Workforce planning constitutes an integral function of the human resource management process within an organization. It refers to the “systematic identification and analysis of what an organization is going to need in terms of the size, type, experience, knowledge, skills, and quality of workforce to achieve its objectives” (Nemethy 178). Hence, workforce planning may be viewed as the process of matching organizational requirements that are necessary for achieving its goal and objectives using employees’ capabilities. For example, through workforce planning, the HR knows what to allocate to a given employee considering his or her experience, skills, knowledge, and/or quality of performance.
Career and development comprise a continuous process of refining and enhancing the acquisition of knowledge and skills. It also comprises efforts to enhance the mastery of job techniques coupled with professional development while not negating efforts to augment career planning (Sveiby 498). At an individual level, effective career development programs are crucial in enhancing people’s ability to execute tasks with greater precision. Professional development transcends above knowledge and the skills required for employees to perform their job descriptions, although such progress is pivotal in aiding employees to develop capacities to perform their jobs better. It is different from workforce planning since it focuses on refining employees’ aspects that are considered when conducting workforce planning.
Succession planning refers to the process of identifying and developing leaders who can fit into positions left by those who have left various job positions following their demise, the emergence of new opportunities, resignation, or retirement. Its focus is to ensure that organizations do not have a leadership vacuum (Sloan 91). It prepares employees internally for new roles when they become available. Career and development planning constitute an outcome of succession planning. Hence, succession planning is a part of workforce planning, while career and development planning is a subset of succession planning.
Succession planning has been defined as the process that a company uses to prepare employees for future job positions when they become available. Supposing company XYZ anticipates its CEO to retire next year. Since it is impossible to promote all people within the organization for the job position when it becomes available (Sloan 31), the HR for XYZ must establish a set of experiences, skills, knowledge, and other job requirements for the CEO’s position through the process of workforce planning. The next step entails the analysis of its internal employees to identify those who meet these requirements through succession planning.
Company XYZ needs to consider succession planning in preparation for the future (acquiring a new CEO). At this stage, staff and line managers or any other person who meets the criterion established in the initial phase of workforce planning, as discussed above, are scanned for functional aptitude coupled with other competencies, including leadership (Goldsmith 213). When the committee in charge of career management convenes a meeting, it reviews policies for career management, succession plans, and performance appraisal before conducting potential assessments.
The committee also reviews career planning for qualified individuals. The CEO is the vision career of an organization. Therefore, it is important for career planning to incorporate leadership development. Performance appraisal is necessary since CEOs should ensure increased organizational performance to help in accomplishing future higher institutional purposes. Other aspects that are necessary for consideration in the career and development planning in the succession planning for the XYZ’s new CEO include team building. The capacity to effectively manage change, problem-solving, creative planning, reward management, alignment of people’s motivation, and culture development are among other important aspects that enable an organization to operate harmoniously to attain its vision, mission, goals, and objectives.
Career and Development Planning
Downsizing leads to the reduction in the size of human resource, especially following a merger or when an organization reduces it size of operations or closes some of its non-profitable markets. In such situations, organizations cannot take the responsibility of looking for alternative careers or placement of employees in other unconventional jobs. Therefore, there is no certainty that the act of downsizing organizations prioritizes on the development of their employees’ careers. Indeed, as part of the overall talent planning process, organizations may need a contingency plan (Nemethy 94). Therefore, workforce panning, career and development planning, and succession planning are important tools for consideration in downsizing plans.
When an organization considers downsizing, succession plans for the laid off employees are not necessary. The organization has no responsibility of considering alternative jobs positions in other companies in the future. However, a reduction of the size of an organization may prompt combining some departments, say marketing, with sales. Therefore, a job position is created requiring personnel with skills and experiences in sales and marketing. Consequently, in preparing an organization for downsizing, it is crucial to take into account workforce planning, succession planning, and career and development planning.
When it comes to transferring knowledge and skills acquired into working practice, the goal of human resource arm of an organization is to deploy talent pools and potential employees to enhance the competitive advantage of an organization. This plan being a major concern in my working practice, effective career and development programs are paramount. Such programs should focus on areas of development in the employees’ career lives that are vital to the realization of an organization’s mission, future growth, and performance anticipation in comparison with the competitive market forces. The career and development programs should provide new information and skills. This outcome can be attained if they provide practical and tactical skills.
Using the knowledge and skills acquired, I would ensure that such development programs incorporate the perspectives of employees’ career development. Indeed, Lombardo and Eichinger assert, “the current information about the organization and future trends helps employees to create more realistic career development goals” (143). Hence, any effort to enhance the success of an organization in the unknown future starts with the development of preparedness to embrace change. Change is well implemented when employees possess the requisite skills and knowledge for successful execution of their organizational mandates in new ways. To this extent, I would ensure that career development programs facilitate the development of learning opportunities.
Succession plans set the foundation of promoting employees or preparing them for new roles when vacancies are created in the future. I would use knowledge and skills acquired in this area of human resource management to induce motivation and organizational commitment in highly experienced and skilled employees in their areas of specialization by preparing them to occupy higher job positions. This plan is crucial since mechanisms for lateral movement of employee profiles within an organization are important in career satisfaction (Cohn, Khurana, and Reeves 62). Succession planning is one of the strategies for preparing employees for lateral job movement.
Cohn, Jeffrey, Rakesh Khurana, and Laura Reeves. “Growing talent as if your business depended on it.” Harvard Business Review 83.10(2005): 62-70. Print.
Goldsmith, Marshall. “Efficient Succession Planning.” Harvard Business Review 3.2(2009): 212-219. Print.
Lombardo, Michael, and Robert Eichinger. “HR’s Role in Building Competitive Edge Leaders.” Human Resource Management 36.1(2008): 141-156. Print.
Nemethy, Les. Business Exit Planning: Options, Value Enhancement, and Transaction Management for Business Owners, New York, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print.
Sloan, Julie. The Workforce Planning Imperative, New York, NJ: JSM, 2010. Print.
Sveiby, Kvaloy. “Employee Development and Training.” International Journal of Human Resource 41.5(2009): 491-521. Print.