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Succession Planning 103 14.1 Workforce Challenges. Programs related to "Succession Planning" are typically designed to address challenges associated with ensuring continuity of organizational resources, including developing a plan to replace leaders as they move through the organization and/or retire. These challenges should be carefully considered before selecting the program that would best fit the needs of your agency. For example, these are common challenges agencies face: Lack of Workforce Planning. Several organizations indicated that a lack of workforce planning and strategies cause hiring managers to `do their own thing' and react to job vacancies differently. Forced to fill the position quickly, hiring managers are not able to investigate the applicant as thoroughly as they would like and might end up hiring a candidate who is a bad "fit" with the organization. Some organizations indicated that they do not attempt to predict future needs because their department is limited in the number of positions it is allowed to have. This choice may leave an agency exposed and implement haphazard recruitment techniques when faced with retirements and other sudden vacancies. Lack of Career Path/Succession Planning. Many participants indicated their organization does not have a way of identifying or preparing high-potential employees for promotions. This is an important problem to solve because high-potential workers tend to capitalize on training they receive, resulting in a greater return on investment for the organization. Furthermore, many organizations do not provide employees with career paths or the steps each employee must take to advance. This lack of planning conveys to the employee that the organization is not concerned with their professional advancement and as a result, they may begin to explore opportunities outside of the organization. 14.2 Industry Strategies. Researchers and program managers identify the following programmatic strategies when describing industry efforts in "Succession Planning." (See Exhibit 14-2.) While these strategies represent the general direction of human resource (HR) departments across the nation, it is important that the specific needs of your agency are used to guide the development and implementation of a program in your agency. Exhibit 14-2 Industry Strategies: Succession Planning Strategy Strategy Description Implement a Succession Organizations conduct succession planning that ranges from simply creating Planning Program career paths to a formal selection process where candidate pools are groomed for certain positions. Formal succession programs involve management teams identifying individuals who have shown qualities that indicate the potential for strong leadership and have had excellent performance in their current position. The programs involve training, problem solving activities, assessments, mentoring, and testing that are in addition to the selected employees' normal duties and do not result in additional compensation. Job rotations are also a large part of the succession planning program, allowing the selected employees to see the organization from several vantage points. Once the selected employees have "graduated" from the program, they are considered for management opportunities as the opportunities arise. This not only makes filling management opportunities easier because of the smaller applicant pool, but it keeps high performers engaged and shows that there are opportunities for advancement. It may also motivate mid-level performers to improve their performance to be selected for the program. One important