Attracting and Retaining Talent

Tools and strategies for successful succession planning

5 tools organizations can leverage to make informed succession plans.

Ryan Carruthers

October 18, 2022

About 50% of CEOs say that one of the top challenges is developing the next generation of leaders. This makes it apparent that – at any given time – you need to think about the next set of leaders who will help your organization continue to succeed.

Succession planning is where you identify key positions and individuals within your organization and create plans for employees to step into those positions. The idea here is to prepare your business beforehand for a time when managers and executives step down. 

While there are a few traditional ways to get this process going, succession planning tools can make this process more streamlined, cost-effective, and time-saving. 

Below, we’ll look at why you need tools for succession planning and how to decide what type of software is right for your organization.

Do you need tools for succession planning?

Now, there are many solutions and methods out there that aid with succession planning. However, these tools need to be paired with the right mindset and goals. 

Generally speaking, the succession planning process involves identifying:

  • critical job positions and organizational practices
  • crucial skills and knowledge 
  • social relationships and networks
  • skilled talent, and more.

Once you have this information, you can start preparing action plans to pass them on to the next set of employees. This way, your organization produces a “farm team” whose main focus is to train and develop younger, newer employees. And to do this effectively, you will need the right succession planning tools.

Succession planning tools and software will make it easy to keep track of this information and manage your talent – all in one place.

 Here, you can plan out career and leadership paths, run mentoring and training programs, use data and analytics to decide the best course of action, gather feedback, and more. But every program offers something different, so it is important to understand what your company or team needs.

Best practices for succession planning

Since succession planning takes time and effort, you need to get started on the right foot. Besides using the right succession planning tools, here are a few best practices to secure your organization’s future:

Mentor high-potential employees

Mentees in a mentoring program are promoted five times more often than individuals not participating in the same program. This means enrolling your high-potential employees in a workplace mentorship program can not only give them a chance to climb the ranks but also help your organization retain top talent. 

You can use your mentorship program to either identify high-potential employees or to further nurture your best employees. And with mentorship software, mentors and mentees have a dedicated space for skill development, problem-solving, and training. 

Align individual development plans with future leadership needs

During their tenure at your organization, your employees will naturally improve and expand their skill set. Here’s a good opportunity to focus their development to meet future leadership needs. This requires you to determine what skills, best practices, and knowledge you want your leaders to have – now or in the future.

Then, you can steer your budding employees in the right direction and ensure that they get the most out of training.

Four quadrants showing what leaders need most help with today
Source: Global Leadership Forecast 2021 | DDI

Ensure objectivity in decision-making

Part of succession planning is deciding whether to promote internal employees instead of hiring from outside. You want to be objective and unbiased in this decision. Employers sometimes hire from within because it is the safer and more familiar choice. However, that should not be the only reason. 

Succession planning is key to how well your company performs in the future. In essence, you are preparing the next generation to lead your organization, so discretion is crucial. This brings us to the next key practice . . .

Prioritize internal succession before external

When it comes to hiring for succession, you might find more success in internal mobility versus external hires. This is because you’ll promote employees who have already invested time and effort in your organization’s vision. These individuals understand the business values and goals and want to assist your business in getting closer to the end goal.

Plus, internal hires are cheaper than external ones; you don’t spend on recruitment (job boards, interviews, etc.), onboarding, and additional training. And if you have already been training and developing your high-potential employees, then you have one less job to do.

Examples of succession planning software

So, what succession planning tools are available and will work best for your organization? Some succession planning software focuses on developing career paths and training, while others focus on mentorship, and others still use data and advanced tech to bring unique insights. Let’s have a look:

1. SAP

SAP is a Human Capital Management (HCM) software for enterprises with more than 1000 employees.

Known for its succession and leadership development capabilities, SAP can help businesses plan and carry out succession planning. Some of their key features include:

  • org charts for planning, 
  • mentoring capabilities, 
  • career worksheets, and more. 

They also provide analytics so you can make decisions based on data and evidence.

2. Plum

Plum is a software that helps businesses with workforce planning and upskilling. Plum’s succession planning tool is powered by industrial/organizational psychology and AI. 

As such, it is designed to use psychometric data and analytics to match employee traits and skills with job behavioral needs. 

3. Saba Cloud

Saba is a talent management and succession planning tool that focuses on engaging and developing your employees’ skills. 

It also provides recruitment and managerial teams with data, insights, and reports on each employee’s growth and development. 

4. Motivosity

Motivosity is an employee engagement and recognition software. And by providing a space for employees to develop their skills and career path, Motivosity helps “turn managers into leaders.” 

They provide integrated management training, succession planning, 1-on-1s, feedback coaching, summary reports, and more to nurture high-potential employees.

5. Together Platform

Together is a mentorship and employee development platform. 

With Together’s online mentoring platform, you can run high-potential leadership and mentorship programs to improve employee engagement and development. You can use preset agendas or create one from scratch and update it as it grows. 

The platform tracks program participation and success and can aid in making decisions about your organization’s future leaders. 

Start building future leaders today

Continuing advancements in technology and the Reskilling Revolution mean that organizations are bound to face workforce transformations. New technology will enable your business to grow more efficiently while a talented workforce will enforce and see success through. But your organization needs to do its part in retaining high-potential employees and setting them up for success.

That’s where succession planning and employee development come in. Take time to consider the different methods and tools that your business can use to give employees a space to grow, learn, and prepare for a leadership role.

One of the best succession planning tools is workplace mentorship. Such programs are designed to mentor and train high-potential employees by matching them with leaders who are already succeeding in those roles. And you can customize your program to meet your organization’s exact needs. 

With Together, it is easy to get your succession planning process started now. Want to learn more? Book a demo today.

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Want incredible results from your mentorship program? Then download our comprehensive list of best practices.

We draw these best practices from the first-hand experience of program managers like you and our own expertise. This white paper is a comprehensive guide that will be your roadmap to building a world-class mentoring program.