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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In today’s competitive business environment, private, public and
non-governmental organisations are increasingly making effort to build
high quality workforce operations; this is driven by the fact that employees leave their jobs either on a planned or unplanned basis. As a result, management succession planning has been seen as a critical part of management and human resource planning process that specifically focuses on ensuring the availability and sustainability of a supply of capable staff that are ready to assume key or critical organizational roles as they become available. Succession planning strategies, which focus on developing employee capability, ultimately enable organizations to respond to staff changes more effectively (Raymond, 1999).
Armstrong (2003) observed that the basic aim of management succession planning process is to ensure that as far as possible, suitable employees are internally available to fill vacancies created by promotion, retirement, death, termination or transfers. It follows, therefore, that succession planning is the systematic, strategic and deliberate process of defining future organizational requirements and identifying internal candidates who best meet those vacancies or requirements (Leslie and Lloyd, 1991). With the system in place, the skills, knowledge and competencies within the enterprise are assessed to measure staff development to see which future positions they may take within the organisation when other employees leave their positions (Gary,
2000).Not only does succession planning encourage hiring within and creating an environment in which employees have careers and not just jobs, it identifies human resource shortages and skill deficiencies before openings occur, then through special assignment, job rotation, training, coaching, mentoring and other forms of human resource development tools, candidates can be prepared to accept the greater responsibility of future jobs openings (William and Davis, 1996).
Basically, coaching and mentoring programs have been an integral part of organisational succession planning programs and effective for developing employee’s career, performance, skills and knowledge for organisational long-term succession need. Its usage by small and large organisations is fast growing and the corresponding effects on succession planning cannot be over-emphasised.
To a larger extent, mentoring is usually a formal or informal relationship between two people - a senior mentor (usually outside the protégés chain of supervision) and a junior protégé. Formally, mentoring is most defined as a professional relationship in which an experienced person (the mentor) assist another (the mentee) in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance the less- experienced person’s professional and personal growth (Metros and Yang, 2006). However, a
mentor-mentee relationship focuses on developing the mentee professionally and personally. Today, more and more organisations are creating formal mentoring programs for various reasons; from increased morale to increased organisational productivity and career development. However, successful mentoring programs do not just happen, organization must first make a strong business case to demonstrate why the organization must devote the time, attention, and resources required to make a formal mentoring process work. For instance, an agency forecasting succession growth in specific job series may want a mentoring program to prepare high-potential employees to assume future job positions (Murray and Owen, 1991).Therefore, mentoring program provides an effective mechanism for grooming employees with relevant skills, guidance, advice, support, knowledge and career development as well as leadership and management development, as an integral part of organisational succession plan. Armstrong (2003), states that mentoring helps to bring the right protégés on board, ensure that employees are more satisfied with their positions, increase their motivation and ensure high level of employee retention for future job openings. In fact, mentoring is an effective way to foster relationship in
workplace and blue the lines of hierarchy between the protégés and senior staff.
In the same vein, coaching is a person-to-person technique of developing an individual, referred to as coachee with skills, knowledge and attitudes (Armstrong, 2003). Leslie and Lloyd (1991:403), sees it as a method of management development conducted on the job, that involves experienced managers (the coach) advising and guiding trainees in solving managerial problems. To this end, the coach helps the trainees develop by giving them the opportunity to perform an increasing range of managerial tasks, and by helping them to learn from their experiences. However, they coach to improve the trainees’ performance by asking searching questions, discussions, encouragement, and providing information/ feedback. In respect to succession planning, internal or external coaching programs ensure all round development of interpersonal, managerial and strategic skills that are critical for those assuming leadership positions. Gerald and Denise (1997), reveals that coaching programs help in engaging employees with their work, make them feel valued and foster employees commitment to the organisation. Also, internal coaching promotes self
responsibility and initiative as well as facilitates adaptation to new organisational role challenges and changes.
In the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry, Juhel Nigeria Ltd has a well structured and effective mentoring and coaching program as a relevant process for realising management succession planning. It has already hired its upcoming chief executive officer and relevant managerial positions for years to come, although it’s not yet public knowledge, the person(s) is already being challenged, assessed, and groomed for future openings in the workplace through mentoring, coaching and other human resource tools. However, the core objective of Juhel Nigeria Limited mentoring and coaching program is to provide a systematic succession of first-rate employees throughout the organisation. Till date, all the junior and senior management staff are products of this system. Hence, the broad objective of this study is to ascertain the effect of coaching and mentoring on succession planning in organisations with particular reference to Juhel Nigeria Limited, Enugu State.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM.
Finding a ready replacement for management personnel who leave an organisation has been a problem organisations have continued to
face. This problem exists and persists because Organisations rarely have a program whereby employees are groomed such that they are ready to take over sensitive and crucial management vacancies which arise when those manning such positions leave the organisation.
In specific terms, the issues to be addressed in this study are: To what extent have coaching and mentoring contributed in developing employee skills, attitudes and knowledge for succession planning? What is the impact of management in supporting coaching and mentoring programs for employee’s retention and development to enhance succession planning? Is there enabling environment for effective coaching and mentoring program to ensure sustainable succession planning? How far has coaching and mentoring program contributed in accelerating employee performance, career and competencies for effective succession planning?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The broad objective of this study is to undertake an assessment of the effect of coaching and mentoring on succession plan in organisations with particular reference to Juhel Nigeria Limited, Enugu. In specific terms, the study tries to:
Uncover the contributions of mentoring and coaching in developing employee’s skills, attitudes and knowledge for succession planning. Ascertain the impact of management in supporting coaching and mentoring programs for employee retention and development to enhance succession planning and determine if there is enabling environment for effective coaching and mentoring programs to ensure sustainable succession planning. And finally determine the contributions of coaching and mentoring program in accelerating employee performance, career and competencies for effective succession planning.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
a. Does coaching and mentoring contribute in developing employee’s skills, attitude and knowledge for succession planning?
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