What Next? How Mentoring Can Improve a Company’s Succession Planning

With more and more companies struggling to retain employees and key talent within the business, it leads to the question-why the desire to move on? Although competitive salaries and enticing perks are significant factors behind a decision to change jobs, there is a direct correlation between employee dissatisfaction and a lack of effective succession planning. Here we investigate the benefits of mentoring and how it can improve the overall performance of a company through the adoption of a succession plan.


What is succession planning?

Succession planning is a strategy for identifying and developing future leaders within your organisation. It is an opportunity for companies to tap into the talent within through the refining of old and developing of new skillsets of employees. Pre-existing employee skillsets that companies have honed, nurtured and in some cases, paid for, are reviewed and aligned to suitable positions with more responsibility and seniority. The process of succession planning is an opportunity for employers to really get to know their people. Through upskilling and developing in house talent as reward for valued effort and contribution, succession planning could be a means of ensuring the future of SMEs in, what is undeniably, a fiercely competitive market.


What role can mentors play in succession planning?

The person tasked with mentoring a team brings with them an eagerness to build on the pre-existing strengths of an organisation and its employees. This is particularly pertinent when businesses have an internal mentor. However, the benefits of bringing in an external mentor (an outsider, if you will) means they bring with them a fresh approach and an objective outlook. They can also spot other strengths of employees that an internal mentor may not have observed. As business leaders with a niche and invaluable insight, the objective stance of a mentor serves to remove emotion entirely from the management process and decision making. They can act as a guide and confidante, a person who can equip employees with the professional and communicative tools necessary to seamlessly adapt to their next role. Through the encouragement, constant communication and honest feedback of a mentor, conversation surrounding genuine points of value allow for workers to ‘put their own stamp’ on their future position.


What kind of effect does mentoring and succession planning have on employees?

The on-boarding of a mentorship programme demonstrates a company’s commitment to developing talent, which in turn translates into employee satisfaction and, ultimately, retention. In an increasingly competitive market, the possibility for growth and promotion not only makes for a positive work environment but acts as a tool of attraction for potential employees who themselves seek to upskill and grow as part of an organisation.


Why should a business be concerned with succession planning? 

Seismic changes in the workplace have resulted in the demise of the prototypical ‘loyal’ employee. With Ireland, particularly Dublin, among one of the most attractive European HQ hubs in the world for leading multinationals, the competition for SME’s to retain an ardent and committed workforce is fierce. As people are no longer dedicating 40 or 50 years to the same workplace, the need for succession planning is more real and more important than ever. Investing in the progression of employees as a means of retaining talent will help to ensure the longevity of a business and allow for companies to confidently plan for the future.


10 mentors, invaluable insights, outstanding credentials and years’ worth of notable experience.


Secure the future of your company’s succession by contacting Ronan Harbison on +353 86 805 8624 or via e-mail at  [email protected].

Ronan Harbison

Ronan Harbison

Commercial Director