Succession planning is the process of identifying, recruiting, and training employees of an organization in order to equip them with skills necessary for enabling them to take up future top management positions. It entails training and evaluation processes to ensure that the respective employees are capable of effectively and efficiently handling all the management and leadership issues, they may face in the course of duty.
Succession planning is an important part of everyday organization activities and, as a result, all organizations whether small; medium sized or even large must prepare for future succession possibilities. Effective succession planning ensures continuity in the life of the organization. It guarantees that there are no interruptions in the daily organization operations because of death, disability, retirement, or resignation of key employees (Todnem, & Macleod, 2009). Succession also plans ensure that the process of filling the vacant positions is smooth thus guaranteeing continued organization success.
Planning for change within organizations is inevitable as all organizations are at some point in their life faced with the possibility. The study of this procedure is important as it equips the researcher with knowledge concerning the importance of having effective succession plans, as well as the objectives of these plans.
Importance of succession planning in organizations
Succession planning facilitates the alignment of strategic organizational goals with the available human resources. The process of planning in this case creates the need for the firm to recruit or develop already available work force into the desired skills. It, therefore, creates the need for the firm to invest in relevant training and development activities to ensure the matching of all organizational activities with the skills required. Alignment of strategic goals with the available skills, therefore, facilitates the attainment of desired organization goals and objectives (Holbeche, 2010).
The second importance of succession planning is that it creates stability in critical positions particularly those of leadership and management. Succession planning in this case creates a team of professionals that is ready to fill all vacancies that arise in the institution. Each vacant position has a readily available professional irrespective of the condition in which the vacancy existed. The process of succession planning, therefore, facilitates a smooth transitioning process from one leader to another. In addition, it ensures the minimization of interruptions in the process of public service delivery.
Succession planning enables the planning team to identify human resource training and development needs. During the process of evaluating the team of professionals for succession planning, the planning and development team is able to identify the different employee needs and requirements. The team is able to determine the unique training needs of the employees in question thus facilitating their growth and development (Holbeche, 2010).
Facilitating succession planning within an organization is critical in enabling employees realize their career goals and aspirations. Training and development activities during succession planning equip employees with the knowledge and experience necessary to enable them take up higher leadership positions. Training increases employees’ prospects of employment, thus boosting their level of motivation. In the end, the employees derive satisfaction and fulfillment from work, therefore, increasing their productivity.
Succession planning increases the employee level of flexibility and responsiveness. Organization environments undergo different cycles. In some instances, there is a high rate of employee turnover and in other instances a high rate of employee retention. During this period of employee exits, organizations need to have a pool of professionals at the ready to facilitate a successful transition. Training of employees to enable them to adjust into these different situations increases their rate of flexibility.
Succession planning facilitates the transfer of corporate knowledge and information in a timely and cost efficient manner. In this case, the present leaders and managers of the organization interact with their other counterparts during training. The interactions are with the aim of equipping the trainees with the knowledge and skills necessary for taking up critical positions in the organization. The process saves the organization the time and money required for hiring a professional training team. It also ensures that employees are ready for the transition as relevant situations arise (Holbeche, 2010).
Succession planning creates the need for the management of the organization to focus on the future survival prospects of the organization. It shifts the focus of the planning team from the needs of the high-level management to the medium and lower level staff. The management in this case is able to recognize the important role played by the lower cadre staff thus creating the need to focus on the fulfillment of their individual needs.
Another importance of succession planning is that it fosters interdepartmental unity and organizational growth. Training of the team of professionals required to fill future vacancies within the organization encourages employee interaction. Development of work related relationships encourages them to work hand in hand in ensuring the attainment of the organizational goals and objectives. A team of employees is able to support each other’s career development activities thus boosting the institution’s capacity for growth and further development. (Karlsson, Johansson, & Stough, 2009).
Objectives of succession planning
Organizations have different succession plans and approaches. However, all succession plans have common goals and objectives. Firstly, the plans have the aim of identifying employees with the capacity and potential to take up greater leadership responsibility within the organization. The process ensures that the organization in question has a ready pool of qualified professionals for recruitment into any vacant positions (Bovaird, &Löffler, 2009).
Secondly, succession planning aims at providing the identified pool of professionals with training and development experiences. The training gives the employees practical hands-on experience of the situations that may arise in the course of duty. In addition, the development experiences equip the employees with the skills necessary for handling future leadership challenges and problems. The employees are, therefore, qualified and experienced to fill in any future vacancies within the organization.
Another objective of succession planning is to engage the leadership and management of the organization in supporting the development of highly developed and skilled leaders within the organization. Engaging the leadership of an organization guarantees the support of the management in all leadership development activities. It ensures that the management authorizes the release of funds to support training and development activities of the identified team of professionals. It also steers the organization towards greater success prospects due to increased levels of professionalism occasioned by the training and development experiences.
Succession planning helps an organization create a database for use in making relevant staffing decisions. The database in this case contains all the desired combinations of qualifications and experiences needed to make necessary staff recruitments. It ensures the human resource team of the organization recruits only the best and most suited employee for the different vacant posts that may arise. (Karlsson, Johansson, & Stough, 2009).
Succession planning also improves the employee retention levels and capacities of the organization. Globally, the demands of employees are evolving thus increasing the need for training. With this training and development experiences, the prospects of promoting employees into higher leadership positions increase, therefore boosting the firms retention capacities. In addition, such training and development enable the organization meets the career development expectations of its work force thus minimizing exits.
Effective succession planning activities enable an organization to minimize the costs associated with external recruitment of employees. The organization in this case has a wide pool of qualified employees with the capacity to fill any future vacancies. The costs associated with such internal recruitments are minimal compared to those associated with external recruitments. Succession planning, therefore, results in savings within the organization thus boosting its profit prospects.
- How do the Ventura Health Agency and the Ventura County Library plan for leadership changes?
- What are the challenges of succession planning in the Ventura Health Agency and the Ventura County Library?
Important considerations for succession planning
There are varieties of factors those institutions willing to undertake succession-planning need to consider. The factors are vital to the success of any succession planning activity and thus determine its effectiveness. Firstly, the organization needs to consider the need for succession planning within the institution. The process highlights the importance of the firm participating in succession planning activities as well as identifying the limitations. It also involves an analysis of what the organization expects to gain if it participates in succession planning. (Bovaird, &Löffler, 2009)
The second factor for consideration during succession planning is the basis of such planning activity. It includes defining whether the succession planning activities should take into account the long-term or short-term goals of the organization. This enables the planning determine the basis for training and development activities within the organization.
The third factor for consideration in succession planning is whether there has been consultation of the key stakeholders and leaders of the organization. This step enables the succession planners determine whether they have the support of the management. In case consultation of the key leaders and stakeholders has already taken place, the planning team needs to determine whether they have the support of the leaders in question. (Bovaird, &Löffler, 2009)
The planning team also needs to determine whether it is possible to link the succession planning activities with other workforce planning activities, as well as human resource strategies. It involves determining with certainty the needs and expectations of the human resource department and the succession planning team to facilitate their merging.
The next consideration involves identifying the human resource personnel and other stakeholders that will participate in the process of succession planning. It also involves defining their key roles and responsibilities as regards the succession process. The process also involves the determination of the key expectations of the succession planning team.
The other step for consideration in this process involves determining the measures put in place to ensure transparency, accountability, and fairness in the process of succession planning. It involves determining the present state of affairs within the company with the aim of determining the possibility of bias and unfair employee treatment. It also involves decision-making to create an environment of equal opportunity and accessibility in the process (Pasquerella, Killilea, &Vocino, 1996).
The other factor for consideration is the method of managing employee expectations of the succession planning process. The process involves determining whether employees are aware that the process is not a guarantee for promotion. It also involves designing methods and techniques for efficiently managing the transition process both in instances where there is consideration of the employee for promotion and in those situations that there is no consideration.
The final factor for consideration is determining whether the different organizational departments have the capacity to support the necessary learning and development activities. The process also involves determining how conducive the work environment is, concerning the process of succession planning.
The objective of this chapter is to review the comprehensively existing literature regarding succession-planning programs in both public agencies and private institutions in the United States. It aims at explaining the different situations that arise in this public agency thus creating the need for the development of succession plans. In addition, the chapter examines the elements of a successful succession-planning model as well as the benefits and challenges that the public agencies face in the development and implementation of these succession plans.
The essence of succession planning is the need to prepare for the retirement of Chief Executive Officers and other top management holders due to changes in the labor market. Many top executives reach the retirement age at the same time while there were fewer professionals venturing into the same positions creating a vacuum in top management (Dresang & Dresang, 2009).
Succession planning is important because it is essential in meeting requirements in the dynamic labor market, mitigating potential labor shortage prior to experiencing the actual shortage, increasing mobility of labor, increasing eligibility for retirement, filling internal gaps that are connected to competency, retaining corporate knowledge and enhancing career development within an organization.
Initially, replacement was not based on any planning, the only procedure involved identification of a potential successor. The process was initiated only when there was a need to identify a person to fill a vacant seat in the organization. The main aim, while carrying out the assessment, was to carry successfully out an identification of another person who had the same skills and professional qualifications as the outgoing manager (Rothwell, 2010).
Succession planning, on the other hand, identified and developed a pool of professionals who had the expertise and competency that was required when filling vacant positions within the organization. This is distinct from replacement planning because it primarily aims to preserve the long lasting sustainability and feasibility of an organization. Although there is no standard procedure that has been set out for filling vacant positions in succession planning, managers could be asked to identify assess or nominate persons who will then take place in the process or alternatively, candidates selected could be asked to engage in specific activities and assignments and the results are used to vet their respective qualifications. The process takes an approximate period of six to twelve months.
