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Succession planning is one of the most powerful tools to retain the best talent yet it is often overlooked. A survey by SAP/SuccessFactors states that 63% of organizations do not have succession planning i.e. their business is running on high risk due to lack of proper succession plan.

Succession planning is a complex process which involves tracking performance, training, and development, and also ensuring that potential candidates have the required skills and competencies. This could be one of the reasons many organizations don’t implement it. However, most organizations that implement succession plans primarily focus on the top positions. This approach is short-sighted and may not give the desired benefit.

Why should organizations look at Succession planning more seriously?

  • Better business growth and stability

  • Retention of existing talent

  • Reduces the impact of losing key people

  • Well-defined career roadmap for employees – thus more engaged employees

Why choose SAP SuccessFactors’ Succession Planning?

It is not sufficient to do succession planning verbally by looking at performance traits. Succession planning has to be done based on a number of parameters which hold many dependencies.  Also, to support these interdependencies and the overall process, one must use the right tools and the right system. Well, SAP SuccessFactors’ Succession Planning and Development exactly does that. It gives you a competitive edge by helping you identify and develop talent, thereby ensuring leadership continuity and a workforce that will support and sustain business growth.

In this blog post, we provide an insight on the various features and tools that SAP SuccessFactors has to offer and how they enable business to achieve the desired results.

1. Succession Org. Chart 

It is a hierarchical view of the reporting relationships of people in your organization along with role or position information, employee photo, and assessment information. For example, if successors have been nominated to a person or position, they are displayed on the Succession Org Chart. This gives succession planners a visual summary of existing and potential leadership gaps. This can also be based on a position hierarchy including vacant (TBH) positions.  It gives you quick visibility into your talent gaps along with any Employee profile information about an employee and key indicators like “risk of loss”, “impact of loss”, etc.

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2. 9 Box Matrix

The 9 box matrix also known as the Performance-Potential matrix is a widely used simple, yet effective tool in Succession planning and development, which assesses an individual’s past performance and future potential. It is a method of evaluating the organization’s talent pool to identify potential leaders. Reports provide a two-dimensional view of employees by placing them in a matrix where each axis represents a rating, which allows for a quick visual comparison. Employees are plotted in a chart that identifies top and under performers.  The historical view can also be seen over the years.

Performance scores can be taken from Performance Review forms or can be imported directly into SuccessFactors. Manual entry is also possible if the system is configured to allow this. Potential ratings are typically entered manually, and capture estimates of a person’s ability to move beyond his/her current role.

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3. Talent Search

It is a robust search engine that helps perform a company-wide search using all-embracing search criteria to find the best-fit candidate for successor. The searchable criteria are defined during configuration. Using multiple criterion and search and save capabilities, succession scenarios can be created for teams and departments and processes can be streamlined to find the best of the lot.

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4. Career Development Plan (CDP)

It is a tool to keep individual’s skills aligned to the organizational needs. It enables employees to benefit from a wide range of employee development and career planning activities. It also provides managers with standardized methods to evaluate employees on their competencies.  The tools and opportunities that CDP provides are –

  • Personal Growth

  • Career Planning

  • Corrective Remedies

  • Developing internal succession candidates

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5. Lineage Chart

It helps identify the gap and provides an insight with the domino effect, i.e. the implications to an organization when a succession plan is executed.  It is easy to identify the readiness of the successors and places where any gaps might exist. It helps succession planners evaluate and act accordinglyA legend displays at the bottom of the screen to indicate an employee’s title, number of successors, and readiness.

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6. Talent Pools

This tool helps nominate your employees to pools and provides flexibility for Succession Planning.

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SAP SuccessFactors’ Succession Planning and Development go hand in hand. Together they are a powerful union which could have a major impact on improving the capabilities of the workforce. They act as a roadmap to the HR practitioners on how to create a robust succession plan which also aligns your workforce talent to the company’s vision.