HR teams have some way to go to improve their own succession planning, according to the CIPD’s latest HR Outlook survey of senior HR professionals.

Just under half admitted that they do not have a good succession plan in place, while only 29 per cent were confident that they did. A lack of capability within the HR function, uncertainty over future requirements and an unwillingness to see the issue as a priority were the three most common reasons for not having a succession plan. At a time when HR leaders are increasingly called upon to facilitate succession planning throughout the organisation, a lack of such planning within their own department could be seen as a concern.

“Nearly half of of our survey respondents do not have a good plan for the future, although some admit it’s because they don’t know what that future will look like,” said Louise Edwards, senior HR capability consultant at the CIPD. “For the remainder, there’s a need to ensure that they hold up a mirror to themselves, to ensure that they do for themselves what they clearly know they need to do for their business.”

HR leaders also identified also identified OD and talent planning as the other professional areas that are in need of development.