1 Report title Agenda item Workforce Planning, Succession Planning and Capability Planning. 13 Meeting Human Resources, Health & Safety and Equalities Panel 13 November 2008 Date Report by Document Number Head of Human Resources HRE 299 Summary This paper reviews the Authority s current approach to Workforce Planning Succession Planning and Development. It examines the benefits of alternative approaches and recommends a range of Officer actions to take these issues forward. Recommendations(s) That HRE&HS Panel receive this report. Introduction/Background 1. The changing demographics of the labour market (ageing workforce), enduring skills shortages and employee demands for work-life balance have produced a trend for organisations to develop policies and practices for the attraction, development, deployment and retention of talent vital for their business needs. Such approaches will generally fall under one of the following headings: - Workforce planning - Succession planning - Capability planning 2. Research undertaken by the Chartered Institute for Personnel & Development shows that there is a variety of approaches to these issues and that no one blueprint can be applied to all organisational contexts. Approaches are chiefly driven by (workforce) market dynamics, both internal and external. For example, it is recognised that organisations with high retention rates, such as LFB, will have priorities that differ significantly from organisations that have high turnover. This paper reviews the Authority s current approach to these issues; examines the benefits of alternative approaches; and recommends a way forward. 1 of 10
2 3. Although terminology can frequently differ, the above primarily relate to interventions that an organisation can adopt to ensure the efficient use of its workforce and that the appropriate skills and knowledge are available where and when needed. While each can exist separately within an organisation, they are most effective as elements of an integrated strategy. For the purposes of this paper the terms are defined as follows: a. Workforce planning understanding the deployment/establishment model/position of the organisation s resources through analysis of data and predictive modelling. b. Succession planning processes that ensure the availability of staff with the required skills, knowledge and experience, at the appropriate grade, to fill anticipated vacancies when required. This can be volume focused e.g. promotion rounds or targeted at ensuring the provision of one or more successors for specific posts (or groups of similar posts) key to the immediate/short-term operation of an organisation. Note: workforce and succession planning can frequently overlap, particularly where the issue relates to predictive models. In such instances in this paper, they are combined. c. Capability Planning a strategy that defines those individuals who can make a difference to organisational performance, either through their immediate contribution or in the long term i.e. by demonstrating the highest level of potential. The strategy reinforces organisational priorities by building a high performance workplace or learning organisation, contributing to diversity management, and adding value to the employer of choice and branding agenda. Capability Planning processes will focus on ensuring talent is available for an organisation s more strategic posts where impact on organisational success may be longer-term. These processes include the systematic attraction, identification, development, engagement/retention and deployment of those individuals with high potential who are of particular value to an organisation. Current position 4. It is recognised that the Authority has made significant advances in recent years, particularly in the area of workforce planning for the operational establishment and has a positive foundation in place upon which to build. These are reviewed in paras Workforce planning 5. The Authority has developed several models to inform both workforce and succession planning capability, which has enabled us to respond to issues such as changing workforce dynamics resulting from: /3 pay settlement - London Resilience issues - Changes to pension rules affecting ill health retirements - Removal of the compulsory retirement age - Changes to the commutation rules including lump sum bonus on early retirement 6. All the above are successfully factored in to HR forecasting. However, it can be seen from Figure 1 how these issues have impacted upon leaver rate with compulsory, voluntary and ill health retirements all fluctuating significantly in the last 5 years.
3 Figure 1. Operational Leavers by Reason (to date) (to date) Compulsory Retirement Voluntary Retirement Ill Health Retirement Transfer to other Brigade Death in service Resigned Dismissed Contract Expired Join Other Occ Group Total Overall the LFBs s turnover rate is low. People are attracted by the terms and conditions of employment and in addition, for operational staff, the security of a job for life environment. On the operational side we see the highest wastage through retirements with people being able to leave on reaching 30 years service and age 50. Overall the pattern is fairly stable although we have seen peaks in leaver rates recently due to large staff intakes 30 years ago. These peaks are factored into modelling, though it is noted that this has become more problematic with legislative changes to compulsory retirement. 8. The principle workforce planning model used to predict trainee recruitment requirements is the Trainee Recruitment Model. The model factors in establishment levels, vacancy margin and leavers to predict the trainee intake required over a 4 year period. The Trainee Recruitment Model has been in use for about 5 years and it has proved invaluable in informing recruitment related decisions and flattening out the intake profile. 9. As outlined above, it is recognised however that the accuracy of predictions is affected by fluctuations in leaver rates - a key issue is the need to build in information well in advance. The interaction between individual data systems (e.g. Cyborg and Stars) and their relationship with the Authority s processes and data flows is constantly under review and a number of enhancements to current practices are planned. These are detailed at paragraph 26. Succession planning and key posts 10. The Authority s current succession planning model has been used over the last 3 years to inform the promotion round process. The model combines various workforce dynamics such as leaver rates, anticipated establishment and role progression to produce anticipated vacancy levels at each role in the organisation (operational) over a 3 to 5 year period. This can also be used to inform the timetabling of promotion rounds. In addition there is a further model breaking this down to a more granular level to build scenarios and identify issues such as the vacancy margin on station (compared to non-station). An example extract from the Succession Planning model is at Appendix Overall the figures have proved accurate in relation to vacancies within the authorised establishment. and the model has been successful in producing sufficient numbers of candidates to meet the organisations needs both during and between promotion rounds.