Succession management identifies employees with high potential as a method of talent management. These employees are developed to ensure continuity of talents that can meet the needs of any organizations in the future and whenever there is a need in all main leadership roles. This process is transparent and long term, covering a period of five and ten years. The individuals taking part in succession management are, usually, given feedback on their performance at the conclusion of the project.
Succession management guarantees the best approach in managing and implementing change in public institutions because learning proceeds even after the conclusion of training. The activities undertaken teach, develop, and steer participants are making them more dynamic and adaptable to the changing business environment as opposed to making participants ready to take up specific positions that fall vacant within the organization.
As put forward by Rothwel (2010) public agencies that have taken part in succession planning have realized a significant improvement in overall public relations in addition to a boost in reputation. Through employee engagement, they are given the opportunity to develop in their careers in addition to achieving self-fulfillment. This satisfaction at a personal level in turn improves the reputation of the agency by other members of the public.
According to Dresang & Dresang (2009) in public institutions, however, there is a regrettable deficit of data in comparison to private institutions. Public institutions lack mechanisms that can sufficiently support succession-planning activities.
The concept of succession planning is highly familiar among businesses around the world. Throughout history, families and businesses have participated in the planning for different successors especially with regard to key roles in their businesses. As Michael (1989) explains, the need for succession planning developed due to the rising need to plan for the Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO) retirement in the rapidly changing labor market conditions. It was due to the realization that many people reached retirement age at the same time, but there were few entrants into the job market leaving a shortage of personnel in management positions.
Over time, the need for succession planning has evolved to include:
- Conforming to the competitive labor market
- Potential shortages in skills
- Increased labor mobility and reduced population growth
- Increasing retirement eligibility
- Internal gaps related to competency
- Need to retain corporate knowledge and
- Need to enhance career development
In the 1970’s, the concept of succession planning was referred to as replacement planning. Replacement planning is a traditional succession planning method used to identify a specific candidate with the expectation that they will fill a particular key position within the organization in the future. The method provided the organization with a source of backup in the case that a key employee left firm without sufficient notice.
Replacement planning differs from succession planning in that it has the aim of providing replacements for senior top management positions in the organization. Compared to succession planning, replacement planning did not provide the identified individual with the necessary training and development opportunities. The successor in this case had to learn from the current senior manager or chief executive officer. The succession planning team in this case expected that by the time the key employee left the public institution, the potential successor would possess the required skills (Brady, Fulmer, and Helmich, 1982).
The process of replacement in this case did not involve any planning since upon the identification of the potential successor, the process of planning came to an end. The process could only begin if there was a need to identify a potential candidate for a potentially vacant key position. In replacement planning, the management executive identified the specific individual expected to fill his position. The basis of assessing a candidate in this case was the qualities possessed by the current management executive. The process, therefore, had the objective of replacing the current candidate with another who possessed similar traits, qualifications, and competencies. It was with the expectation that the public organization would encounter no difficulties in the transition process.
The term succession planning developed in the 1980’s. Succession planning refers to the process of identifying and developing a pool of professionals with the expertise and competency needed to fill vacancies within the organization. Contrary to replacement planning, succession planning has the objective of preserving the long-term sustainability and viability of the organization. By ensuring that the pool of professionals created by the succession planning process fills the vacancies, the organization ensures the carrying on of the organization’s ideas, visions, and missions from one particular employee to another thus avoiding confusion. Succession planning, therefore, helped the organization steer towards the attainment of its strategic goals and objectives.
In this approach, the planning team could use a variety of methods to identify the pool of potential candidates. Firstly, the team could ask the managers to identify, assess, or nominate people in this development process. In this case, only the nominated persons participate in the development process. In other instances, candidates participate in specific activities or perform different assignments. The planning team uses the results of the assignments to identify those qualified for participation in the development process. They also aid the planning team in identifying the skills of each particular candidate thus the roles that he or she is most suited.
The planning period for this method is, usually, six to twelve months following the determination of the potentially vacant positions. The process of succession planning also has the aim of aiding the organization in strategic planning. The process of succession planning provides some sort of insurance against future unexpected changes in labor. It ensures that the organization has a pool of professionals that is ready and willing to take up future vacancies within the organization on short notice (Michael, 1989).
Similar to the replacement planning approach, the process of succession planning is not transparent. There is no standard procedure of recruiting or selecting individuals during the planning process. In addition, the two methods do not guarantee feedback to the participating employees.
The term succession management developed in the 1990’s to the 2000’s. Succession management is a talent management approach that involves the identification of high potential employees and their development to ensure that there is a pool of talent that is available and ready to meet the organizational needs in the future and as time may demand. It differs from succession planning in that the process of planning is long term and takes five to ten years. In addition, succession management is more comprehensive since it involves making provisions for all key leadership roles within the organization. (Brown, 1982)
Compared to succession and replacement planning, the process of identifying the pool of employees to participate in succession management is transparent. The succession management team assesses the employees with a view to identifying key competencies among them that indicate their potential to take up senior management positions. A wide range of people participates in this process of identification and assessment. Examples include line managers, peers, and the senior management team among others.
Succession management activities have the objective of facilitating and implementing change within the organization. The participants of this process realize that the business environment is highly dynamic, therefore, creating the need for succession management. They recognize that a firm’s ability to survive and excel in the present market conditions is due to its ability to respond and adapt to the different business situations.
Following completion of the relevant training and development activities by the participating individuals, the individuals are able to apply and get higher-level positions thus facilitating their career development. The process of succession management ends with the succession management team providing feedback to the participating individuals. It includes information on the criteria used to identify and select the employees with the potential to participate in the process. It also includes giving recommendations to those who did not qualify on the areas that they need to develop and improve on. It helps uphold the transparency of the succession management process as well as reduce conflict within the organization due to dissatisfaction.
Succession management provides the best approach towards managing and implementing change within a public institution. The learning and development activities are steered towards enabling the participants of the succession planning process to acquire skills to make them more adaptable to the business environment. Rather than steer the participants towards taking up specific jobs within the public agency, succession management ensures that the process of learning continues long after the training ends. It guarantees the continued commitment of the participating individuals towards improving the performance of public agencies.
Purpose of the study
Changes in labor and employment trends over time have necessitated the need for public agencies to plan carefully for the development and replacement of key personnel within their institutions. These changing needs of the labor force have also created the need for these institutions to ensure that these succession plans equip existing talent with skills that match both the present and future needs of public agencies. The study of succession planning in this chapter aims at highlighting the importance of succession planning in public agencies.
Succession planning within agencies, both private and public, perpetuates a sense of continuity within the organization. It enables the public institution to plan and provide for the potential vacancy long before it happens. It ensures that there is no vacuum in leadership occasioned by the exit of key employees within the institution. (Brown, 1982)
Succession planning provides public agencies with emergency leadership plans aimed at filling vacancies created by unforeseen circumstances. The emergency leadership plans cover vacancies created by death, mental instability, and serious injury caused by accidents. Such plans ensure that there is continuity within the organization and that there are no gaps in the leadership process of the public institution.
Public agencies that have formal succession planning programs experience fewer cases of employee conflict and discrimination. Succession planning enables the public institution plan rigorously for its future needs. The process involves a critical assessment of the needs of the public health agencies as well as all the available potential public employers by the employees. It, therefore, eliminates discrimination and conflicts among them thus promoting a culture of equity and fairness within the institution.
Succession planning also provides public agencies with an opportunity of developing the talents of many employees rather than focus on the development of individual talent. Succession planning activities enable the planning team to identify employees with the potential for development thus enabling them to achieve their career goals and objectives. Focusing on the diversified needs of all the employees rather than particular individuals increase the ability of the firm to develop and retain talent thus securing its future employee requirements (Frisch, 2002).
Any public agency that invests in succession planning realizes savings attributed to reduced costs of recruiting employees from external sources. With succession planning, a public agency is able to fill most of its potential vacancies from the pool of professionals created by the succession planning team. In this regard, the agency does not incur job advertisement and interviewing costs and is, therefore, able to control costs.
Succession planning activities reduce the likelihood of internal gaps related competency developing within the public institution. Succession planning activities provide the participants with a variety of training activities. The activities, which range from job rotation activities, group assignments, as well as mentorship programs provide the participants of the development process with the skills and experience necessary to guarantee their competency. In the event that the key positions fall vacant, the participants of the training take up the positions without difficulties. They are able to carry on the work of their predecessors thus ensuring the success of the public institution.
Succession planning in the public organizations eliminates disruptions in the day-to-day business activities. Public agencies with effective succession plans have strategies put in place to cater for any unprecedented exits by employees in critical positions. In the event that this happens, the pool of professionals created by the process fills in the vacancy, therefore, reducing the shortage of skills within the organization.
The development of effective succession planning programs enables public organizations to review regularly their goals and objectives thus reinforcing their commitment. During the needs assessment stage in succession planning, the succession planning team analyses the needs of public organizations alongside those of their employees.
The process of assessment enables the team reviews the firm’s future goals and objectives in order to align them with those of the succession-planning program. The management of public agencies is, therefore, able to evaluate the success of the program with regard to facilitating the attainment of the set objectives. In the event that the succession program fails to enhance the attainment of the identified goals, the management of the agency reviews the succession program’s objectives to ensure that they are in line with those of the agency. (Brady, Fulmer, and Helmich, 1982). The process, therefore, enables the management to evaluate the rate of attainment of the objectives with time.
Succession planning in public agencies creates a forum for educating the institution’s employees as well as participants of the succession planning process regarding the benefits of the program. The majority of the employees of public agencies may feel uncertain about the process of succession planning. In such a case, the employees may sabotage the succession planning activities thus limiting the success of the program. However, if the employees of the agency are educated about the concept of succession planning, there is likelihood that they will support the program. The process, therefore, enables the planning team educates them, therefore, increasing their level of awareness. (Carless and Sally, 2001)
Succession planning activities improve the methods of communication thus fostering employee unity and cooperation. During planning, the succession management team has to ensure that employees at all levels have the information regarding the process of succession planning. The flow of communication in this case is from the top executives to the lower level staff. Efficient communication of this information breaks all communication related barriers, therefore, improving relations among the employees.
