Topics: Human resource management, Management, Performance management Pages: 14 (2510 words) Published: April 16, 2014



Table of Contents

Background of the Problem1
Present Awareness of the Need for Succession Planning2
Focus of the Analysis3
Application of Significant Personnel Management Concepts5
Empowerment and Team Building6
Motivation & Behavior Modification through Performance Management7 Recommendations9

Planning for the future is necessary to keep an organization moving forward, yet the task of investing resources in creating ideas and plans is often delayed by a lack of resources and the need for attention to current projects and day-to-day business activities. When time is devoted to planning, it is often for the purpose of addressing current problems rather than proactively addressing potential future problems. This paper will assess the efforts of the Michigan Department of State (MDOS or Department) as they relate to succession planning, particularly staffing, by applying concepts of organizational behavior and personnel management. The application of these concepts to the organization, accompanied by specific examples, will result in constructive recommendations that management can employ to strengthen the future of the Department.

Background of the Problem
Before elaborating on specific succession planning practices of the Department, background concerning the financial state of the economy must be acknowledged. Throughout the past decade, constant budget cuts have become expected by state agencies. Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land has prided herself on the ability to meet – and exceed – those reduction demands, while avoiding employee layoffs. In return, Secretary Land expects that each new vacancy be thoroughly scrutinized to determine if process and staff efficiencies can eliminate the need to hire. Along with other cost-reduction measures, MDOS has been able to make the necessary budget cuts by reallocating funded vacancy monies into program areas that would not otherwise be able to sustain themselves. This practice is relevant because it creates difficulty with optimizing skills and expertise in situations when backfilling cannot be justified.

Reductions in hiring practices are further complicated by the fact that the baby-boomer retirement wave is projected to affect the government sector severely. For example, the Social Security Administration is faced with the prospect of losing more than half of its employees by the end of 2010, including a large number of leaders (Corporate Leadership Council, 2004). The exit of career-long employees leaves the Department vulnerable if an effective succession plan is not implemented.

The foreseeable future does not offer the luxury of relaxed hiring practices. While it is known that there are sometimes circumstances that require hiring from outside, this analysis accounts for current economic conditions by planning for employee succession from within the organization while also accounting for the anticipated turnover of large numbers of employees with decades of experience and knowledge.

Present Awareness of the Need for Succession Planning
MDOS is not by any means an organization that does not support planning. In fact, constant planning of goals and production of results, specifically pertaining to customer service, is the expectation rather than the exception. However, planning for employee succession is not an apparent priority of management. Emphasis is placed on the word apparent because it is understandable that there are often management efforts that are not visible to everyone in the organization. In that situation, the goal of this analysis is to address the importance of establishing a formal succession-planning program, and to offer constructive recommendations and suggestions for improvement to current practices.


References: Bruce, A. (2001). Leaders -- Start to Finish. Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training & Development.
Corporate Leadership Council. (2004). Succession Planning in the Government Sector. Retrieved from
Hedge, J., & Pulakos, E. (Eds.). (2002). Implementing Organizational Interventions. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Newstrom, J. (2007). Organizational Behavior: Human Behavior at Work. New York, NY: McGraw Hill/Irwin.
Noe, R. A., Hollenbeck, J. R., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. M. (2008). Human Resource Management: Gaining a Competitive Advantage. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Turner, P. (2002). HR Forecasting and Planning. Trowbridge, Wiltshire, Great Britain: The Cromwell Press.
Watson, B. (1997). Cutting Back in the Public Sector. Long Acre, London: Pitman Publishing.
Whitmell, V. (Ed.). (2005). Staff Planning in a Time of Demographic Change. Lanham, MY: Scarecrow Press, Inc.
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