A flash survey of participants at a recent Watson Wyatt Middle East seminar found that almost two thirds of participating organizations have already formally or informally implemented some workforce planning activities. The remaining third said they are considering a workforce planning system. Workforce planning involves analysing what an organization needs in terms of the size, type, and quality of workforce to achieve its objectives.
In terms of succession planning, where potential successors for key positions in an organization are identified and developed, around half the organizations surveyed said they are currently conducting working or informal succession planning activities, and around 40% are planning to formalize such processes. Only 10% of participating organizations do not intend to formalize their approach to succession planning.
Tom Tice, senior consultant at Watson Wyatt Middle East, said:
“Effective succession planning feeds off a solid workforce plan. As such, it is natural for an organization to undertake workforce planning in advance of succession planning. More than anything, this is an indication of the HR market’s development in Abu Dhabi. As workforce planning proliferates in the region, succession planning should follow.”
Resource constraints were cited as the most significant barrier to implementing both workforce and succession planning faced by Abu Dhabi organizations. The survey results indicate that the limited ability to demonstrate a return on investment in succession planning is the least prominent barrier in local organizations; however, it does pose a common challenge in driving workforce planning. A further hurdle to HR teams is gathering enough buy in from senior management, which is critical to the success in implementing such processes.
The survey included 13 organizations from both private and public sectors and was conducted at a Watson Wyatt Middle East seminar in Abu Dhabi on May 28, 2009.
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