Succession planning within an institution results in an increase in the level of efficiency and success of the agency’s operations. Succession planning activities enable the agency to prepare for any unexpected vacancies in the organization through the provision of training and development activities.
Public agencies that participate in the succession planning experience an improvement in their public relations, as well as reputation. By engaging the employees in succession management activities, a public organization provides them with an opportunity of experiencing career development and fulfillment. At the end of the succession-planning program, the participating employees experience higher levels of personal level satisfaction thus improving the agency’s reputation among other members of the public.
The succession-planning model
Careful examination of existing literature on succession planning within organizations shows that there is a deficit in data concerning succession planning in public agencies in the county. It also shows that compared to private institutions, many public agencies do not have sufficient mechanisms to facilitate and support the succession planning activities.
However, data on both public and private institution's succession planning methods is applicable in this research for both public, and private institutions share the goal of developing a qualified pool of professionals with the capacity to meet the future needs of the organization. Similarly, public institutions can learn from the strategies adopted and challenges encountered by private agencies in order to develop more successful and adaptation plans.
Public agencies and private companies have different succession planning programs. The basis of developing such idea varies with the goals and needs of a particular organization. However, on examining the different data available on succession planning specific key characteristics standout. These include:
- Top management support
- Dedicated responsibility
- Needs driven assessment
- Professional development opportunities
- Focused individual attention
- Extension to all organization levels and
- Inclusion in the strategic plan
The top management and executive support
The top management’s support of any public institution is highly critical for the success of an institution’s succession planning activities. The top management in this case refers to the public agency’s chief executive officer, the board of directors, as well as any other individual with a senior management position.
Executive support of the public agency’s succession planning program ensures that the succession team obtains the required support. The support in this case takes the form of approval of policies relating to the succession management program, approval of budgetary allocations to fund the activities of this planning team (Eadie, 1983).
The support of the executive is also essential as it facilitates an organizational-wide implementation of the program within a public institution. An agency-wide implementation of the program enables other subsidiaries or branches of a public agency to take part in the succession planning process thus enhancing the public agency’s ability to cope with vacancies within a public organization.
Executive support of the succession planning programs provides motivation to employees and other individuals willing to participate in the succession planning process. The support in this case makes the employees aware of the executive’s commitment towards enhancing employee career development while at the same time promoting the overall growth and development of a public agency.
Generally, people expect that the executive board’s support of the succession planning process is an indication that the senior management approves of the planning process. However, it is necessary to verify that this is true in order to obtain the full support of the management as well as avoid conflicts within the organization.
The senior management’s approval of this process is essential since it creates a sense of ownership among them. A sense of ownership of the succession planning process acts as a guarantee of the success of the process. In addition, it enables the managers communicate with other disgruntled managers who may not support the process and thus obtain their support.
In the case of disagreements between the executive board and the senior management of the public agency regarding the conduct of the succession planning process, the management team could hold discussions to facilitate the deliberation of such issues. The opportunity for discussion enables the disgruntled managers give their views in the issues causing disagreement. (Rothwell, 2005). In addition, it provides the succession planning team with an opportunity to educate the management on the benefits of the succession planning program as well as the methods of conduct.
The opportunity to discuss also enables the senior management team to give recommendations on the conduct of the process. In particular, they are able to specify the nature of qualifications and competencies that they expect the participants of the process to possess. They may also assist the succession planning team in identifying the employees with potential for taking up senior management positions within the agency in the future.
However, if the discussions and meetings with the disgruntled managers are not sufficient to win their support, the executive board needs to take further measures to eliminate such feelings. It will ensure that the program takes place as planned, therefore, eliminating the chances of sabotage by these senior managers. Further, it guarantees the credibility of the succession planning process.
The element of dedicated responsibility within the managers and participants of the succession planning process is another essential element of this process. It relates to the efforts of the individuals eligible for training and development, the senior managers and top executive of the public institution. The concept of commitment towards the succession planning activities creates a sense of responsibility among the participants thus increasing their willingness to participate.
As regards the commitment of the top executive towards the succession planning activities, dedicated responsibility enables them avail all relevant resources and support required to make the process a success. It also involves obtaining their approval on all relevant policies.
The sense of dedicated responsibility among the senior managers’ enables them participate in the process of identification and selection of the process of succession development. In particular, it enables them exert their influence among other lower level staff regarding their support for the process. It provides them with the opportunity to encourage potential employees to participate in the succession planning process thus increasing their chances of career development and job satisfaction.
Needs driven assessment
Following the succession-planning program obtaining the top executive’s support, the succession planning team needs to perform a needs driven analysis to determine the needs of the individual employees, as well as those of the agency itself.
The first step in the needs assessment involves analyzing the future needs of a public institution. It involves analyzing the agency’s goals and objectives in order to formulate key strategies for use in the implementation process. An analysis of the future resource requirements, as well as the future labor needs of the institution, is highly necessary. Such analysis enables the planning team to determine the personality traits of the people to fill in the specific positions.
The second step involves analyzing the identified jobs to determine their competency requirements. The job analysis involves determining the key competencies, skills, and experience requirements of the individuals expected to fill in the identified positions in the future. The process ends with detailing job descriptions and person specifications in the succession management plan. (Shields and Patricia, 1998)
Thirdly, the succession planning team needs to conduct an analysis of its existing employees in order to establish the existence of gaps as regards the skill requirements of the public agency in the future. The process involves conducting performance reviews with relation to the identified objectives of the business with a view to determining the achievements of the employees. At the end of this stage, the succession planning team needs to determine not only the potential of the employees of a public agency, but also the career objectives, preferences as well as factors limiting the achievement of such career objectives. Such analysis may involve the use of psychometric tests, group questionnaires, as well as occupational personality questionnaires.
The fourth step involves analyzing the learning and development needs of the employees within the agency. Following the analysis of the needs of the existing employees, the succession planning team needs to analyze the results of this assessment to determine the training and development needs of the individuals.
The determination of such training needs is geared towards enabling the institution attain its future goals and objectives as well as enabling the employees realize their career goals and aspirations. The analyzing team in this case provides for the capacity for development in order to enable the employees of the agency to perform more complex and diversified tasks.
The succession planning team also needs to conduct an intercompany analysis to determine the needs of companies with similar goals and objectives and have successfully implemented their succession plans. The inter-company analysis also enables the company to assess the challenges and achievements of the similar companies to enable them formulate policies and measures aimed at ensuring the successful implementation of the succession-planning program (Poister, Theodore & Gregory, 1999).
The final step of needs assessment involves analyzing existing labor and business market conditions to determine changes in trends and practices. The analysis involves conducting research on the demand for people occupying critical positions within different public agencies in not only the Ventura County, but also in the United States. It involves establishing a public agency‘s potential to retain such employees, as well as the risks associated with their exit.
Professional development opportunities
Following the performance of the needs assessment activity in a public institution, the next step involves acting on the information derived from the process. It involves establishing training facilities to provide the required training and development activities. Other methods of facilitating professional development within a public agency involve job rotation and assignments (Orosz, 1991).
Job rotation activities provide the training and development team with an opportunity of obtaining practical skills regarding specific key positions within a public institution. In particular, it enables the individual to obtain exposure to the different circumstances and activities that characterize the daily business of a specific position.
Job mentorship opportunities are another form of professional development tool for individuals participating in succession planning activities. Job mentorship activities enable the current occupant of the critical position within an organization to interact with the potential candidate. It enables the potential employee learn and derive motivation from the current occupant’s method of operation. It also provides the prospective employee with the opportunity to learn about any key activities or projects that under implementation by the current occupant. The mentorship program acts as a link between the two employees thus providing continuity in leadership within an organization.
Further, the succession planning team needs to perform regular evaluation activities with a view to establishing the progress of such training and development activities. Regular evaluation enables the team to determine the objectives so far attained through training as well as those that are pending. It also enables them take measures necessary for ensuring that the training program is successful and that it meets the specified objectives.
Focused individual attention
Ensuring that the participants of the succession planning process receive focused individual attention is another important element of succession planning. Various activities within any institution act as a mechanism that facilitates the provision of focused individual attention on the employee.
Firstly, the succession planning team needs to ensure that before the implementation of any training and development activity, there is an interaction between the team and each individual participant of the process. The interaction enables the planning team to identify the goals and development needs that are unique to every participating individual. The process enables the succession planning team to tailor each training activity according to the needs of a specific participant. It ensures that the employees develop a sense of acceptance within the program and the agency in particular (Mollica, Kelly & Rocki-Lee, 2000).
Secondly, the succession planning team also needs to liaise regularly with the participating individuals with a view to establishing whether there is a change in their career development needs, goals, and objectives. The planning team should recognize that employee needs and goals might change with time, and they should, therefore, provide for the incorporation of such changes. Liaising with the employees from time to time increases the level of satisfaction and motivation among the participating individuals because it makes them feel accepted. It also helps them aware of the institution’s commitment towards furthering their career development goals alongside those of the agency (George, 2008).
Focused individual attention during succession planning also benefits the organization, whether public or public. In this case, the succession planning team is able to assess the needs of the participating employees with a view to determining their level of satisfaction. Satisfaction in this particular instance refers to the level of employee job satisfaction. In this regard, the succession planners are able to determine the likelihood of an employee leaving the agency.
In the case of an unsatisfied employee, the planning team should conduct an analysis with the objective of determining the causes of distress as well as devise methods of solving the identified issues. Specifically, the team needs to ensure that the analysis is efficient in order to prevent the loss of a high potential employee.
While focusing on the individual needs of employees, the succession planning team needs to ensure that it does not ignore other critical requirements of the succession planning process. It ensures that the team remains focused on the goals of the succession planning activity, therefore, ensuring its success (Sogunro & Olusegun, 1997).
