Can nepotism impact someone’s business succession plan?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2023 | Business Law |

A business succession plan is a form of protection for a company. Owners, managers and executives can benefit from putting together thorough plans to allow someone else to take over their job. Ideally, there will be plenty of time to plan that transition and provide direct support for the professional taking over someone’s role.

However, sometimes the succession of a position occurs abruptly. An individual experiences a medical emergency that puts them in the hospital or claims their life. They may otherwise find themselves no longer able to come into the office or suddenly losing their job with little warning.

All of these scenarios are situations in which a succession plan will be incredibly beneficial for the business. Instead of scrambling to train someone, there will be clear instructions about whom to select and how to help them succeed in their new role. Is there a reason to worry about nepotism when putting together or implementing a succession plan?

People may choose the wrong successor

The biggest concern about workplace nepotism when it comes to succession planning is the possibility that someone will choose a person that they have a relationship with instead of the best party to take over their job. If a succession plan includes a specific candidate or a list of candidates, then the company may need to consider those suggestions carefully to evaluate whether nepotism influenced the decision-making process.

A succession plan should include more than just the name of the person taking over the role. It provides training suggestions and an outline of job responsibilities. Therefore, a company can potentially set aside suggestions on who to hire or promote and focus instead on finding someone capable of performing the job tasks required of the position.

Someone engaged in succession planning may need to spend some time carefully thinking about whether their chosen successor is really the best candidate for the job. It is possible to leave a financial interest in a company by transferring stock or ownership rights to someone without necessarily giving them a managerial or executive role at the property.

Cases that involve obvious nepotism can damage a company by moving someone without the right credentials into a key role and by affecting overall staff morale. Identifying how nepotism can affect the business succession process may benefit those creating succession plans and those attempting to implement them in informed ways. Seeking legal guidance when questions and concerns arise is always an option.

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