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PUBLIC SERVICE INSTITUTE OF NIGERIA MANDATORY TRAINING OF FEDERAL CIVIL SERVANTS SUCCESSION PLANNING & MENTORING MANAGEMENT By Dr. O.Agofe October, 2010
INTRODUCTIONSCOPE OF PRESENTATION Our discussion will address the following key questions: What is succession planning? What are the organizational roots of succession? What are the likely consequences of unplanned succession?
What are the steps of succession planning and how can these be viewed conceptually within the context of a framework? What is mentoring and what is its relationship, if any, to succession planning? What are the typical phases encompassed by mentoring? What are the benefits of mentoring?
Succession Planning Defined Succession is the process by which an organizational member fills a position that becomes vacant as a result of the departure of the incumbent. Planning, on the other hand, is the formal process by which objectives are set and detailed ways of accomplishing the objectives are established.
Succession planning can, therefore, be defined as the process of setting personnel succession objectives and determining ways by which the objectives can be effectively accomplished. A personnel succession plan can only be meaningful within the context of the overall human resource plan from which it is derived, which in turn must be rooted in the organization’s corporate strategy.
Organizational Roots Of SuccessionTo be able to plan properly for succession, the organizational roots of succession must be recognised. What are the organizational situations that give rise to personnel succession?
Age and length of service restrictions – In most modern organizations there are age and length of service restrictions that specify the maximum age and number of years of active service at which an employee is expected to retire. Such involuntary retirement automatically results in position vacancies for which succession is imperative in most cases.
Disciplinary Actions- Staff terminations and dismissals taken and enforced for punishable and serious errant conduct and the related unscheduled staff departures will lead to succession in affected positions.
Staff Resignations – Voluntary departures of those who may decide to leave their organization, perhaps for greener pastures or for other reasons. Staff Transfers - Interdepartmental/divisional transfers or sometimes job re-assignment within an individual’s departure/ division will result in the need for succession .
Internal Reorganization – Internal reorganization quite often entails merging or scrapping of selected organizational positions and /or units for which personnel succession becomes inevitable. In other circumstances it may simply be the infusion of new blood to reinvigorate certain operations.
Legal and Regulatory Demands – A new law or an amendment of an existing law or a change in existing regulatory standards may compel compliance requirements that affect some area(s) of the current organizational structure of an affected establishment including adjustment and the creation, merging or abolition of specific jobs.
Technological Developments and Competitive Market Pressures. For certain organizations, especially business establishments, new developments in technology or growing competition in the market(s) being served may counsel the introduction of new products or withdrawal or repackaging of some existing products or the adoption of a new technology.
Consequences Of Unplanned Succession. When is succession unplanned? Succession is unplanned when clear objectives and specific criteria have not been established for succession, when there is minimal or no consistency between the demands and challenges of the job in question and the skills, knowledge and experience of the successor,
CONT’D when internal and external environmental variables that affect performance have not been properly considered, and when succession does not evolve as part of an overall human resources plan or is not supportive of the corporate strategy of the organization.
When succession is not planned, there is likely to be a mismatch between the demands of a job and the levels and types of knowledge, skills, and experience that a successor brings, which in turn will almost certainly result in unsatisfactory job performance.
Poor and inefficient deployment of staff. Sub-optimal use of existing stock of human capital.
The human capacity to pursue and execute the organization’s vision, mission, and corporate strategy may suffer serious inadequacies in some critical operational areas. Ineffective and inefficient management of resources. Teamwork may be undermined.
Succession timing may be in conflict with the best interest of the organization. The organization may suffer human capital shortages in some critical areas while there are surpluses in other areas. Poor overall operational performance. The organization may find itself unprepared for the manpower needs and challenges of its future.
Succession Planning Process. Succession planning may be approached in line with the following steps: Review of the organization’s strategy profile and the human resources management plan.
- Problem recognition and definition – What major or key problem(s)concerning personnel availability, capacity, changes and succession are thrown up in the corporate strategy and human resources management plan?
- Determination and definition of succession objectives. - Analysis and forecasting of critical external environmental conditions - Audit and analysis of internal resources, strengths, weaknesses, and related conditions particularly concerning personnel.
-Setting of sub-unit personnel succession objectives
Development and establishment of supporting policies, procedures and action guides for achieving the set objectives.
- Presentation and communication of the personnel succession plan to management and other cadres.
Implementation of the plan. Monitoring, evaluation, and control of plan implementation.
The above steps are displayed diagrammatically in Figure 1 below.
