What Metrics Determine Succession Planning Success?
One of the main fundamentals of Human Resources within an organization is to implement a company culture where every single employee matters to an organization. That is why when it comes to recruiting and retaining staff, they make sure that they have the best talent on board.
The effectiveness of your organization’s succession plans can be determined in several different ways.
Bench Strength: Identifying Potential and Readiness of Existing Staff
This is the measurement of talent that is ‘sat on the bench’- not quite playing the game but could be ready to be subbed at any time the need arises.
To assess the bench strength of your organization, speak with leaders regularly about the members of staff on their team. Are any of them showing potential in leadership skills? Is anybody interested in a leadership position?
Determining these things will help to identify those who are the high-potential employees capable of moving up a rank when a position becomes available.
The reason for bench strength being a strong metric when it comes to succession planning is that it depends highly on having a strong team of players who would be willing to step up to the plate and take up more challenging responsibilities and positions when needed.
Not having people in place means having to go through the expensive and time-consuming process of going through an external hire.
Risk of Loss
Another metric should not only take the employee’s skills into account but also their engagement. Employee engagement metrics are based on asking management to assess how excited and engaged an employee is in their existing position or whether they seem ready for a career move.
Managers are more likely to be able to identify whether an employee is likely to leave the company in the next six to twelve months bases on their engagement level.
Their marketable skills should also be taken into consideration as these will make the employee a potential target for outside recruiters. Employees that are engaged within an organization are more likely to be in it for the long run and are worth investing in for potential succession later down the line.
Successful succession plans prepare for gaps in teams left from promotions and departures. The metrics help managers to consider the balance of their teams when an employee leaves.
Equality and Diversity
Employers should make sure that their bench doesn’t lack the diversity needed to continually build a diverse team from the ground up. There are many benefits of diversity and inclusion within a team, including the ability to make better decisions.
Diversity in the workplace can be measured by several factors such as; pay gaps, regional diversity benchmarks, gender, age, and race ratios. Many senior leaders of companies around the world are not diverse.
This can hurt the company in the long run, and when minority employees do not see senior management that looks like them, it could impact their interest in staying with the company and their ability to envision progressing.
Increasing diversity in your workplace can diversify thought and improve your internal processes and workflows.
General Succession Planning Framework
Every succession plan needs to follow a general framework to be deemed successful. Here is a breakdown of what this framework can look like:
Identify key areas and positions
These key areas and positions are crucial within an organization’s operational activities and strategy. Businesses should identify the positions that are necessary to help the organization to achieve their business goals now and in the future. They should say which of those positions would make it difficult to achieve these goals if left vacant.
Identify Capabilities for Key Areas and Positions
Focus on employee development efforts and set performance expectations. Here businesses can determine the capabilities needed for the key areas and positions previously identified. They should look at the relevant knowledge, abilities, skills, and competencies that are needed to help to achieve business goals and maintain business operations. Then inform employees about the key areas and positions and the expected capabilities needed to achieve them.
Identify Interested Employees and Assess against the outlined Capabilities
Interested employees will make themselves known. It is the job of the succession plan to be able to identify which of these interested employees has the potential to gull these key areas and positions. Career plans and interests should, therefore, be a continuous conversation between employers and employees. These conversations will help employers to be able to assess the positions that could experience vulnerability if left vacant and the potential candidates who may be ready to advance with the necessary training and development.
Develop and Implement Succession and Knowledge Transfer Plans
Companies need to use strategies that implement learning, training, development, and the transference of corporate knowledge into their succession planning and management. This could look like mentoring and training new hires as part of their professional development.
Here, companies can link their employees’ learning plans alongside the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to fulfill current and future roles.
Evaluate The Effectiveness of Current Plans
Monitoring and evaluating a business’s current succession plan ensures that all key areas and positions are developed. It also makes sure that key positions are filled quickly and that all new hires in these key positions are performing their roles efficiently. The evaluation also ensures that members of demographics within an organization are represented adequately in leadership positions and feeder groups.