Extension to all organization levels
Extending the objectives of the succession-planning program to not only include senior management positions but also a lower level staff positions ensures that the team is able to re-assess its mission and goals as well as determine the level of skill and talent required for the identified positions. During this process, the top executive identifies talent in the level below it; senior management follows and identifies talent below it and so on. The process continues and ends at the employee at the lowest level. It ensures that the succession planning team identifies talent at all levels of the agency, therefore boosting the employees’ morale.
The extension provides an institution with an opportunity to re-examine its goals and objectives thus re-enforcing its commitment towards the attainment of the specific goals and objectives. It also ensures that agency aligns its succession planning activities with the future needs and objectives of the agency (Garrett and Orr, 1999).
Thirdly, extending the succession planning activities to all levels within the organization enhances communication among the different levels of staff. In this case, the succession planning team has the opportunity of communicating the requirements and objectives of the succession process efficiently. It, therefore, acts as a means of increasing the employee support for this particular program (Sackett, 2009).
Fourthly, the program fosters unity among the employees of the institution thus further guaranteeing their commitment and support towards this succession program in particular. During the communication, the succession planning team is able to allay all fears regarding the process of succession. In addition, the team is able to maintain a high level of transparency and credibility thus protecting and enhancing the organization’s reputation.
Inclusion in the strategic plan
The succession planning of a public agency should have objectives that correspond to the strategic goals of the institution. Before implementing the succession plan, the senior management of an organization should analyze the contents of the plan to establish its role in facilitating the agency’s growth and profitability. Ensuring the inclusion of the succession plan into the agency’s strategic goals ensures that the line of leaders created by the succession process shares in the goals of the institution. Specifically, it ensures that all current decisions and programs obtain the support and commitment of the incoming leadership team.
Another benefit of incorporating the goals of the succession program into the strategic goals of the organization is that it increases the agency’s ability to cope with hard economic times. Particularly in the case of conducting layoffs, the process enables the succession planning team to determine the employees with the greatest value to the organization. At the end of the analysis, the succession planning team is able to rank the employees according to the value attached to them thus ensuring that the retrenchment only happens to those with the least value. The process helps safeguard the future of the institution while at the same time protecting it from experiencing a shortage in skills (Ibarra, 2005).
During the conduct of succession planning activities, public, as well as private agencies, need to ensure that employees are aware that participating in the process of training and development does not guarantee recruitment into specific vacant positions. In particular, the management of the agency needs to refrain from promising or guaranteeing placement in such vacant positions. Refraining from such acts reduces the chances of the participant taking legal action on a public agency for failure to fulfill its promise of employment. It also ensures that institution comply with existing government regulation regarding fair employment practices.
Challenges facing the implementation of succession planning programs
Government agencies like private companies encounter challenges during the implementation of the succession-planning program. While the challenges are specific and unique to the industry in which a given institution, there are those that are common to all agencies regardless of the industry in which they belong.
Firstly, the succession plan in most organizations lacks the total commitment and support of the top management. One of the critical elements of effective succession planning is the support of the executive without which there is no guarantee of the future of the program. In some cases, the leadership of this agency may not recognize the need for succession planning within their institutions (Ley, 2002).
In particular, they may regard the process as a waste of time, therefore, failing to give it the attention deserved. Some leaders may also feel that succession planning is suited for private companies thus rejecting its bid for implementation. Such actions totally limit the ability of the program to succeed and meet the set objectives.
Secondly, institutions may have budget restrictions thus affecting its ability to implement the program successfully. All projects within an institution require financial resources to facilitate their running. Specifically, succession-planning programs require funds to facilitate the establishment of training and recruitment programs. In this regard, institutions need to ensure that the programs have the relevant authority’s approval in order to facilitate their funding. The lack of financial resources to support this succession planning activity limits the ability of the institution to meet the future emergency employee requirements thus limiting its success.
Rapid changes in the leadership of organizations may also reduce the chances of the succession program succeeding. Each succession program requires the support of the leadership team. In this regard, the program requires the continued support of the management even in the event that there is a change in leadership. In public institutions, however, the new leader may not share the goals of the previous leader and thus may fail to support the succession-planning program. In such a case, the succession planning activities come to a stop and may heavily reduce the level of employee motivation. The employees in this case may feel that the present leadership does not share in their career visions and goals, therefore, affecting their level of performance (Dresang & Dresang, 2009).
Unlike private institutions, public agencies have specific laws and regulations that govern the process of selecting and recruiting staff. In some instances, the laws may limit the agency’s ability to implement succession-planning programs since existing provisions of the employment laws may conflict with those of the succession-planning program. Such restrictions highly limit the ability of agencies to implement the program thus compromising its future employee needs and requirements (Carless, Sally, 2001).
Existing rigidities in the management of public institutions may affect the agency’s ability to implement a successful succession-planning program. Leaders at most agencies employ traditional leadership styles in their management and thus may feel uncomfortable implementing succession-planning programs within their institutions. Most of them may prefer the traditional replacement planning method for succession planning thus fail to institute measures to support the program.
Another key challenge facing succession planning in organizations is the shortage of skills and personnel. Employees of the agency benefit from defined benefits plans, which highly limit their chances of staying on in the agency. Specifically, these plans enable the employees to contribute defined amounts to their retirement plans thus enabling them realize financial security long before others in defined contribution plans. The realization of financial security reduces the chances of these employees staying on in the same institution. Most of them retire early leaving few eligible candidates for the succession planning process. (Wallum, 1993). The lack qualified and experienced employees who meet the planning team’s requirements limit the probability of the succession program succeeding.
The inability of many institutions to attract and retain as many employees as their private counterparts is another challenge facing the agency. Unlike private institutions, some public agencies lack the support and commitment needed to oversee the successful implementation of succession management programs, thus limiting their ability to succeed. In addition, these institutions are incapable of offering their employees sufficient compensation in order to keep them from moving to other private institutions. In the end, the agency experiences vacuums in its leadership positions.
Existence of restricting policies within institutions, in particular public agencies, is another challenge that the agency encounters in the course of implementing their succession planning programs. Restrictions occur in the form of rules or policies that limit the powers of the succession planning team. In other instances, the restricting policies prohibit the planning team from adopting specific methods of succession planning. In particular, the management of the agency may not allow the adoption of private company approaches towards succession planning. In the end, the development capacity of the institution is limited thus affected its growth. Leaders of this agency should, therefore, allow the succession planning teams to implement whatever policies they deem appropriate for the development of the institution (Gilmore & Thomas, 1988).
Furthermore, many public agencies often experience disruptions in its management and day-to-day activities due to politics. The fact that national and county governments often own these agencies makes them prone to such interruptions. In order to avoid such pitfalls, these agencies need to ensure that they establish a support base for its programs outside of government. By obtaining such support, public agencies will minimize the likelihood of interruptions and interferences occasioned by the change in political leadership and management.
Public institutions can also participate in the political process through identifying and supporting a political leader who will champion their ideas. By supporting a specific candidate in the incoming administration, the agency ensures that it has the support necessary to ensure a successful transition as well as guaranteeing a smooth transition from one leadership team to another (Wallum, 1993).
The agencies could also ensure that they document their achievements and details of the team that facilitated the achievement of such particular objectives. Documentation of these successes ensures present and incoming leaders are familiar with the achievements of the agency. The documentation also serves to inform the incoming leaders of the high expectations of the employees of the agency as well as those of other stakeholders of the institution. It also makes the participating team aware of their achievements thus further motivating them (Bryson, 1999).
- How do the Ventura Health Agency and the Ventura County Library plan for leadership changes?
- What are the challenges of succession planning in the Ventura Health Agency and the Ventura County Library?
In conclusion, the main goal of carrying out succession planning in both public and private institutions is to ensure that there is at any point, qualified and competent employees who have the capacity to meet future management needs of the organizations. The most important factors and characteristics to be taken into consideration while conducting succession planning are the support by top management, dedicated responsibility, carrying out an assessment to determine needs, provision of professional development opportunities while focusing on individuals, extension of all levels of organization and inclusion of succession planning in the strategic plans.
Chapter III: Method
- How do the Ventura Health Agency and the Ventura County Library plan for leadership changes?
- What are the challenges of succession planning in the Ventura Health Agency and the Ventura County Library?
In trying to gain access to data that can actually give more insight into how the demographics of succession planning are handled at venture county agencies, it is paramount to look in context the library and health agencies in the county. The methods of research will be reviewed with the background of justifying the succession planning approach that will be deliberated on. Perhaps, it must be understood that the course of establishing a replacement employee in any position in the organization is not an easy exercise since with every addition of a new personnel in whichever position; a dimensional growth is always anticipated.
Research method refers to the process of collecting, recording, and analyzing data. In this study, the research will deploy qualitative as well as quantitative methods of research.
The research is designed to establish the problem in the institution that led to the recruitment of a new hospital superintendent. The problem is justified by the fact that the current serving medical officer was almost running out of his contract and owing to the level of business in the institution, a vacuum should not occur. In fact, the panelist was weighing in the thought the new recruit should be identified early in time say two weeks to it. Part of the research design is to have the criteria of research complementing the core business, which is a succession in that, if in the previous search for a replacement; the process was costly and not efficient in terms of establishing the prime candidate. The research design is thus geared towards streamlining all the important issues that must feature in the succession process and establishing the optimal time in which things must be done (Wasserman, McLean, & Gale Research Company, 1973).
The research will be time sensitive, objective-oriented, and so, the method adopted is to deliver the results within one week of the last days of the old personnel. The objective will be to capture the right personnel for the position in a wholesome approach. Previous literature also highlight on a drawback basis, the fact that even though the post would be best utilized if it were restricted to the candidates within the organization, a few leaders who took over but were outsourced were associated with growth and that would then influence part of the decision being made.
