Paper review 2Paul NkusiKasumbaThe Implementation of Workforce and Succession Planning in the Public Sector(WFSP)Joan E. Pynes (2004)This article reviews and provides examples of the importance of workforce and succession planning in the publicsector. A discussion of why planning is important and some of the obstacles to its implementation are discussed. Forworkforce and successful planning to succeed, human resources management professionals must become strategicpartners with managers and develop new skills and competencies.For Public Ministries and agencies to succeed in their long term missions and objectives, having a capable motivatedand available work force is important. How to achieve this?It calls for workforce development and successionplanning. The human resource development and planning is the impediment to the growth and success of any publicagency. Therefore, we need not only to develop the current workforce, but also to strategically and holistically lookat their long term impact on the growth of public organizations.But what is workforce and succession planning? WFSP refers to the implementation of human resource activities,policies and practices to make the necessary ongoing changes to support or improve the agencys operational andstrategic objectives.A according to Joan E. Pynes (2004)Workforce and succession planning (WFSP) is based on the belief that tobeeffective and able to adapt to changes quickly, agencies need realisticinformation on the capabilities and talents oftheir current staff, in essencetheir Human Resources.Agency leaders need to understand how their workplaces will be affected by impending changes and prepare for thechanges accordingly. Agency objectives should be formulated after relevant data on thequantity and potential ofavailable human resources have been reviewed. Are therehuman resources available for short- and long-termobjectives? To be competitive,organizations must be able to anticipate, influence and manage the forces thatimpacttheir ability to remain effective. In the service sector, this means they must be able tomanage their human
resource capabilities. All too often agencies have relied on short termservice requirements to direct their HRMpractices. Little thought is often givento long-term implications. By invoking WFSP, agencies are better able tomatch theirhuman resources requirements with the demands of the external environment andthe needs of theorganization. The human resources focus is not just an individualemployee issue; it also focuses on integratinghuman resources into the organizationsstrategy. It becomes part of the visionary process. Strategic planning,budgeting andhuman resource planning are linked together.The above to me is what I will call strategic Human Resource Practices. However, with total acceptance of theabove strategic view, this seems to be more of an ideal wish situation, than what in practice we have witnessedespecially in civil service. The question is why? To answer that, we need to look at both theories of physical capitaland human capital development as well as looking at the history and evolutions of Human resource management,right from personnel perspective to the current much agitated strategic Human Resource practices.Quite often, much emphasis has been put on physical capital development than human capital development. Littlebudget is provided for HRD and in most cases, no clear measure and indicators of HRD in public organizations. Thishas hindered strategic HRM en hence negatively affecting WFSP.Secondly, with the evolutions of HRM, right from Personnel to the present strategic human resource ideology, thisdepartment (HRM) has been quite negated compared to other departments such as Finance department, and yet asper the discussions provided by Joan E.Pynes(2004).Integrating human resources into the organizationsstrategy isparamount if public agencies are to remain competent and competitive.Integrating human resources into theorganizationsstrategy calls for integrating Strategic planning, budgeting andhuman resource planning. By thistherefore Human resource office need to reach high level of decision making authority in an agency. To datehowever,this has not materialized in most Public agencies hence limiting the chance of strategic human resourceplanning ultimately negatively impacting on WFSP.
