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Building a strategic workforce plan for the correctional organization.

The intent of the American Correctional Association's Building a Correctional Workforce for the 21st Century project is to advance the interests of correctional organizations in securing the workforce needed to achieve institutional goals. Related project activities and this publication are designed to help you build your capacity to better understand and respond to emerging workforce issues. Included in this, is the importance of thinking and planning more strategically.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

This article and related chart is intended to help you do just that. It can be copied as is or you can download it from ACA's Web site, www.aca.org, or request a PDF version from Debbie Boyer, ACA Human Resources Committee chairwoman, by e-mailing her at debbie.boyer@doc.state.ok.us. It is suggested that you work through the document yourself and include members of your staff in an exercise to identify areas where you can improve your strategic workforce planning.

Strategic Workforce Imperatives

The resource development planning chart on pages 111-115 is organized around 10 strategic workforce development plan imperatives. These imperatives include major themes that have emerged from the articles presented in this edition of Corrections Today, which provide background and practical ideas as well as references for further study. The thought process and method of approach suggested will drive strategic action steps to close differences between a correctional agency's current condition and a desired state during the next five years. It is a strategic gap analysis of sorts, designed to lead into the formulation of an agency's more tactical and operational workforce plan.

It is suggested that you modify this tool to meet your more specific strategic workforce planning needs, and use it, minimally, on an annual basis. Although this guide encourages you to think five years out, external conditions can change that will require course correction on your workforce development planning. You are encouraged to share these modifications with Boyer, for purposes of enhancing this tool for use by other colleagues and organizations. The 10 strategic workforce development plan imperatives are:

Organizational Readiness. Several preconditions are considered important before effective workforce planning and results can be achieved. These include recognizing the importance of workforce planning within the organization and making a commitment to become a preferred employer. It is also critical to characterize the ideal employee that not only is needed now, but in the future.

Organizational Workforce Needs. You are only able to achieve that which you can measure. It is imperative that you characterize the quantity and quality of the labor force you will need. This requires some consideration of anticipated turnover, retirements and changes in organizational approaches that may require modifications in personnel use.

Labor Market Conditions. The changing demography across the United States and in an agency's specific area will require careful and localized analysis. The traditional white male labor pool upon which corrections has relied will not be as available as it once was. This will require reaching out to and developing alternative human resources. In addition, forecasted job growth in the U.S. economy suggests workforce shortages will occur in most occupational areas. This portends growing recruitment competition among employers and within the labor pool.

Recruitment. Recruitment success in the future will have a strong connection to general public awareness of the importance of corrections as well as availability of corrections-related jobs and careers. Retention will also be affected by the career advancement opportunities available within the profession and the organization as well as wages, benefits and other incentives of employment. In light of competitive recruitment conditions, a variety of media and Web-based approaches will be vital along with maintaining strong relationships with organizations that prepare and guide workforce candidates.

Retention. Turnover has and will remain a challenging issue. It requires the development of specific strategies related to certain employee groups. Specifically, the organization needs to make sure it understands and is able to respond to the long-term employment interests of the high performers, as these individuals will also be attractive to other employers as well. A shortage in candidates within the traditional labor pool also will require the development of strategies to extend the tenure of those soon to retire in some manner.

Training and Advancement. The percentage of cor-rections professionals and executive and management positions eligible for retirement will remain high. The development of individuals for management positions will need to be accelerated. Retention and organizational performance also will be positively affected by strengthening skill development that advances staff within the organization and cross-training that supports wider use of personnel. New types and special interest training also may be available through partnerships with organizations in business, government and the nonprofit sector.

Sharing a Workforce Pool. Collaborative efforts to stabilize labor resources are growing in light of increased churning (hiring and laying off) related to shifting employer needs for workers. During lay-off conditions, good workers can be placed temporarily with other organizations. Non-core functions can be outsourced and areas of critical competencies can be shared.

Work System Re-engineering. Strategies to more efficiently and effectively use personnel resources will continue to be studied and applied in light of tight revenue and labor pool conditions. Automation, process improvement and alternative work arrangements will provide opportunities.

Strategic Relationships. An agenda of regular interaction for mentorship, best-practice identification and workforce recruitment is an essential element in a competitive workforce development environment. ACA, through this project, is intending to be a conduit of such support. Additional relationships with educational institutions and other sources of worker candidates like local workforce boards and government boards are important to prioritize and maintain.

