Accountability in Succession Planning

Keep Your Succession Plan on Track

When it comes to succession planning, considering your internal talent, planning to promote from within, and aiming to develop your talent is easy. Many companies have high ambitions for how they will enact succession planning. They also often have lofty goals for what they’ll get out of the process. However, the reality is that creating and maintaining a development plan can be incredibly difficult. Among other steps for creating a realistic and attainable talent development plan, building accountability into your succession plan is essential for success. At SIGMA, we’ve designed an activity to help you stay on track and, as a result, make progress toward your succession goals.

Video Transcription

Many companies have high ambitions for their succession plans. While reflecting on internal talent and aiming to promote from within is a step in the right direction, most of the work of succession planning comes in the form of developing employees to become future leaders. Managing development plans for all of your voice can be difficult, especially when everyday priorities and deadlines loom. To ensure your company’s succession plan is effective, it is critical to build accountability into the process. This means finding ways to engage both leaders and candidates.

Leaders can provide employees with the resources and opportunities needed to grow their skills and can help employees remain motivated over time. If your company is struggling to develop internal talent, look to how leaders can help support employees. Consider setting aside dedicated time for leaders and candidates to meet and discuss their progress. Provide your leaders with training to be effective coaches and mentors.

Ensure leaders understand how vital they are to the success of employee development plans. Succession planning is most effective if it is supported from the top down. If your executive team shows dedication to the process, it signals its importance to your leaders, and this will filter down to employees. To keep development top of mind, encourage your leaders and succession candidates to meet every three to six months. This time can be used to reflect on successes and roadblocks, review goals, and plan the next steps. It can be easy to lose momentum, so a third party like HR needs to be involved in the development process.

ShapeMaintaining accountability can be hard. To address this challenge, we’ve designed an activity to help your leaders and candidates stay on track. Our accountability tracker can be used to facilitate development conversations and check-ins between leaders and candidates regardless of what stage of the process they are in. This tool is easy to use and available free for download on our website. Visit us at to download your copy of our accountability tracker today.

Accountability Tracker for Succession Planning

Talent Development Accountability Tracker for Succession Planning
Download the Talent Development Accountability Tracker

At all stages of a candidate’s development, the most valuable resource they can have is an engaged and motivated leader. Both the succession candidate and their direct leader should be involved in tracking and discussing progress toward development goals. Once a candidate has chosen their high-priority areas of development, use the Accountability Tracker as a touch point. Both parties should rate progress toward their goals. Use these ratings as a prompt to have a face-to-face discussion about ongoing successes, roadblocks, and priorities.

Keep momentum going by scheduling meetings every three to six months to evaluate and discuss succession candidate progress. Additionally, use this time to assess current talent development goals, plan next steps, and consider the candidate’s future goals. These meetings also allow the leader to coach the candidate and assess the succession candidate’s level of interest and motivation.

How SIGMA Can Help

Maintaining accountability is a critical step in reaching talent development goals in any organization. SIGMA offers resources to help you develop talent in your company, such as how to identify development opportunities and use performance management in your succession planning process.

Download a fillable version of our Accountability Tracker below.

Contact us to learn more about how SIGMA’s Succession Process can not only kick-start growth and development in your company, but how it can help you sustain this growth over time.

About the Author

Sharon Van Duynhoven

Office Manager

Sharon brings our tests and assessments from the development stage to marketable product. She ensures quality control at every step of a project, edits technical documents and manuals, and artistically enhances reports and resources. She also manages contracts with clients across the globe and answers technical questions.