Research Supporting the Benefits of Succession Planning

By: Kelista Burns

What is Succession Planning?

Succession planning is the process of identifying positions that will be available due to retirement or natural turnover, and selecting qualified internal employees who will be considered to fill those positions. That is, succession planning is a process that identifies and develops your current employees for future promotions.

Succession planning benefits both the employee and the company.

First, having a succession planning process increases employee engagement. A recent survey by Software Advice revealed that 94% of employers reported that using succession plans positively impacted employee engagement, and 62% of employees reported that they would be “significantly more engaged” if their company had a formal succession planning process in place. Younger employees (18-34) were especially impacted, with 90% reporting an increase in engagement when working at a company with succession planning in place.

Second, succession planning allows your company to adapt to changes in the business quickly and with ease. If a succession plan is in place, there is no need to search for replacements when vacancies occur because there are already records of which qualified employees are available for those positions before they are needed. This makes it easier and faster to fill empty positions, and reduces the negative impact of employee (especially managerial) shortages.  In turn, succession planning will help your company grow by focusing on more important issues than maintaining your staff.

Why Succession Planning Works

Succession planning serves as an incentive for your employees. Having a future with the company keeps employees engaged and motivated. It can also increase their commitment to the company and decrease turnover. When employees know that there are plans for their future roles in the company, they are less likely to seek another job. Succession planning gives employees a sense of control over their career path by giving them development targets and guidelines on how to achieve them.

Tips for Implementing Succession Planning in Your Company

Two steps are crucial for succession planning:

  1. Identifying future leaders
  2. Nurturing potential in employees

When selecting future leaders, look for skills for them to develop and experiences they need to move up using employee assessments. Measuring their performance and the KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities) necessary to move up to the next level annually will make it easier to view progression year to year. In order to nurture these potential leaders, it is important to provide the experiences and training they need to gain these KSAs and become effective leaders.

Both of these steps are much easier to maintain using software that keeps track of employee progress. In fact, 81% of employers in the Software Advice survey reported using software to track employees. Software keeps this data systematic and organized, and makes it simple to summarize and present the data. It also keeps this information consistent from year to year, and improves how assessments are distributed. Having the ability to utilize a succession plan easily and efficiently not only improves employee engagement; it creates an environment for a successful business to grow.

For more information on the benefits of job rotation, please contact an ITS Consultant by calling  (650) 965-1806 or email us to schedule a consultation.