The topic of succession planning has gotten a lot of press recently. Perhaps it’s because of the massive disruption brought about by ‘the great resignation’ or it may have a something to do with the cutthroat (and rather dysfunctional) Roy family from the HBO Max series. Either way, it does shine a spotlight on the importance of having a clearly defined and communicated strategy for the development of talent within an organization. In a blog post earlier this year, my colleague provided tips for developing succession plans. This blog will focus on the technology enablers to bring your succession and talent plans to life.
There are a few considerations when evaluating technology to enable your succession and talent planning processes. Ideally, you’ll want an integrated talent management solution that ties together all your programs such as performance management, goal setting, compensation reviews, employee development, and succession planning. Not only will it reduce errors, but it will also allow leaders to leverage consistent data throughout the process without having to toggle back and forth between disparate, disconnected systems.
With that in mind, here is a quick check list to use when evaluating technology to support your succession and talent management strategy:
Does it integrate with your organization’s goal setting and performance management process(es)?
Many times, when completing a talent review, managers and/or leaders will refer to an employee’s performance score as a metric. Having a solution that can integrate those two processes and populate succession metrics based on appraisal data not only saves time but helps reduce possible data errors and manual work.
Can you leverage employee profile data and bench strength analysis views to make more informed decisions?
Many of us have experienced the cumbersome task of toggling between apps and/or platforms to gather data that lives in one system but not the other. Having all talent related data at your fingertips saves time so people leaders can spend it where it counts most. Look for a platform that can provide graphical analysis of bench strength and the ability to search for employees based on criteria including company tenure, time in position, mobility preferences, education, skills, certifications.
Does it support ongoing, focused employee development – beyond the talent review process?
We identify an employee as hi-potential – so now what? Ideally, we would create an individual development plan, or IDP, for them and assign a learning plan that includes relevant courses/activities. By enabling this process with technology, we can track progress and run reports on who has an active development plan. Consider a system that can access an employee’s talent summary and includes historical appraisal scores, metrics, and courses taken.
Can you schedule check-ins from within the system to track and follow progress on development plans?
It is easy to assign a development plan to an employee, but with deliverables and busy schedules, it can be difficult keeping the plan updated along the way. According to Gallup, when employees strongly agree that their manager knows what projects or tasks they are working on, they are almost seven times more likely to be engaged than actively disengaged. However, if employees strongly disagree with that statement, they are fifteen times more likely to be actively disengaged that engaged. So how do we solve this? By meeting regularly with the employee to touch base on their progress and remove any potential roadblocks. This is a great opportunity to keep the development process collaborative, while also holding individuals accountable, and creating a system of record of past conversations.