Using the MEIA-W-R for Succession Planning

Succession planning provides companies with a roadmap to ensure continuity when changes occur. The goal of succession planning is to help organizations prepare for the future with a robust talent pipeline and a bench of qualified candidates for each critical role. To accomplish these goals, succession planning must be objective and data-driven. Assessments such as SIGMA’s Multidimensional Emotional Intelligence Assessment – Revised (MEIA-R) and Multidimensional Emotional Intelligence Assessment – Workplace – Revised (MEIA-W-R) can be used to augment the process along the way. This guide will introduce you to SIGMA’s emotional intelligence assessments, and in particular, how the MEIA-W-R can be used for succession.

About the MEIA-W-R: How Do You Measure Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace?

What is the MEIA-R?

The MEIA-R was designed to measure emotional intelligence (EI), or more specifically, an individual’s tendency to perceive, understand, regulate, and express emotions. The MEIA-R consists of 11 distinct facets of emotional intelligence which can be used to understand emotions, develop self-awareness, and build critical people skills.

What is the MEIA-W-R?

Like the MEIA-R, the MEIA-W-R measures EI using the same 11 facets but with items that are tailored to a workplace environment. The MEIA-W-R is the only trait-based, self-report measure of EI that captures each facet defined by Salovey and Mayer’s (1990) influential model of EI, and the context-relevant nature of the MEIA-W-R’s questions also provides enhanced validity over context-neutral EI measures.

Both the MEIA-R and MEIA-W-R can be used to facilitate leadership development and succession planning. However, given that the MEIA-W-R is tailored towards a workplace environment, we recommend using the MEIA-W-R for your team, department, and/or organization’s succession planning needs. Below, we outline a few ways in which you can use the MEIA-W-R for succession, integrating EI to augment the process.

How to Support Succession with the MEIA-W-R

Succession planning is one of the most important strategic processes your organization will undertake. That means it’s important to get the job done right. Implementing a succession plan will significantly affect the career of potential successors. It will also ensure the long-term sustainability of your leadership team. Strong succession plans are objective, and data driven. That’s why assessments can be a valuable tool to enhance the process. Assessments should be chosen based on their reliability, validity, and ability to predict the skills needed for success. SIGMA’s MEIA-W-R is one of those assessments. In particular, the MEIA-W-R can help you know what you’re looking for, assess and develop talent, and build a culture of growth.

1. Know What You’re Looking For

In today’s virtual and global workplace, employees are needing to build and maintain more relationships than ever before. This makes emotional intelligence particularly important. Beyond general EI, however, it’s also essential to understand which traits are important for which roles, and how different facets of EI can be used to our advantage. SIGMA’s MEIA-W-R can help. Our assessment measures recognition/regulation of emotion in the self, recognition/regulation of emotion in others, expressive control, empathy, trust in intuition, creative thinking, mood redirected attention, motivation, and delayed gratification. For more information about each of these facets, take a look at our sample report. These reports outline how leadership is impacted when a facet of EI is over or underutilized, as well as what the facet’s overall contribution to performance looks like. Data like this helps organizations narrow down which facets of EI might be important for success a particular role, which in turn helps them know what they’re looking for as they seek to identify candidates for succession.

2. Assess Talent

Assessment becomes particularly important when organizations are ready to identify potential candidates for succession. Using tools like the MEIA-W-R gives decision makers an objective foundation for selection and promotion. Candidates can be evaluated on their strengths and development opportunities, and the best match can be selected based on skills required to succeed in that role. Assessing talent based on a data driven process is important because it reduces the effects of unconscious bias, thereby preventing factors like gender, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, or personal preference from influencing hiring and promotion. As such, assessments like the MEIA-W-R can promote diversity in the candidates considered for key roles in the organization. They can also increase buy-in among employees, reassuring them that the organization’s talent management system is based on merit rather personal preference.

3. Develop Talent

When it comes to developing talent, the MEIA-W-R is particularly useful because it not only provides a score on each facet, it gives a detailed interpretation of that score. The report also includes tips for development on each of the 11 measured facets of EI (see sample report). On the MEIA-W-R, percentile scoring is designed to illustrate which behaviors need development, enhancement, or refinement. This helps coaches and candidates identify where to concentrate development efforts. Scores are also accompanied by a description, helping you interpret the number and understand how it translates to workplace behavior. Finally, the MEIA-W-R is particularly useful for developing talent as reports include customized feedback on each individual score, helping employees build self-awareness and guide self-directed development.

4. Build a Culture of Growth

In addition to identifying, assessing, and developing talent, SIGMA’s MEIA-W-R can be used to support succession planning because it builds a culture of growth. Studies have shown that over 1 in 3 employees are committed to their company because they see an opportunity to be a part of its growth,1 and succession planning in particular has been found to significantly improve job satisfaction.2  Using assessments like the MEIA-W-R demonstrates that employers take talent development seriously. This commitment to employee development boosts employee morale and generates buy-in for the overall succession planning process. This, in turn, builds a culture of learning and continuous growth.

Ultimately, the MEIA-W-R is an excellent resource that can be used to support succession planning. EI is an important leadership quality, therefore leadership pipelines can benefit from the identification, assessment, and development of the facets of emotional intelligence. Get started with the MEIA-W-R today, and watch how EI has the capacity to transform your leaders.

SIGMA Can Help

Ready to begin succession planning? Interested using the MEIA-W-R for succession? Either way, we’re here to help. SIGMA has over 50 years experience and a variety of resources available to help you learn more about EI and how it can improve your succession planning process. If you don’t yet have a succession plan in place, or would like to strengthen your process, check out SIGMA’s Succession Planning Certification workshop and our Succession Planning Launch Series. Interested in learning more? Contact us below. We are always happy to speak with you!

1Zanfardino, K. (2020). How Your Succession Plan Can Improve Your Retention and Company Culture. Insperity. Retrieved from

2Samuel, M. (2013). Effects of Succession Planning Programs on Staff Retention. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences. 4. 157 – 162. 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n6p157.

About the Author

Helen Schroeder

Marketing Coordinator

Helen completed a dual degree with Ivey Business School’s HBA program and Western University’s Honours Specialization in Psychology. As a Marketing Coordinator and Consultant she creates and manages content for SIGMA’s webpages, blogs, and coaching resources. Helen also assists in new product development, go-to-market strategy, and client consultation.