In "The Case for Transforming Public-Sector Human Resources Management," the National Academy ofPublic Administration identified five steps that were imperative in aligning human resources managementto an agencys mission.Include HR in Strategic Plans, Define Human Resource Requirements, Develop Action Plan for ImplementingHuman Resource Strategies, Evaluate Progress and Manage the Change Process. While the above steps are soappealing and indeed the way to go, there is still a big challenge in public sector. The idea of valuing humanresources to my view starts with the typical shift from personnel HR orientation to pure SHRM; this is not the casein practice though. There is always a small budget for HR development. The author is right to identify those steps; Ihowever also propose the idea of decentralizing HR functions such that in every department, the roles and majorfunctions of HR are part of their strategic planning.Include HR in Strategic Plans, Define Human Resource Requirements, and Develop Action Plan for ImplementingHuman Resource Strategies, Evaluate Progress and Manage the Change Process, call for concerted efforts andindeed no public agency will survive labor turnover, unproductivity without developing its human resources. It’squite unfortunate that in most public agencies, succession plan is missing. No clear WFSP is developed. Much astrainings may be fostered, quite often, it’s not linked to succession plan and hence it’s a common tendency to find awastage of human capacity in most public agencies as there is always a mismatch between skills development,organization’s skills demand and succession strategy. Some posts are filled on the basis of technical know-whoinstead of technical know-how!!How can public agencies achieve WFSP and try to minimize the impact of retirements, layoffs and job cuts to theperformance of our public institutions? The answer is simple at least by theory; it’s by sHuman ResourcesPlanning.As was the case in the USA,the Washington State Department of Personnel developed the "State of WashingtonWorkforce Planning Guide: Right People, Right Jobs, Right Time." Faced with impending retirements and the lossin workforce skills and knowledge, the workforce planning guide was developed to assist agenciesin preparingworkforce plans to ensure necessary staff levels and competencies exist to carry out agency missions.Such an initiative need to be borrowed by other institutions if at all public agencies are to survive in this global labormarket dynamics.
Human resource planning is a critical component of strategic planning and WFSP .It is the process of analyzing andidentifying the need for and availability of human resources to meet the organizations objectives. Forecasting isused to assess past trends, evaluate the present situation and project future events. Forecasting and planningcomplement each other because forecasts identify expectations while plans establish concrete goals and objectives.Forecasting has become increasingly importantas a large segment of the public workforce is inching towardretirement.In most of public organizations especially in developing countries, there is much power vested in thepolitical heads of public institutions, this hinders professionalism especially in terms of SHRM, therefore forecastingbecomes a big challenge. Also the organizational structure of such developing institutions is always unstable andevolving, thereby impacting on the ability for proper Human Resource planning.An important part of the demand forecast is examining not only what work the agency will do in the future, but howthat work will be performed.Some things to consider include:• How will jobs and workload change as a result of technological advancements, economic, social and politicalconditions?• What are the consequences or results of these changes?• What will be the reporting relationships?• How will divisions, work units, and jobs be designed?• How will work flow into each part of the organization? What will be done with it?Such questions definitely call for experts of human resource management to share their expertise with othermanagers in public organizations. There is greater need for political support especially at policy level if at all properHuman resource planning is to be realized.Once these questions have been answered, the next step is to identify the competencies employees will need to carryout that work. The set of competencies provides management and staff with a common understanding of the skills
and behaviors that are important to the agency. Competencies play a key role in decisions on recruiting, employeedevelopment, personal development and performance management.Forecasting human resource requirements involves determining the number and types of employees needed by skilllevel. First, agencies need to audit the skills of incumbent employees and determine their capabilities andweaknesses. Job analyses and job specifications should be done. This would help to determine the kind of skills thatare needed, and other characteristics necessary for effective performance.Organizations must also keep abreast of the skills that their employees possess.Human resource planning uses datainventories to integrate the planning and utilization functions of WFSP. Data inventories compile summaryinformation, such as the characteristics of employees, the distribution of employees by position, employeesperformance, and career objectives. It’s indeed unfortunate that in most Public agencies, such records are lackingand where, they are, are not updated and always vague! In most cases, consideration of both internal and externalsupply of qualified candidates isn’t given attention in public agencies, yet in forecasting the availability ofhuman resources, it’s not only a desirable but a condition.The internal supply of candidates is influenced bytraining and development, and by transfer, promotion, and retirement policies. Therefore, public organizationsshould always develop and prepare its human resource for development and succession.But for this to succeed, agencies need to first assess its incumbent staff competencies. This will provide informationfor training, as well as determining the number of those available and capable of fulfilling future functionalrequirements.(motivation)How to Implement Workforce and Succession Planning?Let the human resource management department seat on the round table with managers and employees. This willprovide managers and employees with a better understanding of HRM issues. Likewise, HRM staff becomes moreinformed about the needs of the employees and departments. This calls for the establishment of a human resourceplanning taskforce composed of managers and/or staff from a variety of departments, and staff from the HRMdepartment who are responsible for identifying the trends and challenges that will impact the agency.For WFSP to be implemented, such questions need to be answered; Is the top administration committed to quality and excellence? Are changes necessary? How can we meet employees perceptions and concerns?
