MANPOWER PLANNING AND BUDGETING
Manpower planning is a means to an end. In this case, the end is to secure supply of manpower able to undertake all the activities required to achieve the organization’s corporate objectives. In management process, organization’s corporate objectives are fundamental. Therefore, manpower requirement must be assessed in general terms by the top management level. This assessment will bring about number of long-term strategies for manpower targeted at securing sufficient and suitable employees for the attainment of the organization plan as a whole. Many organizations will not care for a comprehensive approach of corporate planning, but nevertheless will have been forced for economic and social reasons to consider the flow of manpower through their institutions.
The nature of an organization influences the changes in the work force which in turn have a significant effect on business result. As such organizations often include manpower planning in their programmes.
Manpower planning has to do with quality of employees as it is with quantity. Thus, it is not just a numbers game; more time should be spent on the qualitative aspects, in particular, the different requirements for knowledge and skill.
To ensure an effective manpower planning, it is worth considering the following questions.
What kinds of people does the organization require and in what number.
Over what time-span are these people required?
How many of them are employed by the organization currently?
How can the organization meet the short-fall between (a) and (c) from internal and external sources?
What changes are taking place in the external labour market which might affect the supply of manpower?
STAGES OF MANPOWER PLANNING
There are four major activities of manpower planning:
Analyzing existing manpower situation.
Forecasting future demands for manpower
Assessing the external labour market and forecasting the manpower supply.
Establishing and implementing manpower plans.
THE MANPOWER PROCESS
Manpower planning can only make impact when seen in relation to business objectives. Organizations demand for employees in order to meet the supply of goods and services to its customers. In that wise, the planning of manpower is a resources activity. It is a known fact, also, that manpower resources in themselves have vital influence on organization objectives. For instance, the expansion plans of an organization into a new market can be impeded because of inability to acquire enough suitably trained personnel in executing the project. So, information arising from the manpower planning process can produce feedback which causes other business to be cancelled or amended.
PERSONNEL DECISION AND MANPOWER FLOW
Talking about manpower does not necessarily mean numbers, but plans for training, for promotion and productivity. All these indicate the importance of getting the right sort of personnel as well as the right numbers.
DEMAND FOR MANPOWER/BUDGET
This is a continuous process in any organization. There is the short-term demand which relate to specific skill or position to be fitted in context of existing budgets. This takes on a period of about 6 to 9 months. The medium term takes 9 to 18 months and long term (18 months to 5 years) aspects, in line with the market and financial target of the corporate plan. A long term view of manpower is crucial for supplying organization with skills that can take time to be developed.
In some professional jobs training require a period of three (3) to five (5) years before a trainee think of basic competences of the profession. Assuming an organization decides to develop its own accountants, it need to look ahead for at least five years from the time the first trainees are appointed. Should the organization decided to employ them, they will go to the labour market, here it has to be reasonably assured of the forecast availability of trained accountants at the time they will be required.
SUPPLY OF MANPOWER
Any analysis of the supply of manpower of manpower must start with the existing state of the organization’s manpower. Responses are required to some questions put forward as to what categories of staff do the organization have? What number in each category? What of the age and sex distribution within the categories? What skills ad qualifications exist? How successful is the organization recruiting particular categories of personnel. These questions are vital for immediate and future application.
NOTE: An ageing workforce is an advantage to a contracting business plan and disadvantage for an expansion planned in the same business. If the latter is the case, the organization would depend heavily on the local labour market.
The supply of manpower cannot only be considered on the numbers and categories at a particular point in time. Organization must consider the following factors in addition:
The ability to continue to attract suitable recruits into its various operations and
The rate at which employees are leaving the organization
These being the case;
Can the organization count on filling vacant posts more difficult to fill than others, and can anything be done about this?
What about leavers? Why are they moving out? Retirement? Seeking better opportunities elsewhere? Pregnancy? Dismissal? Redundancy? However, some organizations rely on a high fallout rate in order to recruit fresh employees at regular intervals. Yet, other organizations expect a considerable degree of suitability among their workforce and thus expectation is built into their assumption.
FUTURE MANPOWER NEED
This aspect would become necessary where organization cannot meet this need internally, then it must look to the external labour market. I think a country like Nigeria with enough potential would only require such external manpower in special areas like advance technology. Already, we have a large scale of unemployment and even a surplus of some skills.
Whatever is the organization plan large or short term, the idea for securing workforce will usually include the following:
Recruitment: How do we ensure our anticipated needs for replenishing or adding to our workforce? By increasing traineeships and apprenticeship or by recruiting trained and experienced people? How much provision should be made for recruiting part timers and contract staff? What steps should be taken to promote the organization in schools, colleges and universities? What use, if any could be made of recruitment consultants? What improvement could be made to our selection procedure.
Training and Development: What basic job and professional training need to be provided to prepare new and existing staff to fulfill their roles satisfactorily? Have in-service or in-company training or have people been sent on external courses? What special programmes need to be introduced to deal with re-training or updating? How can induction procedures be improved?
Pay and Productivity: What motivational aspect should be adopted. Are pay scale and incentive adequate enough to attract, retain and encourage the workforce? What are the cost limits on pay? How can we accommodate high-cost groups of key employees? In what ways can individual departments be discouraged from over-manning? How much overtime if any, need to be worked to achieve production targets.
Promotion and Career Planning: How can internal procedures be improved so as to facilitate the movement of staff to jobs where they can exercise greater or different responsibilities? How well is training linked to career development.
Retirement and Redundancy: What provision should be made for those reaching retirement age? What arrangement should be made for dealing with planned redundancies? How should retirement and redundancies be phased over the course of the year? What are the estimated costs of these plans?
Manpower planning is therefore a rational approach to the recruitment, retention, utilization, improvement and disposal of the human resources of an organization. Its purpose is to secure the organizations manpower in both the short and long term.
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