While aging of the staff is major contributor to the commencement of the issue, it is also true that a lack of skill levels in the staff also makes succession planning a major issue.
This is particularly true in the case of public sector. Nearly 50% of the people employed by the US government is eligible to retire, says Douglas Braddock (1999). One in five senior executives of Fortune 500 companies will have to retire before the year end. All this mean that succession planning is becoming more meaningful to government offices as much as it is for private enterprises. He further says that man power requirement due to replacements (34.7 million) in organisations will far outstrip the requirements due to increase in business (20.3 million). While on one side there is a vacancy coming up, on the other side there is no talented and qualified people to hire from. According to Manpower (Jan 2006), nearly 44% of employers find difficulty in getting the right kind of person with the required skill level to fill the vacancy that is existing in the company.
The succession planning is different from the replacement planning in the sense that while replacement planning will look for one single person and find a replacement for him from the market. Whereas in the case of succession planning, the company needs to consider who would take his position and who in turn would occupy once the succeeding person is promoted and so on. This would mean that the existing people have to be evaluated and kept ready for promotion and also the succession streak right to the end of the entire hierarchy where some one will be taken in from outside to fill the gap.
Aims and Objectives
To examine the potential elements involved in having a succession planning strategy and to present options and recommendations to the Management Board. The objective is to demonstrate the business benefits and added value to the organisation by producing an acceptable business case.
Workforce Life Cycle Management
The Life Cycle of the workforce has to be completely taken care of including the retirement and succession thereof. Every employee should have an appropriate standby option in case he is to leave the employment. While this is normally looked at as a replacement plan for the individual, similar planning is needed for the succession too. The workforce life cycle would aim at a career planning for every person in the company followed by a succession plan. This would ensure that every key position in the company is filled whenever there is a need without any delay. Every position would require selection of the right person with adequate skill levels. After selecting the right person, an appropriate training program should be designed and provided in order to ensure that the person selected is trained for the position he is destined to take over. The person should also go through on the job observation and training enabling him to take on the assignment when it should occur. This would create a hot standby for important key posts. On non-key positions, standby is maintained for a group of requirements. This would take care of any requirement that might arise among the equal positions. However, this may not be exactly the same position and might require some time to take over the assigned job. Succession planning is defined by Wendy Hirsh (2000) as