4 12. However, this has not removed the need for temporary promotions, and it is the intention to retain the B list going forward to ensure that the Authority is able to meet any fluctuations in demand arising from issues such as London Resilience; LIFE project; Heathrow Terminal 5; 2012 Olympics. 13. For FRS staff, large scale promotion rounds are un-necessary and posts are filled on an as-and-when basis. However, large gaps between the responsibilities and scope of FRS jobs can create difficulties for internal candidates to succeed at promotion (as a rule, the more senior the job, the wider is the gap ) where, as a result, the proportion of external appointments is much higher for more senior roles. Succession planning and key posts key issues 14. There is also a potential exposure for the authority if a key role is vacated unexpectedly with no suitable short-term cover available, particularly where crucial expertise might be concentrated in a small number of (or even a single) individual. Currently, no process exists for identifying the key posts that exist within the organisation that could, should they become vacant, cause a problem with the organisation s operations and expose the Brigade to a potential risk. This applies to both Operational and FRS roles. 15. It is also noted that succession planning is shown as a further control against two corporate risks: - CRR34: The management of the process of change to working practices or to terms and conditions of employment leads to industrial action - CRR35: Opportunities to optimise our performance through developing our people are lost due to inappropriate selection, training and development 16. A control measure for this would be to establish a process where departments identify key posts (Operational, FRS and Control) across the organisation that could give rise to the issues outlined above i.e. if vacant, potentially cause/inhibit/prevent the Brigade from operating effectively. 17. Potential candidates would be identified in specific categories (outlined in para 28) and managers would work with HR to ensure that any skills/knowledge gaps that are identified by this process (and preventing candidates from being immediately effective as successors to roles) are addressed. 18. Human Resources department would maintain a central record of posts identified as key within each Directorate with actions initiated with line managers to ensure successful succession planning. 19. An example of this type of approach working in practice can be seen in the establishment of a Deputy Clerk role in Democratic Services, to protect against the potential loss of key skills, knowledge and experience on the retirement of the post holder. Capability planning 20. In 2006 and 2007 respectively, the Authority launched the targeted development programme (TDP) and the Graduate Recruitment Programme. These programmes focus on developing trainee and firefighter staff at an accelerated rate in order to enable them to compete for promotion in middle manager assessment and development centres (ADC). The first cohort of staff in the TDP will be aiming to participate in the Middle Manager ADC in 2009, while the recently employed staff on the graduate programme will be aiming to participate in the middle manager ADC in Also, an 18 month rolling programme of promotion rounds (starting at senior manager level) has now been implemented, enabling more effective planning of resources with anticipated vacancies being flattened out.
5 21. It should be noted however, that neither of these programmes seek to provide accelerated development beyond the Station Manager level. Currently therefore, there is no mechanism for supporting the development of Brigade talent into strategic roles (operational, FRS and/or control). Given the level of responsibility these managers have for delivering the Authority s strategic objectives, this is a potential gap. 22. Similarly, whilst initial strategies have been introduced to accelerate representation of women and black and ethnic minority staff in (operational) middle management roles (TDP and graduate entry programme), these strategies do not extend to the promotion of these key staff groups to strategic manager roles. Capability planning key issues 23. Although it is recognised that turnover within LFB is low, there is a tendency (generally in organisations) for this to be higher amongst highly skilled or able staff i.e. organisations often tend to lose their best people. This would suggest that some level of Succession Planning and Capability Planning can prove of benefit in a low turnover environment. 24. However, the introduction of succession planning and/or capability planning strategy/programmes can lead to a perception of them and us by the workforce, as they see accelerated or other development opportunities available to individual staff or such pools, without access to enhanced development opportunities themselves. This must be a consideration when designing any such approach within the Authority. 25. A paper analysing retention and progression issues put to HRE&HE Panel in September 2008, highlighted that 48% of our women and 37% operational staff have less than 5 years service. Whilst statistics suggest that women perform well in the promotion process it is noted however that BME staff perform marginally less well than the white group. It is clear that further consideration is needed on support initiatives in addition to the promotion support courses already developed by Training & Development. Recommendations (for Officers) Work force and Succession Planning 26. It is recommended that Officers take the following steps to address areas for action which, in turn, will improve the accuracy and completeness of data held. This will enable better workforce planning to be undertaken: Control and track supernumeraries through increased data gathering and agree an approved number of posts Reduce the volume of temporary promotions and detachments to simplify the workforce profile Review the length of time base postings can be held open to reduce the amount of temporary arrangements in place Review all long-term temporary arrangements with a view to taking agreed actions on these. Introduce Job Requisition process for operational staff to reflect FRS process to proactive control to the operational establishment.
