If a top executive of your company suddenly wasn't able to work, who would take over? Chances are the answer is not clear.
It seems a large number of companies do not have a clear cut succession plan currently in place.
According to a CareerBuilder survey, nearly one-third (31 percent) of companies with more than 1,000 employees said they don't currently have a succession planning program at their organization.
In addition, 50 percent of senior management--CEO, CFO, Senior VP, etc.--and 52 percent of those in a vice president position said they do not have a successor for their current role.
"A lack of succession planning can adversely affect an organization in a variety of ways, from the absence of strategic direction to decreased productivity to weakened financial performance," CareerBuilder points out.
The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder from February 21 through March 10, 2011 among more than 1000 employers with 1,001 or more employees.
This is a serious issue. More than one-quarter (27 percent) of companies said they've been adversely affected financially by poor succession planning or a lack thereof.
One major impediment to effective succession planning: the economy. More than one-quarter (28 percent) of companies said that the recession has left gaps in their succession plans due to downsizing or workers leaving voluntarily.
So, what is lacking in companies' succession planning program?
Nearly one in four (39 percent) cited: Not enough opportunities for employees to learn beyond their own roles.
Other most common excuses: Process isn't formalized (38 percent); Not enough investment in training and development (33 percent); Not actively involving employees or seeking their input (31 percent); It only focuses on top executives (29 percent).