Title

Succession Planning at Federal Agencies

Location

3031

Format Type

Paper

Format Type

Paper

Start Date

January 2016

End Date

January 2016

Abstract

Succession planning guides management in the development of a career path for employees interested in management, solidifies plans for personnel training and developing, allows for management reorganization, and enhances the planning system for human resources. A succession planning focus leads to an increased chance of internal succession and a reduced chance of forced succession. Agencies that do not have a plan risk losing the organization’s collective knowledge and culture. In the first phase of our research we surveyed federal managers and found that only about 34% of the participants believed that their Federal agency had succession plans while 54% were unaware of such plans in their agencies. We also found that most managers believed that lower-level employees should begin leadership training early to prepare for projected retirements. Using a phenomenological approach in the second phase of our ongoing research we interviewed retired and active Federal managers from several executive agencies. Based upon the analysis of interview narratives we identified specific barriers affecting a robust succession planning strategy including: (a) a lack of planning prior an individual’s retirement, (b) the inability to identify key employees, (c) the amount of time required to replace positions, and (d) the unwillingness of staff to take on management roles. Future areas where our research will be extended include State, Local, and international government agencies.

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Jan 15th, 1:10 PM Jan 15th, 1:30 PM

Succession Planning at Federal Agencies

3031

Succession planning guides management in the development of a career path for employees interested in management, solidifies plans for personnel training and developing, allows for management reorganization, and enhances the planning system for human resources. A succession planning focus leads to an increased chance of internal succession and a reduced chance of forced succession. Agencies that do not have a plan risk losing the organization’s collective knowledge and culture. In the first phase of our research we surveyed federal managers and found that only about 34% of the participants believed that their Federal agency had succession plans while 54% were unaware of such plans in their agencies. We also found that most managers believed that lower-level employees should begin leadership training early to prepare for projected retirements. Using a phenomenological approach in the second phase of our ongoing research we interviewed retired and active Federal managers from several executive agencies. Based upon the analysis of interview narratives we identified specific barriers affecting a robust succession planning strategy including: (a) a lack of planning prior an individual’s retirement, (b) the inability to identify key employees, (c) the amount of time required to replace positions, and (d) the unwillingness of staff to take on management roles. Future areas where our research will be extended include State, Local, and international government agencies.