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AcctTwo Blog

Building Leaderful Organizations: Succession Planning For Nonprofits

Back-Office Succession PlanningSometimes hiring from within is the best option, especially if organizational culture is very important to you. You already know how that person fits, but you need to be careful about promoting only high achievers. Research shows that only 30 percent of current high performers could step into a leadership role, and most employees (more than 90 percent) would have trouble at the next level.

“I was the Controller at a large Church ($55M budget) for seven and a half years and then CFO for the last three years of my ten and a half year tenure,” says Vicki Richardson, Customer Support Supervisor at AcctTwo. “I was well groomed for the CFO job. For two years prior to my promotion, I was included in most meetings and decisions. I felt prepared. After my promotion, I realized I had not done a good job of reproducing myself. I needed a Controller and didn’t have one. The growth of our organization was exponential. I was trying to move us into the 21st century with new software and processes but neglected to reproduce me. So, it took me some time to find a Controller. There was no one on my staff that could step into the position. When I did finally hire a Controller, I included him in all my meetings, decisions, and most correspondence. I wish I could say it was a smooth transition, but it was rough. I gave three months’ notice when moving to AcctTwo and I could have easily stayed three additional months.”

You need to prepare your employees to step into roles as your organization grows and expands its offerings and services. “Over the past year, we rolled out a performance and learning management tool called Cornerstone. Cornerstone allows us to set a competency model for each position. Employees know exactly what is expected of them at their current level, and it identifies job readiness for future positions. The learning function of Cornerstone allows us to create development plans for our employees and fill in skill gaps with targeted training. Additionally, the system integrates with LinkedIn Learning, offering even more professional development and learning opportunities beyond what we develop in house,” says Allison Patterson, Head of Learning & Development in the Center of Excellence at AcctTwo.

At AcctTwo, we hired from within (sort of) when replacing our CFO. Ken West, our former COO & CFO, was promoted to CRO. To fill the gap, we hired an interim CFO, Rob Ruoti, to help for five months while we conducted an extensive CFO search. I first met Rob when he attended an event with us, Sage Intacct Advantage. From that day, Rob became an honorary member of the AcctTwo team. He managed to embed himself into the culture of AcctTwo and make an impact. As the months went on, and we continued our CFO search, Rob stayed present. After meeting each CFO, we kept coming back to Rob. When it came time to decide, Rob was our choice. His positive and upbeat energy, ability to look outside the box, stop and listen to others, and his experience supporting growing businesses was a key decision factor.

Building Leaderful Organizations Succession Planning For Nonprofits - Read the eBook>

Employees should be constantly developed to fill any needed role in your organization. As your organization expands, loses key employees, and provides promotional job opportunities, succession planning from within guarantees that you have employees on hand ready to fill the new roles, especially if culture is an important factor in succession planning.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, “research on preparing for an aging workforce has found that less than 40 percent of HR professionals said their employers were analyzing the impact of workers over the age of 55 leaving their organizations in the next 10 years.”

Tomorrow’s future leaders could be working in back-office positions today. Today’s hires should have the skill-sets or traits, that after some time, can be honed to make them good leaders for tomorrow.

Download the full eBook: Succession Planning for the Back-Office

Succession Planning Cover

In our eBook, we dig into nonprofit succession planning and discuss why it is so important. We provide stories and statistical data to help you clearly understand the necessity of succession planning.

In our eBook we cover the following topics:

- The Purpose of Succession Planning
- The Importance of Good Leadership
- Culture Really Matters
- What You Need to Know About Hiring Millennials
- Hiring from Within
- Succession Planning for the Back-Office
- Red Flags to Watch Out For
- What’s Next?

Download here >
Topics: back office Faith-Based succession Planning