitable successor.”

If your job description reflected actual responsibilities, do you anticipate that would impact a successor’s compensation package? Here’s what your peers said.

  • 55% of respondents said they anticipated that compensation would likely be enhanced
  • 25% of respondents said “No”; they did not anticipate compensation would be enhanced
  • 15% of respondents said they anticipated that compensation would likely be downgraded
  •  5% of respondents selected “Other”; one wrote, “The compensation should be enhanced, but they would not do it.”

Readers are, for the most part, organised. I asked, if you were to suddenly vacate your role, whether you’d be comfortable with the state of your office/desk/files. Here’s what you said.

  • 90% of respondents said yes; they’re fairly organised
  • 10% of respondents said no; if they were to suddenly leave, they’d be embarrassed to turn things over as is

What about your boss; does s/he know what you’re thinking about staying in your role? Have you and your principal/executive had discussions about your long term career plans?

  • 48% of respondents reported that they’ve had no discussion of their long term career plans with their principal/executive
  • 24% of respondents reported that they have had such discussions, but have not disclosed all their goals/plans
  • 18.5% of respondents reported that they have had such discussions, and have a shared understanding of goals/plans
  •  9.5% of respondents selected “Other”; a couple of people offered comments as follows: “My principal is set to leave shortly and the other 2 managers don’t care”; “We have discussed this but there is no progression within my role.”

How relevant is succession planning to your role? I asked readers how long you anticipate remaining in your current positions, and here’s what you had to say.

  • 48% of respondents reported that it all depends on what other opportunities are available
  • 22% of respondents reported that they anticipate remaining for the forseeable future; they are where they want to be
  •  8.5% of respondents reported that they anticipate remaining for the forseeable future; they need the security
  •  8.5% of respondents reported anticipating remaining in their current roles for one to two years
  •  8.5% of respondents selected “Other”; comments included, “I am looking for alternatives now” and “Not sure – restructuring going on and a lot of uncertainty around my role”
  •  4.5% of respondents reported anticipating remaining in their current roles for five to 10 years

3 Comments on “Weekend Poll Results: Succession Planning for Admin. Professionals

  1. Great post! There was no succession plan in place when I entered my role as EA. I started one about 6 months ago and slowly add to it on slower days in the office (which are few and far between as an EA!) I hope it will be useful one day.

    Ava

    Liked by 1 person

      • No, this is a task I am undertaking on my own. My direct upline is the CEO so collaborating with him is hard due to time constraints. The EA before me had a significantly different role to the one mine has evolved into, so I’m essentially creating the role as I go.

        Like

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