Many organizations are not able to conduct this important exercise, because the task of manpower planning is too complex and yet not error-proof. Let us have a look at the complexities of this continuous, dynamic exercise!
Undoubtedly, Manpower planning is a very important exercise for the survival and growth of an organization. In the absence of systematic planning, organizations are forced to take ad-hoc decisions and struggle for survival. Then, the obvious question arises, why many organizations are not able to conduct this important exercise. The answer is too simple that the task of manpower planning is too complex and yet not error-proof.
Let us have a look at these complexities:
- Generally, a wide range of data and a variety of methods are used to have fair projections for the future. These may include external environment, industry projections, organization's future plans, estimated overall requirements, natural attrition projections, assumptions regarding future attrition, etc., etc. In spite of all this, whatever method or combination thereof you make use of, it is very difficult to accurately forecast future manpower requirements.
- A very important element of manpower planning is organizational planning. This itself is a difficult task since economic conditions are so dynamic and complex in nature. First, it is not possible to predict them, and even if you have some idea, calculating its actual impact will be a Herculean task.
- Natural attrition in the form of routine retirements is easy to calculate and plan. To some extent, one can even attempt to handle resignations tactfully, so as to control the outward movement. Still, accidents and sudden deaths have the power to demolish the foundations of all those efforts.
- The best of manpower planning is bound to fail in the absence of management support. It must be understood that manpower planning is not the exclusive responsibility of HR. Also, the matter is extremely complex and the human resource professionals do require inputs, views, and above all, the management trust to do a fair job.
- Most of the time, companies get into the trap of looking for replicas of successful professionals. It generally happens when someone occupies a position for too long. It is a good idea to plan a broad-based development strategy and keep on moving people periodically. It helps developing managers as well as a continuous infusion of fresh ideas.
- Implementation can suffer setbacks because getting the right candidate and filling a critical vacancy may take much longer than even the best estimates. The pendulum may swing to either side as well. You plan for six months, the search may go on for a year or you plan for a year and maybe forced to fill the vacancy in two months (or lose the right candidate you found accidentally!)
Ashok Grover is an expert in people assessment and focused executive / leadership coaching. An Engineer-MBA, CPC (Certified Professional Coach), and CELC (Certified Executive Leadership Coach), Ashok lives by his vision - Value Creation by enhancing people and organizational competencies.
Ashok,s professional journey spans over five decades. He has been training people in the area of Organizational Philosophy, Balanced Score Card, Result-oriented Interviewing, and Power of Positive Attitude & Affirmations. His experience in the field of Assessment & Development Centers spans over 500 ADCs; and covers the entire gamut – designing competency framework and assessment tools, conducting ADCs, reports preparation, feedback as well as IDP support.