How to Fit Mentoring into Your Succession Planning Strategy

We all know mentoring helps with developing career paths and transferring knowledge from one employee to another, but how can it affect your succession pipeline?

There is a process to evaluating the talent queued in your succession pipeline planning. Mentoring aids that process by selecting an individual and allowing them to learn new skills and gain experience that could help them further in their career. You are conditioning them to eventually assume a key major position within your organization.

Should Succession Planning be a Priority for Your Organization?

Organizations are realizing the ever changing landscape of the business world we live in. The more seasoned executives and baby boomers are coming into retirement age, which could potentially leave a company vulnerable if not properly prepared. Millennials are also on the hunt for a career that satisfies them. Companies are countering this by offering incentives such as mentoring programs to show the employee they are willing to invest in their future career path.

The call for mentoring to strengthen your succession pipeline makes sense. With the exodus of the baby boomers, there are calls for more roles to be filled. These roles are better filled by internal sources, those familiar with the company and the product. On boarding a green employee comes with challenges because they are not familiarized with the product or how the company conducts business right away.

Today’s Challenges in Succession Planning

While companies frequently implement succession plans to ensure smooth role transitions within their organization, they are faced with three primary challenges in implementing these plans:

  • Identifying talented candidates for leadership succession.
  • Developing candidates to become suitable leadership successors.
  • Retaining leaders and succession candidates long enough to ensure that key positions will be successfully filled according to plan.

Why mentoring may be an additional solution to your succession planning strategy?

  • It allows more exposure and visibility to talented employees. If their mentor sees them as a high performer this will be communicated with other coworkers and senior executives.
  • Mentoring creates leaders. Look at all great leaders today, they had a mentor. Specific leadership competencies can be learnt and gained from a mentor.
  • Employees in a mentoring program, will be more engaged within your organization, meaning they will stay with you more and eventually be part of your succession pipeline.

Our 8 Simple Steps to Create A Mentoring Program For Succession Planning.

  1. Define what it takes to be a great leader within your organization. List the top leadership competencies and the lack of competencies within your succession pipeline.
  2. Identify employees who have these leadership competencies and qualify them to see if they could become a mentor. Start recruiting them.
  3. Shortlist your high potentials, these are your mentees. Help them identify the competencies they need to continue to grow in their career path.
  4. Launch a mentoring software portal to all mentors and mentees to sign up for the program. The program should include all leadership competencies needed for your succession pipeline.
  5. Train all participants. This includes understanding their role in the program, the process.
  6. Allow mentees to choose their mentor, through the mentoring software portal. It has proven that a mentoring relationship will be more successful if they mentee gets to pick and the mentor accepts the relationship.
  7. Gather feedback and report on the success of the program to all stakeholders. Communicating the ROI will allow the program to continue year after year.
  8. Always recognize and thank your mentors. If you don’t, you are at risk they may not continue to be a mentor next time.

Using mentoring to plan your succession strategy is an effective way to prepare the next cohort of leaders in your organization. Aside from your succession planning strategy, installing a mentoring program can have a variety of benefits. For more information on starting a mentoring program visit Insala today to schedule a demo.


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