OPM Releases Guidance on Succession Planning for SES

Last week, the Office of Personnel Management released a memorandum to all agency human resources directors entitled Guidance on Establishing an Annual Leadership Talent Management and Succession Planning Process. The document is intended to “help agencies implement and enhance an annual leadership talent management and succession planning (TM&SP) process.”

The memo foresees five stages in developing such a process:

  • Determine future executive resources needs
  • Evaluate current talent state
  • Align talent to agency needs
  • Finalize executive development plans
  • Implement and update plans

The guidance is issued in keeping with regulations under 5 CFR 412.01, which requires federal agencies to develop a comprehensive management succession program.

The lack of a well-established protocol for talent management and succession planning has been a common theme in discussions surrounding ideas for reforming the civil service. In the State of Career Federal Leadership survey – a first-of-its-kind survey of more than 700 career senior executives across the federal government – only 27% of those surveyed believed their agency has a plan to attract talent from outside the government, while only 22% of respondents felt that their agency is well-prepared to retain top talent. Similarly, less than half of those polled (44%) said their agencies had a strategy to develop future career senior leadership.

Among the suggested improvements offered by the Senior Executives Association and Deloitte, the collaborators on the survey, is the preparation of an annual report at the agency level that “assesses leadership pipelines and succession plans.” Other suggestions include increased review of exit interview data, the implementation of “stay interviews,” increased mentoring and training opportunities, better targeted hiring strategies to recruit and retain top talent, and programs that are designed around building leadership capabilities.

Posted in Featured News

Tags: OPM, SES, SEA, succession planning, Senior Executives Association (SEA)

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