Procedures for Data Collection
Succession planning is a process that is reliant of data collection; whenever succession is undertaken, every institution takes it upon itself to ensure that they get the right person who equals the task, and that is the only way to realize growth. It is, therefore, paramount to standardize procedures of data collection in a way that increases the chances of ensuring that the right successor is there. The Ventura health agency has a database in which they can actually use to help in designing a succession-planning program. I will, therefore, utilize both the qualitative and quantitative data collection methods in conducting this research.
Setting out the qualities of the desired successor is never an easy task and as such, the team who will be held responsible with that duty will have to try to exhaust every quality in the market that they so desire in the employee at the end of the exercise. For a health agency, I will introduce health informatics, which will be a key factor that will be sought after. By that, it means the health institution will likely achieve some scale of the paradigm shift as envisaged in their vision (Graffy, 2010).
I will also adopt previous reports to chart the course of collecting data; when reviews are made it becomes inherent that previous data can help define what the next candidate should contain in character and skill. Previous reports also help in dictating how who should constitute the panelist and that should be based on the kind of candidates that panel has recruited and the contributions of those people to the expectations attached upon their being recruited. The contributions of these reports are also important in the sense that, a successive recruitment exercise should not come short in expectation than the previous one (Elkind, 2011). I will record all useful data in an accurate and systematic manner. The data collection method I deploy will observe all ethical principles of research.
Procedures for Data Analysis
Qualitatively, the research will be a library based with particular emphasis placed on the examination of materials that continue to shape the succession discourse. I will also use other available literature material regarding succession plans.
Assumptions and Limitations of the Study
There is a myriad of challenges for any person who ventures in the literature that cut across the disciplines of succession plans. Such challenges are manifested in the ability to engage in an objective discussion on the accuracy of the proposed plan. The challenge is even greater when the same debate is presented to a wide audience whose interest in the proposed succession plan may seem to be under attack. It is for this reason that I acknowledge the necessary assumption that the study need to make to achieve its objectives. I also acknowledge that the study is not perfect; instead, it is characterized by some limitations that control the scope of the study.
Some of the limitations of the study include, in the case of the health agency, the study does not take into account a challenge from a section of the team to accept the need to have younger and more educated individuals taking over the leadership roles while there are still a couple of the elder and experienced employees who have grown with the organization. The study ought to have outlined how the planners will navigate this issue. The study assumes that the plan will take care of the experience factor, which carries a lot of weight, and as such, a younger employee will have to be sourced to work under a more experienced one for some time before they are able to take over the bigger responsibilities in the institution. Similarly, the study assumes that the succession plan entails finding an employee who would suit the position but the language barrier effect crippling on. This would eventually restrict the succession planning to search from countries with the same language orientation or extend the same to a candidate with a multilingual ability (Bartlett-Cahill, 1983).
Succession planning is a sensitive process due to the magnitude of impact it has on the organization from time required to set up the conditions and description of the right candidate to conducting scouting of the candidate. The greatest concern however is ensuring that at the end of the succession exercise, the culture of the organization remains at the background. The interests of all stakeholders both the young entrants and the aging staff must appear uncompromised; the introduction of technology must also be embraced as well, and that will be instrumental in having everyone employee endorse the whole process. The method of research might not have been the best for this however; the cost factor that goes into the research method in terms of how many people are involved in the entire procedure, and the time factor that any other procedure would have involved were the deciding factors. Earlier before, succession planning used to knock down the strength of the company in making decision due to different quotas expressing sectarian interest where it was thought that if an individual from one department would actually change the image of that department, however the rule changed and it has been realized across the two agencies especially when new ideas are desired in the agency.
Chapter Four IIII
Results of the comparative case study
This chapter presents the findings of the comparative case study methodology that was conducted to identify the various strategies of succession planning, that public agencies in Ventura County use. It puts forward how Ventura Health Agency and Ventura County Library plan for future leadership changes. This chapter also puts forward the challenges of succession planning in Ventura Health Agency and Ventura County Library. This chapter presents the results of the research questions.
- How do the Ventura Health Agency and the Ventura County Library plan for leadership changes?
- What are the challenges of succession planning in the Ventura Health Agency and the Ventura County Library?
Succession planning strategies of public agencies in Ventura County
The thesis examines how public agencies plan for future leadership changes. The study utilizes a comparative case study methodology to examine the different succession planning strategies of public agencies particularly those in Ventura County.
The first institution in consideration is the Ventura County Library. The succession planning process in this library entails five steps. Firstly, the human resource succession-planning department identifies the critical positions in succession planning. The process involves an analysis of the most critical and sensitive roles within the organization. The critical positions in this case are those that are vital to the success and development of the organization. The positions, if left vacant, may compromise on the future growth capacities of the institution. In addition, the positions are too critical to for filling by any individual without careful consideration (Dresang, &Dresang, 2009).
Secondly, the planning committee identifies competencies of the critical positions within the library. The stage involves defining the key responsibilities, qualifications, technical and behavioral competencies required for each individual critical position. The process entails an analysis of the key requirements for successful performance. The team in this case sets clear expectations of the identified positions as well as performance measurement procedures. The process ensures that the planning team has an accurate and well-developed idea of what is required for the successful training of employees identified during the succession planning procedure. In addition, employees willing to fill the critical positions in the future will obtain a critical understanding of the key requirements of those positions. In the end, the stage ensures that only those who have the skills required are considered.
The third step involves identifying the succession management strategies for the identified positions. The step involves analyzing the different succession planning strategies available to the organization and choosing the most suitable strategy. The strategies in this case include developing the talent and skills of employees within the organization or recruiting and on-boarding. Developing the local talent creates the pool of employees for succession planning from within the organization. Recruitment and on-boarding, on the other hand, creates the pool of professionals from external recruitment activities. In this case, the organization hires key individuals for consideration in the succession plans of the organization.
The fourth step in this process entails documentation and implementation of the succession plans. The step entails incorporating the key training and development procedures into the organization’s succession plan. It entails the identification of specific training and learning activities needed to develop the team of professionals required for the specific critical positions effectively. Identification of these activities is with the aim of ensuring that the training matches the key competencies of each individual role. Within the same stage, there is a creation of timelines to ensure that there are effective deadlines in the succession process.
The final step involves evaluating the effectiveness of the succession plans. The process entails assessing the identified succession planning activities to determine their effectiveness in creating inculcating the desired skills and competencies. In addition, an examination of the succession plans helps determine whether the plan will be effective in ensuring the filling of these key positions in an immediate manner. The practicability of the succession plans is determined, and necessary changes made to ensure that the process continues effectively.
Advantages of the Ventura County Library succession planning approach
A process of identifying critical positions within the organizations increases the level of the firm’s preparedness towards meeting future vacancy needs. In this case, the firm invests in training and development activities of the team of professionals expected to take up any future vacant positions within the firm. In the end, the firm has a diversified team of professionals with the capacity to fill in any leadership or management post.
The use of a diversified succession management strategy by the Ventura County Library promotes external employee recruitment while at the same time maintaining employee retention. External recruitment and retention of employees creates a large pool of professionals capable of handling different tasks within the organization. (Mihm, & United States, 2003)
The use of on-boarding as an approach following recruitment of new employees by the library increases their level of commitment and motivation. Consequently, their performance levels increase resulting in an improved organization performance. Onboarding of employee's guarantees, successful employee orientation thus saving time for the supervisors.
The process of documenting and implementing succession plans ensures that the succession planning and development team is able to identify key training activities necessary for the process. The stage ensures that the training experiences merge the present and future organizational needs with the skills and competencies demanded from the pool of professionals. In addition, the training takes place within the appropriate deadlines to ensure that the team is ready to take up any vacancies that may arise. (Mihm, & United States, 2003)
Evaluating the organization’s succession plans ensures that the planning team is ready to make necessary changes to the process of training and developing the new employees. It ensures that critical evaluation procedures are available to monitor the process of training. It, therefore, guarantees the quality and relevance of the training activities to the different organization situations. In the end, the team of professionals created is highly adaptable to change thus increasing flexibility.
Limitations of the Ventura County Library succession planning approach
The institution’s approach does not take into consideration the shareholder objectives and goals into consideration during succession planning. Shareholder interests in an organization are critical to any organization’s survival, therefore, highlighting the need for the institution to incorporate this view into its planning prospects. Incorporation of shareholder views will in this case guarantees their support and commitment towards the success of the succession planning process.
The Ventura County Library succession planning process is not comprehensive, as the identified procedures do not involve the analysis of the risk. Risk is inherent in any organization and thus the planning team should take into consideration all factors that affect the organization’s capacity to attain its goals and objectives. The analysis ensures that the management has appropriate risk mitigation procedures thus protecting its market position. In addition, it ensures that the planning team identifies measures aimed at further increasing employee retention prospects within the firm. (Mihm, & United States, 2003)
Compared to the Ventura Health Care Agency, the library’s succession planning approach does not also involve a deep analysis of the present and future organizational needs. This is essential as it enables the planning team to identify gaps that the pool of professionals intends to fill in the future. The gaps in this case relate to both the institutional goals as well as the preferred skills of the employees. Incorporation of this factor into the succession planning process would ensure that the plan takes into consideration all relevant factors as intended thus promoting employee growth and development.
The Ventura County Health Agency
The Ventura County Health Agency, on the other hand, has a different approach towards its succession planning activities. The first step in the succession planning activities of the organization involves defining the shareholder's goals and objectives. The setup enables the planning team to match the skills and requirements of the prospective employees with the goals of the shareholders and hence those of the organization. The process ensures that the team considered for further training and development effectively represents the shareholder goals and objectives. In addition, the team ensures the development of skills and competencies in line with the future organization needs for new products and services (Dresang, &Dresang, 2009).
