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Succession Planning Overview

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Learn about succession planning and what you can do to prepare employees for future opportunities.

UCSD is faced with increased competition in the labor market, with 25% of its employees currently eligible to retire in the near future. Skillful succession planning ensures that qualified employees within an organization are ready and able to compete for vacant positions and that positions are filled quickly.

The Blueprint for Succession Planning includes an introductory letter from Assistant Vice Chancellor Tom Leet, a section on Performance Dimensions, which are an integral part of succession planning, and the 5 key elements of:

An online e-course, Effective Succession Planning at UC San Diego is available at the UC Learning Center.  Geared to supervisors and managers, this course will help you understand your role in succession planning, understand the use of performance dimensions, plan strategically for changes in your organization, assess your employees' readiness for particular jobs, and effectively support your employees' professional development.

Both departments and individual employees play a role in succession planning:

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How departments can promote succession planning

  • Learn: Take the online e-course "Effective Succession Planning at UC San Diego."  The course will assist you with the points listed below.
  • Plan: Identify key positions you expect to be vacant at all levels within your department. Contact Human Resources, (858) 534-0286, or see the Planning Team Members for help with this process.
  • Analyze needs: Determine the knowledge, skills, abilities, and experiences needed to carry out the functions of each of these positions.
  • Compare gaps: Determine if there will be any gaps in knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience within your department based on projected turnover.
  • Partner: Collaborate with UCSD partners to create new programs and resources to find and/or develop staff.
  • Set goals: Identify your employees' professional and career development goals at performance appraisal time.
  • Be realistic: Clearly communicate to employees how the university recruits and hires staff and how the reclassification process works. Ensure that they are aware of what it will take for them to become qualified for any vacancies.
  • Capture knowledge: Document institutional and procedural knowledge in formats that are readily available and useful to staff who may need to learn on the job after organizational turnover occurs.
  • Transfer knowledge: Promote learning and knowledge sharing as essential aspects of work and leadership at UCSD. Promote knowledge sharing through various means:
    • Exchange information one-on-one or in groups
    • Develop electronic repositories of key information including functions, processes, and resources
    • Create and support opportunities for individuals to acquire hands-on experience
    • Encourage mentoring
    • Develop depth of coverage through cross-training
  • Evaluate: Evaluate the effectiveness of resources and programs and do a periodic review of changes that might be needed. Remember that succession planning is a dynamic process.

How employees can promote succession planning

  • Take advantage of succession planning resources, including:
  • Track your participation and progress in career and professional development programs.
  • Solicit feedback from your instructors in career and professional development programs.
  • Share information about what's working and what's not.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate! Network with colleagues and other organizational insiders.

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Notice: The information on this page summarizes provisions of university policies and/or collective bargaining agreements. Refer to the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) and local implementing procedures or applicable collective bargaining agreement for full text of referenced information.