Which employees will be affected? •What barriers might there be to successful implementation of WFSP? Once program cost estimates are developed, will dollars be provided for training and development? Who will be responsible for the implementation of WFSP? Who will evaluate and adjust the planning process?Once such questionsare answered, authority and resources must be assigned to the person(s) responsible for theplanning and implementation of WFSP. This requires leadership commitment towards WFSP.Once resources havebeen availed, with committed and supportive leadership, then the HR department has two major tasks; 1. Training; 2. Career developmentTraining has been defined as "the acquisition of knowledge and skills for present tasks, which help individualscontribute to the organization in their current positions. Any successful training has to result into changebehavior.Anderson, (1988) clearly demonstrated the impact of mindset on performance in his famous law;thefundamental law of success. This law is stated as; Ability level × mental state = performance.Career development, however, provides the employee with knowledge and skills that are intended to be used in thefuture. The purpose of career development is to prepare employees to meet future agency needs, thereby ensuringthe organizations survival."Higher-level managers must develop skills that will enable them to scan the external environment and developorganizational strategies. Training and development are used by organizations to improve the skills of employeesand enhance their capacity to cope with the constantly changing demands of the work environment.Problems and Implications of Workforce and Succession PlanningDespite of the rich existing literature about WFSP, and the generally acceptable position that it’s the high timepublic agencies embrace WFSP, little success can be seen; why?Reluctance to give human resources management professionals the flexibility to initiate new programs or to suggestnew organizational structures, HRM department lacks the capabilities and skills necessary to move human resourcemanagement to a more proactive role.HRM professionals may need to be trained in the skills that are necessary toalign the organizations strategy with its core competencies. HRM professionals may need training in organizationalredesign, job and service redesign, and performance measurement.
Organizational change also requires higher levels of coordination across functions and departments, and employeesand management must be committed to continuous improvement.However, this is in most cases lacking and publicagencies, and where they exist, it’s done vaguely.In conclusion, it’s should be noted that if at all public agencies are to survive competition of staff shortage, coupledwith rampant retirements, there is a need to foster WFSP in the organizational performance culture. ProactiveHuman Resource best practices need to be supported. Leadership support and commitment as well as proactivehuman resource department are a pre-requisite for the success of WFSP in public agencies.What is not discussed though is the notion of motivation. One can ask if motivation is the means to effective WFSPor the end itself.It’s my conviction that any successful WFSP Policy must take into account the idea of integrating motivationmethods and policies to WFSP. Aligning the two variables will enable public agencies to effectively compete. Theyshould be aligned to institutional development policies.
Paul Nkusi Kasumba 12/10/12Research questionsOn Diversity Management, Job Satisfaction, and Performance :Evidence from U.S. Federal Agencies 1. Does Diversity management necessarily lead to higher work group performance? As the labor force becomes more diverse, organizations must adapt to different employee attitudes and approachesto work. Those agencies that are able to embrace these “new” components of the labor market— women, people of color, immigrants — will be able to take better advantage of the full pool of potentialemployees. Not only will their employee base be stronger, but also these organizations will be able to respond more effectively to changing target populationneeds. 2. What would be the differences and similarities of Diversity management, affirmative action and EEO. R. Roosevelt Thomas (1990) Diversity management was different from affirmative action and EEO in that it was about managers and what they did on the job, on a day-to-day basis, and the programs that organizations could implement to best serve diverse employees. 3. Is diversity management for staff satisfaction or client satisfaction? If client satisfaction, in which way can an organization ensure diversity management for clients’ satisfaction 4. Of all HRM functions, what specific functions need to proactively consider Diversity management policy? a) Selection b) HRD