The Ministry of Communication in Kuwait gathers and keeps track of employee demographic data that allows for tracking of approximate retirement of key leadership positions. The Ministry accomplishes this task through the use of a carefully developed employee database information system. This system contains critical details such as employees’ age and organization joining date. These facts make it possible to determine the period of time an employee has worked in the organization and if they are approaching the retirement age. According to Lewis and Cho (2011), gathering and keeping track of this data is vital, since the smooth running of the Ministry highly depends on its key leadership positions. In addition, keeping track of the abovementioned demographics acts a warning system for the Ministry, enabling it to identify in good time those close to retirement. This consequently makes it easier to implement a succession plan that will see to the replacement of retirees in a timely fashion.
The Ministry’s leadership has identified qualified possible candidates to move into their positions. This initiative has been taken following the past issues that the Ministry has faced when key leadership positions were left vacant, making it difficult for the organization to continue operations. The leadership constituted of directors and other leaders of the organization have been giving the current low-level leadership and management team of the organization various challenges to test their ability to cope in the top positions. Some of the directors have delegated some aspects of their work in order to further assess the suitability of the candidates. One thing that these leaders have kept in mind is the candidates under consideration represented a workforce of the future. In this regard, these possible candidates will have different expectations of employment compared to their predecessors as asserted by the Local Government Research Collaborative & Center for State and Local Government Excellence (2015). This implies the need of using different selection criteria for them.
The Ministry has put in place a systematic plan for leadership development of these possible candidates. Their leadership development is essential, since in the opinion of Darnell and Campbell (2014), this will serve to add value and character to the skills and experience of the candidates. Therefore, the plan can help them advance their careers and lead the organization towards success. This systematic plan entails the following key elements. In the first place, the main goal of the development plan is to enhance the current leadership team to become enablers of the vision of the organization. The other essential element of the leadership development for this organization is the applied methods. The company considers teaching, mentoring, and the use of exchange programs. Further, the leadership development plan for this organization entails the use of new people to lead. This is asserted as a critical part of leadership development.
The type of leadership training available at the Ministry is as follows. The organization makes use of workshops and training sessions, which are essential in addressing key factors and issues in individual leadership styles. These workshops have proven to not only improve the leadership skills of leaders of the organization but have also facilitated the improvement of morale. The talent exchange program is another type of leadership training available at the Ministry. This entails carrying out a leadership exchange program with other ministries of the government. The staff is thus sent off to other organizations for a certain period of time. The use of leadership groups is another type of leadership training available. This type entails convening a peer leadership group in which the leaders at various levels of the organization meet regularly to talk about their experiences in leadership. This training is necessary given the changing nature of workers as asserted by Starks and Brooks (2009). Further, it is essential due to the fact that training is one of the most valued benefits from employers.
Based on all of the above information, the following is what can be done to improve succession planning at the Ministry. It is critical for the Ministry to realize that improving its succession planning will be essential in preventing staffing challenges that are likely to come by as a result of having a poorly developed succession plan. In the view of Fredericksen (2010), this calls for the staffing process to be more than filling empty seats and should be more about finding people who will embody a fair and representative workforce. The plan should place emphasis on building a leadership pipeline. This aim should be achieved through the effective training and development of programs that will serve to improve the leadership skills and capabilities of the candidates. Consequently, the Ministry will have the possibility to replace the current leadership team upon retirement or any kind of separation from the organization. This plan will therefore be essential in ensuring leadership continuity given that this is among some of the positions that are the lifeblood of this organization. For this reason, the key leadership position cannot be left vacant or filled by an unqualified individual. The United States Office of Personnel Management (2005) affirms that to further make improvements in the succession planning at the Ministry, it is vital for senior leadership to be involved in the process. This will serve as a key motivator for employees to also be involved. This will be essential in helping them remain committed and motivating them to provide the information needed to enhance the organization’s succession plan. It is also necessary for the organization to develop a succession plan that is based on the long-term needs of the organization. In this regard, the succession plan should not just focus on position replacement. Instead, it should focus on identifying the key characteristics, skills, and abilities that must be possessed by the candidates under consideration. All this will go a long way in improving succession planning at the Ministry of Communications in Kuwait.