Q. What are succession plan best practices CUs should consider?
A. Examine the succession plan as part of the CEO's annual performance review and during each annual planning retreat. Use succession planning to increase diversity within management ranks with many attendant benefits (including compliance with equal protection and affirmative action laws). Boards must identify the talent needed to reach the credit union's full potential (e.g., a strategic plan). They also must have:
- A recruiting plan ready for internal and external candidates;
- Basic employment law training to avoid making mistakes during the interview and background check processes;
- A sense of how much time it will take to fill the leadership role; and
- A plan for interim leadership during that time.
In short, a credit union succession plan must cover forecasted departures (retirement being the most common), as well as emergency departures created by death, illness, or involuntary termination based on misconduct, for example.