6 27. Although it is recognised that low wastage rates mitigate against establishing complex succession planning processes, it is suggested identifying what are considered to be the Brigade s key posts, along with contingency plans for how they might be filled, would minimise potential threats to operational delivery and support departmental and corporate risk plans. 28. It is therefore recommended that: - departments identify key posts (operational, FRS and control) posts across the organisation that, if vacant, would cause/inhibit/prevent the Brigade from operating effectively - succession plans are developed to identify replacements in the categories: Being ready to do the next job now; Being ready for a certain higher-grade position in, say, two years; Being ready for job rotation at the same level; Being ready for lateral assignments on temporary relief or project work. - managers work with HR to ensure that any skills/knowledge gaps that are identified by this process are addressed. 29. It is recognised that there are potential resourcing implications within HR and T&D, and it is recommended that HR lead on the development of a detailed implementation process for Succession Planning. Capability Planning 30. As highlighted above, talent management practices can lead to feelings of resentment amongst staff not included. However, and in support of the approach for Succession planning recommended above, there are benefits to be gained in developing a scheme focusing on: - identifying a pool (of staff) that aligns with the key strategic roles identified for Succession Planning (above) and scoping attributes, skills, knowledge, etc that will be key to high performance in those jobs; - development programmes to support this pool, in line with the approach taken for TDP; - building on the TDP and Graduate programme, the pool should be identified at Middle manager level, for development into Strategic manager posts. 31. It is recognised that a such a pool would need to be supported by an identification and selection process and that the resourcing issues identified at paragraph 29 above, and a detailed implementation proposal should be prepared. 32. Fast track schemes have a major role to play in achieving accelerated promotion for women and BME as will multi-tier entry. It is recommended that these initiatives be supported by the extension of
7 positive action schemes for Women and BME staff at Station Managers Group Manager levels such as mentoring and Career Coaching. 33. This approach, which is outlined at Appendix 2, would complement the proposal for Succession Planning, and build on existing programmes such as TDP and the Graduate Programme. It is recognised however that the TDP and Graduate Programme pilots have thus far been run independently. It is recommended that these programmes be continued, but as an integrated talent development offering at Supervisory Middle Management level, encompassing LFBs approach to multi-tier entry. A further paper outlining the detail of this approach would follow in January 2009 (with a proposal for Multi-tier entry in March 2009). Authority s Strategic Objectives 34. Adopting an integrated approach to workforce planning, succession planning and talent management practices will help the Brigade achieve two of its strategic objectives. Strategic objective 4 Resources: Managing risk by using our resources flexibly, efficiently and effectively, continuously improving the way we use public money. The Brigade can ensure business continuity by developing succession plans for key and strategic roles, and by supporting and enhancing the pool of talent recognised within the organisation by offering high quality, relevant development experiences. Strategic objective 5 People: Working together to deliver the highest quality service within a safe and positive environment for everyone in the organisation. By enhancing existing training and development investment the Brigade can mitigate the organisation s exposure to loss of talent at all levels within the organisation. Further, increasingly sophisticated workforce planning, succession planning and talent management practices can build on organisation s commitment to equality and diversity by providing further access to senior and key roles to under-represented groups. Head of Legal and Democratic Services comments 35. The Head of Legal and Democratic Services agrees with the potential equalities implications noted below. In order to ensure that any new initiative does not produce an unintentional adverse impact on any group, it will be important to keep equality impact assessments under review. The anticipated new Single Equality Act may give more opportunities for positive action in relation to any underrepresented group. Head of Finance Comments 36. No comments form Head of Finance. Environmental Implications 37. There are no environmental implications arising from this paper. Equalities Implications 37. It is recognised that the implementation of a Talent Management approach has potential Equalities implications, both in the presenting opportunities to reinforce LFBS approach to achieving a diverse workforce, and also in ensuring that such initiatives do not produce a negative impact. The progress and effect of such a scheme would therefore require close monitoring.
8 List of Appendices to this report: 1. Succession planning model (example) 2. Proposed succession planning and talent management model LOCAL GOVERNMENT (ACCESS TO INFORMATION) ACT 1985 List of background documents Proper officer Contact officer Telephone Jim Robinson, Head of HR Transformation Darren Smith x
9 Appendix 1: Succession planning model (example) Model as at 1/9/08 Role Sep-08 Oct-08 Nov-08 Dec-08 Jan-09 Feb-09 Mar-09 Apr-09 May-09 Jun-09 Jul-09 Aug-09 Sep-09 Oct-09 Mar- AC 1 1 DAC GM list SM list WMB list WMA list WMB (S) list WMA (S) list CM FF Total Greyed squares indicate the promotion process (from advert to plenary) Bold numbers indicate number due to be put on successful list with number reducing until next round shown on the next line down (as vacancies arise).
10 Appendix 2: Proposed succession planning and capability planning model Supervisory mgrs Middle mgrs Strategic mgrs Succession planning (key posts) Talent management Targeted development programme Graduate programme Workforce planning