Only 24% of HR leaders believe their current succession planning methods are effective. Due to a lack of succession planning, HR leaders are struggling to develop adequate mid-level and senior leaders. Increased competition for talent remains a critical challenge for organizations and engaging your employees is more vital than ever before. To avoid talent gaps, forward-looking companies must focus on succession planning, but the reality is that many lack the integrated tools and data required for effective succession planning.

A succession planning process is beneficial because it enables you to strategically identify and develop high-potential employees for future leadership needs at your business. It also provides your staff with learning opportunities and goal orientation, which can promote mastery of new skills.

Preparation can help your company deal with challenges and develop contingency plans for events like the loss of key leaders due to retirement, resignation, termination, illness, or death.  Here are five steps you can follow to develop a succession plan strategy ahead of time:

1. Develop a Strategic Roadmap

Start your succession planning process by detailing what actions are needed to reach your business’s long-term goal. A strategic roadmap gives you a clear picture of where you are today and where you would like to be in the future. Establish your short-term and long-term objectives and decide who will be accountable for each objective to set milestones and track progress.

2. Draft Well-Defined Job Descriptions

Clearly define each critical job position in alignment with your strategic goals. A detailed look at these roles and their responsibilities will help you match talent accordingly.

This step will help you identify skill gaps and training needs for the future. Also identify risk areas by using demographic analysis or workforce projections. The results of the risk analysis will give you a better idea of current and future critical roles that need to be filled.

3. Identify Competencies

Create several job-based competencies to develop talent with a wide range of skills. Look at data, previous jobs, licenses, etc., to recruit and develop individual talent.

By identifying competencies, you will help your employees understand the key responsibilities and success criteria attached to a larger role. Your business will also be able to set clear performance expectations, better assess performance, and form a talent pool that consists of leaders of the future.

4. Build Leaders

Provide your next generation of leaders with the foundation they need to succeed in higher roles. Developing a combination of approaches to employee development like lunch-and-learns, job shadowing, cross-training, and mentorships can promote employee growth. Use targeted training and select workers that are comfortable with change, interested in obtaining new skills, and adaptive to various work environments and leadership. Succession planning tools and solutions help in identify and evaluate successors.

By building leaders, you will enable your workforce to see upward mobility, which will incentivize them to stay with the organization, therefore increasing employee retention.

5. Establish Standards and Metrics

Having established standards and metrics for tracking the success of your succession program will help track program quality. Practices such as administering employee satisfaction surveys will reveal personal development and/or management satisfaction levels with new hires. Metrics such as the retention rate of key talent, percentage of targeted vacancies filled by talent pool candidates, and time to fill positions can all help you determine the program's effectiveness.

To increase success, ensure key leaders are committed to the plan and are held accountable for developing their subordinates. This will help secure buy-in and mitigate resistance to change.

By implementing a succession planning process, there’s excitement surrounding better productivity and results —because you are investing in your people and their future for continued growth that benefits everyone.

Learn More

With ADP Workforce Now Succession Planning, part of the ADP Talent Management suite, you can make better workforce decisions by defining career paths, identifying key talent, and nominating qualified successions. ADP Succession Planning allows you to proactively plan for succession at all levels, avoiding talent gaps. At the same time, your employees can search for positions and career options to create a forward-looking career path and compare their current competencies to what they need for a future position.

The best technology is only as good as the people and processes supporting it. That’s why ADP blends the right technology with the right people and focuses on the right process improvements to help you reach your business goals.

Get started with ADP Succession Planning and connect your people to work. Call 866-622-8153 or start a quote to get started.