March 27, 2014. As business owners of closely held companies near retirement, the environment of the business can be infected with an air of uncertainty. First, the job performance of employees vying to move up can be influenced by competing for a promotion at the expense of the rest of the team and what may be good for the company. Other key employees can decide to leave as they are unsure what their new place in the company will be when the owner/manager leaves the business. Time can be wasted on rumors and speculation, which can be toxic to productivity and the long-term health of the company. It is helpful, therefore, to both create a succession plan and effectively communicate that plan to decision-makers and key employees in a business when the plan is appropriately developed.