The second step in the succession planning of the team involves conducting an accurate valuation of the hospital to determine its present value. The process is critical as it enables the planning team to match the present requirements of the institution to those in the future. It also examines the future prospects of the organization to identify the positions should be included in the planning process. It involves identifying gaps within the organization’s employee requirements to facilitate creation and development of talents required for the future long-term needs of the institution (Snellen, & Donk, 1998)
Thirdly, the planning team identifies necessary procedures with a view to minimizing risks within the organization, thereby protecting the organization's position as well as reputation. The process entails identifying factors within the organization that increases the likelihood of employees leaving the organization. An analysis of the risks associated with these employee exits takes place in order to facilitate policy formulation. Identification of risks associated with the lack of necessary skills by employees of the organization also takes place.
The succession planning team also devices measures to boost employee retention while at the same time ensuring that the organization is ready to fill in any vacancies that arise in the process. The formulation of these measures takes place taking into consideration the need to protect the organization’s reputation from the excessive negative publicity associated with increased employee exits (Rothwell, Alexander, & Bernhard, 2008).
The final step involves identifying and selecting the work force needed for incorporation into the succession planning activities. The workforce in this case may be from within and outside the organization. It involves analyzing their skills and competencies to determine those who are most suitable for filling the critical positions within the organization. Recruitment of those from outside the organization takes place and training ensures to equip them with the necessary health management skills (Snellen, & Donk, 1998)
This process also entails monitoring the performances of the identified team of professionals. Monitoring and evaluation ensure implementation of appropriate measures to ensure that the team for prospective succession is aware and capable of handling all activities in their line of duty. In addition, it ensures that there is a pool of professionals ready to fill any vacancies within the organization. (Bekkers, Edelenbos, &Steijn, 2011)
Advantages of the Ventura County Health Agency's succession planning approach
The process of identifying shareholder goals and objectives in the first step of succession planning ensures that the institution creates a pool of professionals that is able to translate their skills and effort into the common shareholder goals. The team of professionals in this case is aware of the management expectations and is, therefore, able to work on meeting these goals. The process, therefore, guarantees shareholder and management unity in upholding the interests of the firm.
The second step in succession planning and development enables the firm to identify clearly the gaps that the team of professionals expects to fill. The process enables the planning team to conduct an analysis of the present and future goals of the organization with a view to developing the means to attain them. It also enables the succession planners to create a link between the skills required in the pool of professionals and the future growth and expansion prospects of the institution (Rothwell, 2005).
The organization monitors and evaluates procedures ensure that the succession planning team reviews its policies and mechanisms on a regular basis. It ensures the incorporation of key changes in the organizational environment in the succession planning process. It, therefore, ensures that the process is efficient and that it addresses adequately the key needs of the organization (Bekkers, Edelenbos, &Steijn, 2011).
Limitations of the Ventura County Health Agency's succession planning approach
The health agency’s succession planning approach does not involve the definition of the key competencies of the critical positions within the organization. The lack of this process limits the planning team’s ability to identify and determine with certainty the key responsibilities, qualifications, and behavioral competencies required for each individual position. In addition, the team of professionals developed because of the planning process may not be aware of the expectations of the different critical positions. It may, therefore, limit the capacity of the pool of professionals in handling the responsibilities associated with their respective jobs.
The planning approach lacks for provisions for handling the transparency and accountability issues that may arise in the process of planning and recruitment. Transparency and accountability are critical to all succession planning activities and therefore emphasizes the need for its inclusion in this activity. Its inclusion ensures equal opportunity and accessibility to the different organizational resources (Pasquerella, Killilea, &Vocino, 1996).
The Ventura Health Agency's approach lacks considerations for managing employee expectations in the course of succession planning. Provisions for managing employee expectations are necessary to help employees manage the periods of disappointment and lack of career fulfillment. The situations arise when the employee expectations do not materialize. Examples of these expectations include considerations for promotion, training, and development activities. Managing this process ensures that employees are not unmotivated by the results of the succession planning process and that they are able to adjust into their individual positions with ease. (Karlsson, Johansson, & Stough, 2009).
Public agencies should, therefore, invest in succession planning activities to ensure that the process of transition following employee exits is smooth thus minimizing interruptions. It also creates a pool of professionals capable of handling the different vacancies and posts arising within the organization thus ensuring continued growth and development.
How the Ventura Health Agency plans for leadership changes
Primarily, this study points out that Ventura Health Agency invests in succession planning activities in order for the transition process, following the exit of various employees, is smooth. This process helps in minimizing interruptions, in the health agency.
There are various ways in which Ventura Health Agency plans for leadership changes. One of its strategies in planning for leadership changes involves defining the objectives and goals of its shareholders. By defining these goals, the team that is concerned with the succession-planning program, can match them with the requirements and skills of the employees intended to fill the key positions . Ventura Health Agency ensures that the team chosen for further training represents the objectives and goals of its shareholders. It also ensures that the development of competencies and skills matches its future needs for new services and products .
Another strategy that Ventura Health Agency uses in succession planning involves its accurate valuation. This step is directed towards determining its present value. The team concerned with succession planning then matches the present requirements of the health agency against its future requirements . The team then evaluates the agency’s future prospects to identify the positions to be included in the succession planning process. According to the Ventura Health Care Agency 2011-2012 Annual Report, the organization identifies the gaps within the requirements of its employees to enhance the creation and development of the talents needed for the agency’s future long-term needs .
According to the Ventura Health Agency 2011-2012 Annual Report, the organization identifies the risks that are associated with the lack of fundamental skills by the employees of the health agency . It then organizes intensive training and development exercises to improve the skills of the employees. Indeed, it identifies the essential procedures in order to minimize the potential risks within it, to protect its reputation and position . The team concerned with making the succession plan, then identifies the internal factors that increase the chances of the employees leaving the agency. The team then analyses the risks that are associated with the exit of the employees of the agency to facilitate the formulation of the policy.
Its other strategy in succession planning involves devising ways of boosting the retention of the employees. The team concerned with succession planning ensures that the agency is ready to employ individuals to fill any vacancies. The team also ensures that the health agency’s reputation is protected from extreme publicity that is associated with increased cases of employee exists.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Ventura Health Agency identifies and selects the work force required for incorporation into the activities of the succession planning . The organization identifies workforce internally or externally. The Human Resources Department then analyses the competencies and skills of the individuals to select the most suitable ones to fill the most vital position in the health agency. If it recruits individuals from outside the agency, training takes place immediately to enable them to have the essential skills in health management . The department also monitors and assesses the performance of the identified individuals to implement suitable measures. Monitoring and assessment of their performance ensures that individuals intended to fill the key positions are aware and able to handle all the activities associated with the key positions. Finally, the team concerned with succession planning of the health agency ensures that the organization has adequate professionals who have essential skills and competencies required to fill the vacant positions.
How the Ventura County Library plans for leadership changes
Primarily, this study points out that Ventura County Library invests in the succession-planning program so as to make sure that the transition process, ensuing from the departure of some employees, is smooth. This process helps in ensuring that interruptions in the health agency are as minimal as possible.
Ventura County Library, on the other hand, has various ways of planning for future leadership changes. Its approach towards succession planning is quite different from that of Ventura Health Agency. The Human Resources department mainly does this process of planning. In fact, Ventura County Library Human Resources Department has a unit that deals with succession planning. Its succession planning process entails various strategies.
A strategy that Ventura County Library uses in planning for future leadership changes is identifying the key positions in the planning of succession. The Human Resources Department of the Ventura County Library analyses the most sensitive and critical roles within the public agency. Such roles include those that play a key role in the development and success of the agency. Without a doubt, it is imperative to take careful consideration before filling such positions. Moreover, the positions that play major roles towards the success of an organization should not be left vacant. Ventura County Library always identifies the most critical positions while planning for future leadership changes .
Another strategy that this library uses involves identifying the competencies of the key positions that play important roles in its success. It defines the critical qualifications, responsibilities, behavioural and technical competencies that are essential for the various key positions. The library analyzes the key necessities for effective performance. The Human Resources department of this library stipulates what it expects of these key positions and the procedures of measuring performance . The library ensures that it gets accurate as well as well-developed ideas of the requirements for the fruitful training of the new employees that have been chosen for the key positions. The Human Resources Department also ensures that those who intend to fill the key positions in the library understand the major requirements of the positions. Indeed, this agency believes that it is imperative to consider the most qualified people for the key positions. Such people are those who fully understand the roles of the positions that they have applied for. They also understand what the agency expects of them .
Another strategy used by the library in planning for leadership changes involves identifying the strategies for succession planning for its key positions. The Human Resources Department analyses the various strategies, for succession planning, which are the agency’s disposal. It then chooses the one that it believes is the most suitable for the key positions of the library. The strategies that it takes into consideration include skills and talent development of the library’s employees or onboarding and recruiting. By developing the local skills and talents, the library intends to establish a pool of professionals for leadership changes from within it. For this case, the library considers its employees for succession planning. Conversely, it intends to establish a pool of employees for succession planning from outside it, through on-boarding and recruiting. For this case, the library recruits new employees for succession planning.
The library’s other strategy in succession planning involves documenting and implementing the succession plans. It incorporates the major procedures of training and development into its succession plan. It identifies the particular learning as well as training activities essential for effective development of a team of professionals needed to fill the key positions of the library. The library’s main aim is to ensure that the training it gives matches the competency required for each key position. The library also creates timelines in this step to make sure that there are operational deadlines in the succession.
The other strategy used in the succession planning of the library entails assessment of the effectiveness of the succession strategies. The library evaluates the activities involved in succession planning to ascertain their usefulness in the creation of the most desired competencies and skills. It determines whether the succession plan will play a major role in making sure that the most competent individuals fill its key positions within the earliest time possible. Finally, the library determines the feasibility of the succession plan and makes the necessary changes in order to make sure that succession proceeds effectively in the earliest time possible.