Characteristics of a Good Succession Plan. It must be economical- i.e., it must be within the financial capacity of the organization or unit and capable of being implemented without waste. The plan must be simple and workable, considering available resources. The objectives and assumptions must be realistic. It must be thorough- i.e., it must contain all essential details as well as make allowance for contingences.
It must blend and be consistent with the organization’s corporate strategy and human resources management plan. It must be reasonably capable of achieving the set objectives.
Above all, a good personnel succession plan removes conditions and likelihood of the consequences of unplanned succession identified earlier.
Mentoring Mentoring is the process of providing close, personal and structured support by one person (a mentor) for the whole development of another (a mentee or protégé).
In mentoring relationships the personal credibility of the mentor to the protégé and the conviction that he or she can learn something from the former to advance his or her own life and career is very critical. The driving force of mentoring is the relationship before the two people involved in the learning process.
Mentoring is neither instructing nor coaching. Instructing deals largely with dissemination of knowledge. Coaching deals primarily with skill building. Mentoring, shapes the outlook and attitude of the mentee; it aims at developing the totality of the person, not just improving his skills or knowledge.
Types of mentorship
There are two broad types of mentorship; formal and informal mentoring. In formal mentoring there is a structured process supported or initiated by an organisation and targeted at groups of personnel.
Informal mentorship, on the other hand, develops on its own between mentor and mentee, usually as a result of the latter recognising and admiring some qualities of the former which he can learn and imbibe to improve his or her own life. Such informal mentorship is not characterised by any real structure or pattern of interactions.
Mentoring and succession planning; In some succession situations (certainly not in all) mentoring can be incorporated as a means to sustain the high level and quality of job performance that prevailed before the assumption of duty by the successor.
In such situations the departing officer is likely to be senior to and to be more knowledgeable and experienced than the officer who is taking over from him. Alternatively, there may be a closely related functionary, such as a direct line superior, who is to serve as mentor to the in-coming officer in a structured mentorship program.
8. Phases of mentoring: Mentoring relationships typically evolve through four observable phases: Initiation: In this phase the two people involved in the relationship are expected to clarify the objectives, process and duration of the engagement.
Cultivation: The mentor and mentee work together to carry out the plan of action and build the relationship, guided by the agreed objectives. Activities at this stage may include dialogue, observation, role-plays, brainstorming, assignments, e.t.c.
Separation: At this stage, the parties decide to end the mentor – mentee engagement, hopefully, because they agree that the mentee has met the task and skill objectives and other expectations set at the beginning of the relationship.
Re-definition: The mentor and mentee now seek answer to the question, “how are we going to be now?” That is, what will be the nature and type of relationship that will henceforth prevail between the two.
Benefits of Mentoring Mentorships offer a variety of benefits if properly conducted. Facilitated advancement from networking exposure.Networking occurs more easily and is a possible reason why those mentored tend to do well in organizations.
Development of mentor’s leadership skills. The mentor’s leadership skills are developed and sharpened, as he is refreshed about his own strengths and the application of vital skills. Mentorship programs are used to groom up-and-coming employees who have demonstrated the potential for advancement into leadership roles.
An organization that practices mentoring enjoys the benefit of having employees who are introduced into and shaped by its culture and operations as well as its values and ethic. Mentoring can be employed to facilitate entry into the job market for those who have difficulty in finding jobs and as an instrument for the promotion of equal opportunities for men and women and disadvantaged groups.
Mentoring, if properly conducted, can reveal hidden and unused talents in the life of a mentee. Mentoring is an effective tool for building and reviving self-confidence and for improvement and realization of self – worth of individuals who may have made to loose hope, confidence and faith in themselves, their careers, and their ambitions.
Mentoring helps to expand the mentor’s horizon and store of experiences and equips him / her with fresh insights for effectively addressing the problems and challenges of life and career.
Conclusion Succession is an inevitable reality in organizational life. It must however be planned; otherwise an array of unhealthy consequences will emerge where it is being haphazardly managed. The organizational roots of succession must be considered in planning succession.
More importantly, succession planning is a rational process that must conform with a series of sequential steps, while a good succession plan ought to display certain vital features. Mentoring provides close, personal, and structured support by a mentor for the total development of a mentee. Effective mentorship is conducted on a foundation of mutual trust, respect, and open communication.
There are formal and informal mentorships and several models from which the mode of mentorship interactions may be chosen and conducted. Whatever mode or form of the mentor – mentee relationship, the most important consideration and requirement is that it must be capable of achieving the set objectives and capturing the vital benefits of mentoring.