Average number of employees in the managerial succession pool per manager.
End of period headcount. Successor pool / End of period headcount. Manager. Succession – Applicable* 100
Successor Pool Coverage measures the number of successors in the successor pool compared to the number of managers in the organisation whose positions require succession management focus.
A result of 100 per cent indicates that there are as many potential successors as there are managerial positions in need of potential successors.
One important component of succession management is the identification of potential managerial successors. A small successor pool likely indicates that the workforce lacks sufficient skills and experience to fill leadership positions.
Organisations in this position may need to look externally to fill many of their managerial positions, which might drive excessive costs and result in a lack of corporate history in key positions or a significant shift in organisational culture.
Once the succession pool is identified, employees in the pool can be continually developed to successfully assume the next generation of leadership within the organisation.
Not all managerial positions may necessitate a successor pool. For example, low-level managers or managers with common skill sets may not require succession forethought prior to a vacancy.
However, managerial positions involving skills that are critical to the business or hard to replace, or key positions of authority, scope or market accountability, are positions for which the organisation should develop a successor pool.
Organisations typically identify potential successors from a succession management table or system. Such a system may also identify the managerial positions applicable for succession planning.
Employers may find it useful to analyse Successor Pool Coverage across various management designations (e.g. Team Leader, Manager, Director), functions, job families, organisational units and geographies to understand how well key positions are covered and to anticipate or overcome succession pool gaps.
The usefulness of Successor Pool Coverage as a measure of the effectiveness of succession management processes depends on the appropriate identification of successors. Having a broad succession pool does not necessarily guarantee that successors will be ready to assume key positions when needed. It is important to note that this measure does not indicate whether potential successors have a broad range of skills or are all ready to assume the same position and thus it is a measure of breadth, not depth.
Targets for this measure will be based on the organisation’s estimation of how many ready successors are necessary for each position, the readiness level of those employees identified as potential successors and the anticipated turnover of both the employees in the successor pool and the managers to be succeeded.
Relative targets against a benchmark group are not likely to be useful for this measure because of the differences in managerial populations and succession management practices across organisations.