The challenges of succession planning in the Ventura Health Agency
Despite the fact that the succession planning in the Ventura Health Agency is elaborate, a number of challenges face it. The first challenge is the failure of the health agency to define the key competencies essential for its critical positions. Indeed, its strategies in succession planning do not include the definition of the major competencies of the most critical positions in the organization. Absence of this process limits the ability of the team concerned with succession planning, to identify and determine the key behavioural competencies, qualifications and responsibilities essential for various positions. Besides, the team chosen to fill the vacant key positions may not be fully aware of the expectations of the positions that they have filled. This unawareness may limit them in handling the responsibilities that are associated with their respective positions.
The second challenge is the absence of provisions for dealing with matters of accountability and transparency that may arise while planning as well as recruitment. Without a doubt, transparency and accountability are extremely crucial to all the strategies of succession planning. Therefore, including the provisions for handling these critical matters, results in equal opportunities as well as accessibility to various resources within the health agency.
The third challenge is the absence of the considerations for managing the expectations of the employees during succession planning. Provisions for managing the expectations of the employees are very essential in helping them manage situations of disappointment, as well as lack of career fulfilment. Such situations normally arise whenever the expectations of the employees fail to materialize. According to this comparative case study, some of these expectations include considerations for training and development or promotion. Therefore, failure of the health agency to consider the management of the expectations of the employees during succession planning, results in unmotivated employees. The employees may fail to adjust into their individual positions with ease, due to the results of the succession planning.
Ventura Health Care Agency often experiences disruptions in its management as well as everyday activities due to politics in Ventura. Due to the fact that the county government owns this agency, it is prone to such interruptions. In order for it to avoid such pitfalls, it needs to ensure that it forms a support base for its programs outside of the county government. By obtaining such support, it will minimize the chances of interruptions that are occasioned by changes in political leadership, as well as management. Indeed, political disruptions make it hard to implement succession-planning programs successfully.
The other challenge that faces the implementation of succession planning programs in this agency is the presence of restricting policies within it. Restrictions occur in the form of policies or rules that limit the powers of the team concerned with succession planning. In other cases, the restricting policies limit the planning team from adopting key methods of succession planning. The management of the agency often hinders the adoption of approaches that private organizations use to implement succession-planning programs successfully. In the end, the development capacity of the agency is limited, and this affects its growth. It is, therefore, imperative for leaders of this agency to allow the teams concerned with succession planning to implement whatever policies they consider suitable for the development of the agency .
The other challenge is that this agency often faces in implementing succession planning programs is the shortage of skills and personnel . Some of its employees benefit from defined benefits plans that greatly limit their probability of staying in the agency. Explicitly, these plans enable the employees to contribute defined amounts to their retirement plans thus enabling them realize financial security long before others in defined contribution plans. The realization of financial security lowers their chances of staying in the agencies. Indeed, most of them retire early and leave few candidates who are eligible for the process of succession planning. Inadequate experienced and highly qualified employees who meet the requirements of the planning team limits the chances of full implementation of the succession planning in the agency.
The challenges of succession planning the Ventura County Library
Even though, the succession planning in the Ventura County Library is elaborate, a number of challenges face it. The approach of the institution does not consider the objectives and goals of the shareholders during succession planning. The interests of the shareholders in the organization are very critical for its survival. Therefore, the objectives and goals of the shareholders play a major role in succession planning. If they are not taken into consideration, succession planning becomes very difficult. Indeed, incorporation of the views of the shareholders in succession planning guarantees their commitment as well as support towards achieving the process of succession planning.
The other challenge is that, the succession planning process of the library is not comprehensive. The identified procedures involved in succession planning do not involve risk analysis. Since, risk is integral in any agency, the team concerned with succession planning should consider all of the factors affecting the capacity of the organization to achieve its objectives and goals. Analysing all the factors that affect the organization ensures that it has the appropriate procedures for mitigating risks. This analysis protects the market position of the organization. Besides, it enables the team concerned with succession planning to identify the measures that are aimed at increasing the prospects of retaining employees within the library. Failure to consider the organization’s risks makes the succession planning very difficult.
The other challenge is that, the process of succession planning of the library does not deeply analyse its present as well as future needs. Failure to analyse these needs makes it hard for the team concerned with succession planning to identify the gaps intended to be filled by the current employees or new employees. These gaps relate to the goals of the library and the preferred skills and competencies of the employees. Incorporating the organizational needs into the process of succession planning promotes the growth and development of the employees since it considers all of the relevant factors that affect the library. Therefore, failure to analyse the needs of the library makes the succession planning very hard .
According to the 2012 Strategic Plan of Ventura County Library, this agency often experiences budget restrictions, thereby limiting the successful implementation of the process of succession planning the . In order for various projects of an organization to be, successful, financial resources must be available. To be specific, successful succession planning requires funds to ensure that recruitment and training programs are established. Due to the fact that Ventura County Library often has inadequate financial resources to support succession planning fully, it becomes very difficult to implement this program in the organizations. Therefore, the ability of the organization to meet the future requirements of the employees becomes limited.
Another challenge is that Ventura County Library is often unable to attract and retain as many employees as the private agencies. This challenge is associated with poor management and late payments .Unlike private organizations, this public agency lacks the total support and commitment required to oversee the successful implementation of succession planning programs, thereby limiting its chances of success. Moreover, this agency is often not capable of offering its employees satisfactory compensation in order to prevent them from moving to the private agencies. Ultimately, the library experiences gaps in its leadership positions. This makes it hard to implement successful succession planning programs .
The common challenges facing succession planning of both Ventura County Library and Ventura Health Agency
There are a number of challenges of succession planning that are common to both agencies, despite the fact that they belong to different industries. The first challenge is that the succession planning in both agencies lacks total commitment as well as support of the top management. Indeed, one of the most critical factors that influence succession planning is the executive’s support and commitment. Without the support of the management, succession planning becomes very difficult. While a number of members of the management team of both Ventura County Library and Ventura Health Agency, support succession planning, some, do not recognize the necessity for succession planning within the organizations. In fact, some of them regard the process of succession planning as a waste of time and fail to give it maximum attention. Some leaders consider the process of succession planning suited for private organizations only, therefore, fail to support its implementation totally. Presence of leaders who do not see the necessity of succession planning within their organizations limits its ability to succeed and achieve the stipulated objectives as well as goals.
Both public agencies have specific laws and regulations that govern the processes of selecting and recruiting employees. However, some of the laws limit the ability of the agencies to implement succession-planning programs since the existing provisions of some of the laws governing employment conflict with the requirements of the succession-planning program. These restrictions highly limit the agencies’ ability to implement the program fully, thereby compromising their future employee needs as well as requirements.
There are rigidities in the management of both organizations. These rigidities affect their ability to implement an effective succession-planning program. Some of the members of the top management tend to employ traditional leadership styles in their management and consequently feel uncomfortable with the implementation of succession planning programs within the agencies. Most of them often prefer the traditional replacement planning methods to succession planning thereby fail to put in place measures that support the implementation of the program.
In conclusion, this chapter presented how public agencies plan for future leadership changes as well as the importance of succession planning in an organization. It also did a comparative case study methodology to examine the different succession planning strategies of public agencies particularly those in Ventura County. It is in view of this chapter that the section will present the historical background of the study and also give related literature that would help readers understand more about succession planning and its effects to public agencies.
Chapter Five V
A detailed review of the findings:
In chapter two of this research paper, there are a number of propositions that have been considered as good strategies in the human resource successions. Having good plans is crucial to ensure that experienced staffs have occupied positions in Ventura Health Agency and the Ventura County Library.
This research in chapter two, however, identified a number of limitations in the Ventura Health Agency and the Ventura County Library in their succession planning strategies. The limitations arise amidst a number of advantages that this study came up with. The study is of the view that the limitations outweigh the advantages when placed on a scale, and that is why at the end of the report, the paper will be making a number of recommendations that are viewed as a solution to the limitations.
The first limitation that this study identified was the fact that stakeholders’ views and interests are not factored in when final decisions regarding succession planning are being made. This is a dangerous trend, as they need to be considered even in the decision-making process. Operations of the company affect both in an equal way and should there be any loss, they will feel the pinch. This condition will necessitate taking into consideration their views and interests. In fact, stakeholders have the right to petition the management of any organization in court when they feel that the decisions so made did not factor in their wishes, and the court has the discretion to make a reasonable decision on the same. Stakeholders views are, usually, collected during general meetings and therefore when these general meetings are not held by the organization in question, chances are that the views are also not factored in. this paper will be making a recommendation to this effect so that the process is seen as being free and fair.
The other limitation of the approach adopted by Ventura County in its succession planning initiatives essentially relates to risk analysis. Lack of risk analysis, as this paper postulated in chapter two, makes the succession planning process less comprehensive. An agency that is unable to assess and analyze possible risks and predict possible extenuating measures is doomed to fail. The presence of a detailed analysis of the risks that an organization is likely to face enables it to focus on the ways that will enable it to counter such risks. It also enables the agency to be focused on its goals because it is able to focus on what could be a barrier towards its success.
In the case of Ventura County, it would have been good for it to have a comprehensive and a well-detailed analysis of the possible risks that it could face in its attempts to have a good succession plan. This would enable it to plan forward on how such risks could either be avoided or countered whenever they arise. This is because when risks are known, they can be handled in advance.
This study was also able to discover that the Ventura Library has not been able to have a detailed analysis of the present and future organizational needs compared with the Ventura Health Care Agency. An organization should present trends in development and use it for the future development of its operations. For instance, a focused institution will respond and plan for the success of its business especially using computer technology. If the system usage is not up to date, then the organization will not succeed in most of its activities. Some of these features are the ones lacking in the Ventura Library, and this paper seeks to clarify and suggest a remedial measure.
