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Holistic, Business-focused Succession Planning to Build Your Talent Pool

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The workforce is changing rapidly as the baby boomers move toward retirement age and accumulated knowledge walks out the door. The next generation of workers is more diverse with differing values and cultures. The utility industry is changing as utilities are asked to provide more services while regulations increase and funding shrinks. Technology changes demand different skills. These combined trends escalate the need for utilities to develop effective methods to identify current and future skill requirements and then define strategies and approaches to recruit, select, train, retain, and re-train its workforce.

A complete succession planning approach includes understanding the organizational needs including business requirements, job design, key skill requirements and leadership competencies. Creating practices that will support the succession plan are essential for maintaining the succession approaches. Human Resource practices such as recruitment and selection, talent development, skill training, performance management and compensation support the succession plan over time. Technology can also aid in succession planning by employing knowledge management tools that deliver information and data that people need to be effective in their jobs.

By taking a holistic, business focused approach succession planning becomes integrated into the organization's human resource activities. An effective succession planning process drives the success of the organization's strategy.

This presentation will present the leading succession planning practices in the private and public sector encompassing a holistic approach. The presentation will present practical succession planning solutions that will enable utilities to identify their internal talent pool and development needs. The presentation will include ‘lessons learned’ and provide the requirements for success. Utility managers will learn about the requirements for implementing and sustaining an effective succession planning process.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-01-01

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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