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Mastering employee succession planning protects the future of your business

Prepare your future leaders for career advancement with succession management strategies.

What is business succession planning?

Succession planning is a series of actions taken to identify the next leaders of your business. With the right talent management and succession preparation tools, you can turn today's star performers into tomorrow's leaders.  

A succession planning system should address:

 Your business goals 

 It’s important to ensure business goals are aligned with your HR strategies. According to Deloitte, “mission-driven” companies have 30 percent higher levels of innovation and 40 percent higher levels of retention, and tend to be first or second in their market segment. Skilled workers only become top performers when their goals are aligned with business objectives and their energy is directed at the right targets. 

Staff performance

Businesses using performance management and appraisal systems show a reduction of low performers, with an increased percentage of high performers in the company. Our employee succession planning software includes functionality to prepare and track employee training and development. Acquiring new skills can improve worker performance, as well as boost employee engagement.

How to implement a succession plan

Leadership succession planning is a long game. The sooner you get started with a management succession plan, the better.

Step 1. Identify the essential qualities of your current management personnel.

Determine what makes your current leaders successful. It’s likely their strength profile is a combination of field experience and definable skills. Distill those qualities into the most pertinent and trainable traits.

Step 2. Evaluate your workforce for potential leaders.

Using the criteria developed in Step 1, scour your workforce for employees who have the essential qualities possessed by your current successful leaders. This step requires some projection and speculation—consider bringing in your current management staff to see if they see any potential candidates within the company.

Step 3. Devise a development strategy.

Create a solid course of action to cultivate the qualities your future leaders will need. Your strategy may take the form of a pointed leadership development program, or a more situational series of skill-building exercises.

Step 4. Put your plan in motion.

Begin developing those select employees into the corporate leaders that will make your organization thrive. The most effective management succession plan works as a slow burn. The transition process occurs gradually, and the nuanced skill set of a leadership position takes time to fully develop.

Remember, the sooner you put your most promising employees on track to fulfill your organizational goals, the more prepared they’ll be when the time comes. Be sure to consistently monitor those employees and evaluate their leadership readiness.

You'll be able to measure the impact of good staff succession strategies in three ways: 

Cost savings:

The automation of manual processes saves time, and the increased focus on talent management reduces employee turnover.

Revenue growth: 

Identify the best internal candidates for open management jobs and position your company for profit improvements.

Greater staff productivity: 

Better talent management enables your organization to retain more high performers, thus improving productivity.

Succession Planning Software from Sage


A complete on-premise human resource management solution that will help you maximize every amount you invest in your employees.

Sage HR

Solve your HR challenges. Onboard your employees, automate your HR process and get meaningful insights.

  • Achieve full visibility of your remote workforce, with an online employee database that’s your single source of truth.
  • Give your employees instant and remote self-service access to everything they need, like payslips, company policies, updates, absence to time-off requests, schedules, and more.
  • Enable your people to request time off, check vacation balance and see who’s away, any time, anywhere.
  • Share goals and priorities to unite team efforts while you can’t be in the office. Align with your company vision, and keep track of progress.
  • Easily handle receipts without unnecessary trips to the office. Employees submit expenses simply by photographing the receipt directly from the mobile app.


Sage People

Great people make a great business. Unlock the potential of human resources to bring out the best in your talent.

  • All your people information in a single, secure system of record, with access on any browser or device
  • Get accurate and reliable analytics for smarter people decisions
  • Hire the best people, faster, with paperless onboarding
  • Empower your people to manage their own HR tasks
  • Engage your workforce via a tailored and branded self-service portal
  • Benefit from unparalleled reliability and security, while meeting global and local compliance requirements

Your workforce is changing

Change with it, by preparing future leaders for success.

Identify tomorrow's business leaders

Today's HR software reveals who is performing, who was recently promoted, and who has exceeded expectations.

Spot the star performers

To get talent management right, offer training including classes, mentorship programs, certifications and more.

Introducing Sage Business Cloud People

Unlock the potential of your employees, deliver great workforce experiences and bring out the best in your talent.

HR resources

Gain oversight of your business with our human resource management systems and resources.