Talent Progress Scorecard Template
Measuring Succession Planning Progress
An important but often overlooked step of Succession Planning is to measure the success of your succession plan. SIGMA Assessment Systems’ Talent Progress Scorecard Template allows you to review the outcomes of your succession plan across several important indicators. The talent assessment scorecard will help you to demonstrate the value of your succession plan on an ongoing basis. It will make it easier to justify your budget, ask for budget increases, or get buy-in from executives in other areas. To make the most of the Talent Progress Scorecard it is important to consider both what to measure and when.
SIGMA’s Talent Progress Scorecard Template
Benefits of Assessing Talent with a Progress Scorecard Template
Why use this template? Talent progress scorecard templates are practical tools you can use to assess that your succession plan is on track. Benefits of using the talent progress scorecard include:
- Agreeing on key metrics your company uses to measure success
- Documenting key metrics for success
- Facilitating regular measurement and recording of success metrics
- Ability to identify trends over time
- Ability to measure return on investment (ROI)
- Data that can be used to communicate success
- Objective indicators of progress (very motivating for employees)
- Early indicators when development is not effective (i.e., if no progress is seen)
How to ake the Most of Your Scorecard
To make the most of the Talent Progress Scorecard Template it is important to consider both what to measure and when.
1. Identify Relevant Indicators of Success
Measuring indicators of success that are specific to your organization will help to make the Talent Progress Scorecard as relevant as possible. Look for ways to add objective, impressive numbers, such as money saved or time delays prevented. In the Talent Progress Scorecard template, you will see some basic talent indicators that we recommend such as:
While there is a time and a place for external hiring, the goal of a comprehensive succession planning process is to establish a robust succession bench for each critical role so that positions can be filled internally. When succession plans are built properly from the ground up, they help facilitate leadership pipelines that feed into management and other key positions. Often, this leads to improved recruitment and retention, as top talent is looking for employers who are willing to invest in their career. As a result, talent pools grow and mature, and critical roles – when they become vacant – can be filled internally. To measure the success of your succession plan using the percentage of critical positions filled internally, keep track of vacancies in the roles your organization has identified as critical, and document the percentage you are able to fill immediately (or relatively immediately) with talent from within your organization.
Managers play a vital role in the day-to-day operations of an organization because they supervise much of the workforce. As such, critical roles often include management positions. To measure the percentage of management positions filled internally, keep track of vacancies in your organization’s management positions, and document the percentage you can fill immediately (or relatively immediately) with talent from within your organization. If you notice that the percentage of management positions filled internally is lower than the percentage of critical (or other) roles filled internally, this may indicate a gap in your talent development process. Strong managers require leadership development in addition to technical expertise. For more information and support in making this transition, download SIGMA’s Handbook for New Supervisors.
The average time a high-potential spends in any given role can be useful for breaking down the stages in a leadership pipeline. If the time is too short, perhaps that role has more capacity for development activities and responsibilities that can be used to invest in employees without needing to promote them to the “next level”. If the time is too long, perhaps there needs to be other intermediate roles for candidates to progress through, or perhaps the connection between the given role and the next one is not strong enough. If the latter is the case, think about how you can prepare direct reports for the role of their supervisor, or for cross-departmental roles if those transitions are a part of your development plans.
Turnover rates are an important metric for organizations to be monitoring in general. However, turnover among high-potential employees is especially important, as it is reflective of how well talent development programs are engaging and retaining top talent. To measure high potential turnover, take the number of high-potential employees leaving your organization and divide it by the total number of high-potential employees. We recommend taking these measures once every six months.
A strong succession plan builds a succession bench for each critical role. This means there is more than one candidate ready to step into that role in the future. Ideally, each critical role will have a few candidates at different stages of readiness. For example, 1-2 candidates who would be ready to step into the role in the next 1-3 years, 1-2 candidates who would be ready to step into the role in the next 3-5 years, and 1-2 candidates who would be ready to step into the role in 5+ years. This is the ideal case. In aiming for the ideal, we recommend measuring the percentage of critical positions that have three or more successors. To take this measure, count the number of succession benches that have three or more candidates on them. Divide this by the total number of succession benches (there should be one for each critical role) in your succession plan.
Average years until ready is a measure of the maturity of an organization’s succession benches. To calculate this number, identify how many years it would take for each candidate to be ready for their critical role, then divide it by the number of candidates. Ideally, each critical role will have a mix of candidates who would be ready in 1-3, 3-5, and 5+ years.
If the average years until a candidate is ready for the critical role is too low, you are at risk of running out of successors in the long-term. In this case, think about how you can infuse your talent pool with individuals at the bottom of the leadership pipeline. Perhaps you can hire interns, look across departments, or consider individuals who show some potential for the critical role even though they may require years of development efforts.
If the average years until a candidate is ready for the critical role is too high, you are at risk of not having a successor to step into the critical role if a vacancy arises in the near future. In this case you may need to resort to external hires, look across departments, or expedite the development of candidates who show the most potential for the critical role. Ideally, the average years until a candidate is ready for their critical role will be 3-5 years, balanced by an equal proportion of candidates who will be ready both sooner (1-3 years) and later (5+ years).
Every organization measures engagement differently. If you already have a method for measuring employee engagement, you can use the talent progress scorecard to track those measures. If you do not yet have a process for measuring engagement, we recommend implementing one. This could be as simple as sending a survey to all your employees asking them to rate how engaged they are in their jobs on a day-to-day basis.
Use a 5-point scale such as the one listed below: How would you describe your engagement with the work you do at [ORGANIZATION]? Please answer based on your average experience.
- I am extremely engaged in my work.
- I am engaged in my work.
- I am somewhat engaged in my work.
- I am not very engaged in my work.
- I am not engaged in my work at all.
Measures for individual improvement also vary by organization. Most teams have a performance management system that can be used to measure individual improvement. If no measure for individual improvement is present, leaders can simply ask employees to score themselves, and supervisors to score their direct reports, on how much individual improvement they have seen over the last 6-months or year.
Example items for such measures are included below:
- Performance has declined significantly.
- Performance has declined somewhat.
- Performance has stayed the same.
- Performance has improved somewhat.
- Performance has improved significantly.
These can be a great starting place, but don’t feel constrained by our recommendations. Customize the Talent Progress Scorecard to measure what is most important to your organization.
2. Review Indicators of Success Regularly
At a minimum, your Talent Progress Scorecard should be updated every 6 months. Tracking progress and regularly sharing the results with key stakeholders demonstrates the value of your succession plan and keeps its importance top of mind. Measuring and communicating the progress of your succession plan early and often will ensure you get the resources and executive commitment you need for a successful planning initiative. Even if you only track one metric, get in the habit of recording it and attaching a dollar value if possible. Create your Talent Progress Scorecard early, and in time you will be able to show year-over-year progress.
Need Help Getting Started?
SIGMA’s Succession Planning Launch offers a simple and cost-effective way to build a robust Succession Planning process and ensure your organization’s leadership is positioned for success and prepared for the unknown.
Contact us to learn how we deliver a detailed 12-month succession plan for each member of your leadership team in just two half-day workshops.
Talk to an Expert
Glen Harrison is an organizational transformation consultant and succession planning expert. Over the course of his career, Glen has worked with one-third of the Fortune 500 list and with every level of government in Canada and the United States. Having worked with numerous clients to build robust succession plans from the ground up, Glen has extensive experience in the application of SIGMA’s products and services to help organizations realize their people potential. If you are interested in learning more about SIGMA’s succession planning services, send Glen an email or give him a call. He’d be pleased to chat with you.