Human Resource Development Capacity. The role of the human resource function within the correctional organization will grow in importance, or desired organizations goals will not be achieved. The human resources manager or personnel officer must be a member of the executive and organizational strategic planning teams. Appropriate financial resources and related support will need to be available to address the increased complexity of workforce development.

A Collaborative Initiative

There it is--a more strategic way to think about and develop a strategic workforce plan for the correctional organization. It is supported by this special workforce edition of Corrections Today, ACA's Human Resources Committee, a newsletter and a special track at each ACA conference. Building capacity for more effective workforce development planning must be an ongoing process as complexity, diversity and pace of change will characterize the workforce development environment. Your efforts along with those of other ACA members, is best advanced through collaborative efforts, which will benefit from feedback. Please share any comments relative to this chart and anything else related to this project with Boyer.

[TABLE OMITTED]
Workforce Development Current Desired State
Imperative Condition (Over Next 5 Years)

I. Organizational
 Readiness
Strategic plan & planning
process includes human
resources & director as
integral components
Leadership committed to
advancing "preferred
employer" conditions
Values & celebrates a
diverse staff--employee
surveys and recognition
Preferred employee profile
II. Organizational
 Workforce Needs
Number of employees
Category of employees
Qualifications of
employees
III. Labor Market
 Conditions (local,
 regional, state,
 national)
Labor pool availability
Competition for labor
Comparative wages &
benefits
IV. Recruitment
 (Internal & External)
Public awareness &
marketing information
Organizational purpose &
community role
Career advancement
opportunities & job
descriptions
Wages, benefits & other
incentives of employment
Recruitment materials-print,
media, web-based
Sources for distribution-
schools, job centers, other
professions
V. Retention
High performers
At or near retirement
Hard-to-find & critical
competencies
New hires
Low performers
VI. Training and
 Advancement
Management & succession
planning
Job & career ladder skill--
enhancement
Cross-training
Tuition supported
advancement options
Collaborative training
opportunities
VII. Sharing a
 Workforce Pool
Outsourcing labor-intensive
& non-core functions
Sharing workers with other
organizations
Temporary out-placement
VIII. Work System Re-
 Engineering
Alternative work
arrangements
Processes & procedures
Mechanization &
automation

 Difference
Workforce Development Current condition Steps to Assistance
Imperative Desired state to Take Needed

I. Organizational
 Readiness
Strategic plan & planning
process includes human
resources & director as
integral components
Leadership committed to
advancing "preferred
employer" conditions
Values & celebrates a
diverse staff--employee
surveys and recognition
Preferred employee profile
II. Organizational
 Workforce Needs
Number of employees
Category of employees
Qualifications of
employees
III. Labor Market
 Conditions (local,
 regional, state,
 national)
Labor pool availability
Competition for labor
Comparative wages &
benefits
IV. Recruitment
 (Internal & External)
Public awareness &
marketing information
Organizational purpose &
community role
Career advancement
opportunities & job
descriptions
Wages, benefits & other
incentives of employment
Recruitment materials-print,
media, web-based
Sources for distribution-
schools, job centers, other
professions
V. Retention
High performers
At or near retirement
Hard-to-find & critical
competencies
New hires
Low performers
VI. Training and
 Advancement
Management & succession
planning
Job & career ladder skill--
enhancement
Cross-training
Tuition supported
advancement options
Collaborative training
opportunities
VII. Sharing a
 Workforce Pool
Outsourcing labor-intensive
& non-core functions
Sharing workers with other
organizations
Temporary out-placement
VIII. Work System Re-
 Engineering
Alternative work
arrangements
Processes & procedures
Mechanization &
automation

This article and chart can be downloaded from ACA's Web site
www.aca.org, under Publishing and Periodicals.


Ed Barlow is president of Creating the Future Inc. (www.creatingthefuture.com), an organization dedicated to trend spotting and strategic planning consultation for more than 25 years. He is a consultant to the American Correctional Association's Building a Correctional Workforce for the 21st Century project. For additional information, call (269) 982-1830. Joyce G. Fogg is public relations manager for the Virginia Employment Security Commission. She is chairwoman of the Advisory Committee for ACA's Building a Correctional Workforce for the 21st Century project. She may be contacted at (804) 786-7592; jfogg@vec.state.va.us.
COPYRIGHT 2004 American Correctional Association, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:CT Feature
Author:Barlow, Edward D.; Fogg, Joyce G.
Publication:Corrections Today
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2004
Words:1562
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