The people visiting the library would be happy to find the reading materials as readily as they seek them. This can only be made possible by the presence of a database that includes all reading materials in the library, and all one needs is to log into the library system, search for a book or a journal article and they are able to find it without much struggle. This paper will be making recommendations to that effect.
The Ventura Health Care Agency, too, has a number of limitations in its approach to succession planning. Although its approach has more advantages as compared with its Library counterpart, it still faces a number of challenges that acts as drawbacks towards its success in the field. The first of those drawbacks is the fact that the plan does not define the qualifications that the people applying to succeed the current employees are supposed to possess. This lack of competency definition makes it almost impossible to have well-qualified people applying for the jobs.
It also means that any person can still apply and get the job, regardless of their qualification or competencies. In any successful organization, agency or association of persons, the requirements regarding the qualifications of persons applying to fill some vacant positions must be explicitly defined and documented for everyone to see them. This information should also be included in the adverts that are aired to prospective applicants to enable them to make a decision as to whether they will apply or not, depending on their ability or inability to meet the requirements.
This paper also opined in chapter two that the Ventura Health Care Agency approach in succession planning lacks the important provision showing the process to be followed in order to ensure that there is transparency and accountability in the activities that are carried out in the agency. Lack of this provision puts the agency in a precarious position and makes it prone to abuse by the management because there is a general feeling that nobody is going to question their decisions even if they are fatally flawed. Lack of the provision also makes it possible for the management not to follow the due process of the law, and this could be fatal for the success of the organization. The provisions of administrative law and procedure provide that every organization must make provisions to be followed when all public decisions are being made in order to make it easy and possible for the culprits to be brought to book. The same provision, it is observed goes to the protection of the integrity of the organization and is in essence beneficial.
This paper also mentioned in chapter two that the Ventura Health Care Agency plan does not factor in how various employees would be handled in case they are dismissed from their jobs while still actively employed. This lack of employee management strategies makes it difficult to either remunerate or reward those employees who have been in service for a long period of time and now they are either retiring or they are being dismissed from their jobs to create vacancies for other persons.
Organizations should have a clear-cut plan on how their employees should be dismissed, rewarded, or remunerated, and this usually happens when there is an employee who is either being dismissed from a job or there is an employee who is retiring. Such arrangements are meant to save the organization ridicule and disappointment when a former employee has to sue the organization in court in search of compensation for the injuries suffered by them in case of unfair dismissal from the workplace or lack of remuneration for the term they have been serving the organization. This, usually, has the effect of soiling the reputation of the organization.
The foregoing deal with the limitations in the succession planning processes for the Ventura Health Care Agency and the Ventura County Library. The recommendations because of this analysis shall be presented at the end of this paper. At this point, however, it is important to consider the findings of the comparative case studies discussed under chapter four of this paper and make a summative argument towards the same. This chapter started by stating that the theme is to review the previous chapters and make a summative argument of the findings of the comparative case studies and also the limitations of the approaches adopted by the two agencies in their succession planning strategies. The paper has to remain faithful to that proposition.
A detailed analysis of the results of the comparative case studies
This section will focus itself on the challenges that the Ventura Health Care Agency and the Ventura County Library face in an attempt to streamline the succession planning strategies. In some cases, the two agencies share some of the challenges but in other cases, the challenges faced by one agency are not a bother to the other agency. The library is the most affected by the challenges because there is a general feeling that its processes regarding strategic planning in the succession sector has not been well streamlined. It is, therefore, important to further consider the challenges, how they have affected the agency in particular and at the tail end of the analysis make some recommendations on the way forward.
The strategic plan of the Ventura County Library discloses shortcomings in the ability of managing its budget for the yearly activities. There is a dire need for adequate planning of the amount of funds that the organization will require to carry out the activities of the year and a plan showing the source of the funds. Lack of such a plan is the biggest drawback that the organization can face. This is because some of the projects that the organization needs to carry out will stall due to lack of enough funds to expedite it.
This, in effect, will hamper the succession planning strategies that the agency engages in. Take, for example, Ventura County Library that intends to recruit people, yet it does not have enough money to pay them. Such an organization will likely lay off some employees due to lack of funds to remunerate them and this will be a big loss both to the organization and to the employees who had a lot of hope and had already secured their employment. Such an organization will also face court battles due to the unfair dismissals and will likely face a winding up order by the court.
The other challenge that this study has identified is the stiff competition from the private sector. The private sector has increasingly began providing health services and also library services at a lower cost and the services so offered have been seen as being of a higher quality than those offered by the public sector. When this happens, the ball is always in the weaker competitor’s court to ensure that they play safe lest the stronger competitor kicks them out of the field.
The question that, therefore, arises is what the Ventura agencies are supposed to do in order to put up with the stiff competition that is arising from the private sector. The answer is always simple: the stakeholders must make sure that the services they render to the public through both agencies are of high quality. That will make sure that the consumers of their services do not runaway in look out for better services, and those they maintain them. This paper will be making a recommendation to this effect.
This stiff competition has the adverse effect of making it difficult for the Ventura County agencies to maintain their employees as well as their private sector counterparts do. It even gets worse when some employees shun the agencies and join the private sector in search of greener pastures. It is, therefore, critical that the Ventura agencies ensure that their services are improved in order to compete fairly for employees with the private sector or even to maintain their employees.
The biggest challenge, though, in this series of challenges is lack of support from the shareholders and the employees of both agencies. While these strategies have a direct influence on the shareholders and employees, and they have been put in place for the good of the organization at large, most of these people look at the strategies with a lot of disdain, and they do not support them. Some of them view the succession planning strategies as a plan to lay them off or even dismiss them, and they, therefore, do not support them. It is this lack of support that has led to the strategies not succeeding, as they should.
Based on the findings of the comparative case studies, the results of the research of this paper, the challenges that the Ventura agencies face and the limitations of the approaches adopted by the agencies in their succession planning strategies, this section will make a number of recommendations that, if implemented, will hopefully ensure that the process of succession planning is streamlined.
- Stakeholders should be involved in decision-making processes
The role played by stakeholders in any organization cannot be underestimated. Their views should equally be factored in when the decisions concerning the affairs of the organization are being made. The views of shareholders are, usually, gathered during general meetings of the organization and therefore it is paramount that such meetings be held whenever they are supposed to be held. Failure to hold such meetings is a drawback to the affairs of the organization, and as this paper posited earlier in the preceding sections, any shareholder may on such occasions petition the court to issue orders that have the effect of winding up the company. For this reason, therefore, this paper recommends that the Ventura agencies must always take the views of the shareholders and the views include when the agencies intend to recruit any new workers into the organization. This is because the increment of employees has the effect of causing undue uneasiness to the existing employees, and they may feel that the recruitment of the new employees could be a way of dismissing them. It is for this reason that the existing employees must also be involved in the process of recruiting successors of the positions that they hold in the organization.
- There should be proper risk management initiatives
One of the challenges that the Ventura agencies face is lack of proper risk management when planning for succession strategies. This has the effect of approaching the future without the proper initiatives to curb the emerging risks, challenges, and financial difficulties. With proper risk management strategies, the agencies will be able to put the best foot forward when making any succession plans. The hallmark of a succession plan is to have employees who are able to fit well into the shoes of the former employees or even work hand in hand with the existing employees in order to ensure that the affairs of the organizations are taken care of in a good way. Where an organization does not plan well on the nature of the employees that it needs to have, and then there arises a problem, and the problem can only be attributed to lack of proper risk management initiatives.
The advantage of a proper risk management initiative is that the agencies will be able to predict possible risks and make proper arrangements to either prevent the risks from occurring or deal with them easily as they arise.
- The agencies should clearly state the qualifications and competencies of the employees that they need to have
One of the limitations of the Ventura County Agency approach to succession planning is that it does not provide for the qualifications and the competencies of the kind of personnel that the agency intend to recruit. This approach has the adverse effect of getting the wrong people to do the job and therefore beats the purpose for a succession planning strategy. It is, therefore, recommended in this paper that the agency should come out with the requisite competencies for the various positions that are supposed to be filled whenever there is a recruitment exercise. Such requirements and competencies make it possible for the agency to recruit the most suitable persons for the jobs in question.
The qualifications and competencies also ensure that recruitment malpractices are minimized because only the best-suited persons for the job appear for interviews and recruitment. It also ensures that the work of the human resource department is made simpler because the personnel will only be dealing with qualified persons in the recruitment exercise.
- There is a need for the agencies to have a budget for all activities of the year
The agencies must have a budget for the amount of money that they are going to spend during the succession planning exercise. The sources of the money should also be clearly stated in order to avoid any unnecessary problems when they run out of money yet there could be activities that need to be done. A good budget covers the whole financial year and states where
They reap the best from the change. Time may come when the strategy used in a particular year for the recruitment exercise of employees may not be the same strategy to be employed in a succeeding year. This, therefore, makes it compulsory for the managers to be in touch with these trends so that they are not left out.
- The benefits offered by the agencies must be improved in order to compete fairly with the private sector.
Lastly, this paper opines that due to the emerging stiff competition from the private sector over employees, the Ventura County agencies must ensure that the services they offer to their employees are of high quality in order to retain them or attract other employees from the private sector. When they do not do that, chances are that the employees will leave the county agency and join the private sector in a lookout for greener pastures.
Conclusion and future research strategies
This chapter has extensively reviewed the preceding chapters of this research paper and analyzed the contentious issues raised therein. In addition, there should be strategies to be used for the future development in operations of the company. It has singled out the limitations, challenges, and drawbacks that the succession planning strategies employed by the county agencies have faced and finally made a number of recommendations that, if implemented, will be of great help to the county agencies.
In conclusion, it is the view of this paper that if the recommendations made here are put in place, then the processes will be streamlined, and the agencies will reap the best out of the strategies that will have been employed therein. A good planning technique is worth noting since it will bring about best choices as well as the outcomes for the betterment of organizational performance.
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