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  • TalentRemedy

Do You Know Your Bench Strength? 4 Tips to Measure Your Strength

Incorporating your succession plan into both your recruiting efforts and performance management program is a key step in attracting and retaining talent.

But how do you know if it’s working?

Are you building the right type of bench?

Does your bench have depth?

By using a variety of metrics to evaluate your succession plan, you’ll have the answers to these questions. Here are 4 steps on how to measure the impact of your succession plan: 1. Prepare to Measure

Think about what metrics you'd like to use before you implement your succession plan. You will learn more about your company’s hurdles and, therefore, know where to focus your efforts.

According to HR Forecast, there are five stages in the succession management maturity model. Determine your current level by using the succession plan maturity model. Identifying your current stage will give you better insight into the types of things to measure.

It is important to remember that your succession plan will evolve over time so its focus will also shift.

2. Determine Your Metrics

Analyze the HR KPIs you’re currently tracking and decide if they are giving you information to measure your succession plan. Identify those that will help you measure the impact of your succession plan. Keep in mind that some KPIs are used for other aspects of your business operations and won’t help assess the effectiveness of your succession plan.

Use multiple types of metrics to understand the whole picture. Be sure to incorporate both quantitative and qualitative metrics. Quantitative metrics are those that give you numbers and objective data. Some examples of quantitative metrics include:

  • Number of high potential employees

  • Time to fill open positions (this is different from time to hire)

  • Internal vs. external hires

  • Time to promotion

  • Average staff tenure

  • Retention rate for all employees as well as for high potential employees

  • Bench strength or the number of employees in the pipeline that are ready for promotion

  • Percentage of time that the internal pipeline is used to fill a key role

  • Total recruiting costs or costs of internal promotions vs. external hires

Qualitative metrics are more subjective and tend to show how the succession plan is affecting employees and the culture of the organization on a daily basis. Some examples of qualitative metrics include:

  • Job satisfaction

  • Employee engagement

  • Personal development

  • Quality of the relationships between employees and their leaders

3. Measure Your Results

Determine the baseline numbers for all quantitative and qualitative metrics. It’s important to know the starting point for each metric so be sure to capture this information first.

Decide on the frequency or how often you’ll calculate your metrics and KPIs. Will it be weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually? Involve others when making this decision and be realistic about what you can handle as an organization. Consistency is key so set yourself up for success.

Consider using software to track your metrics and KPIs. Since there are costs associated with this, it may or may not fit into the HR budget.

If using software is not an option, set up a tracking spreadsheet and designate someone to update it regularly. It is a good practice to have a backup person in case the primary person is out of the office.

Streamline the process as much as possible. The simpler and easier the process, the more likely it will be updated on a regular basis. Try it one way and see if it’s working. If it isn’t, then adjust it. With time and practice, you’ll figure out what works best for your team. Remember, the goal is to capture data and information. 4. Discuss Your Results and Make Adjustments

Analyze and discuss the results with your leadership team. Celebrate improvements and identify areas that need attention. Hold each other accountable and continue to make this a priority for your organization.

Decide how often you will tweak your succession plan. Will you make adjustments every six months, annually, every two years, or at a different point? The size of your organization and your specific needs will play a critical part in this decision. Remember, succession plans continually evolve and take time to mature. Metrics will tell you if you are on the right track and, since improvements may be very small at times, look for trends and patterns.

Share the results with your employees. To improve transparency, let your employees know how you’re doing and how the results are changing. Celebrate the successes and acknowledge the areas still needing improvement. Ask for feedback, listen to ideas, and involve your employees.

While there are numerous metrics that you can utilize to measure the impact of your succession plan, it isn’t necessary to track all of them. Determine which ones make the most sense and will give you the most applicable information for your organization. Remember, your succession plan will evolve and move through various stages of maturity. Metrics will enable you to monitor growth and will highlight areas that need more attention. Building your bench is about hiring the right talent and developing each player. Figuring out who to take off your bench is largely determined by data analysis and performance. With a strong bench, you’ll know who to play next!

Need help with building your bench? TalentRemedy has a team of experts to perform consultative and recruiting services. We can help you align your recruiting with your succession planning. Contact us at or 703-362-0175 to set up a time to discuss how our team can support you.


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