November 11, 2012

MU0010 [Manpower Planning and Resourcing] Set1 Q4

Q.4 What are the obstacles in Manpower Planning?
What are the major hindrances that one encounters while carrying out manpower planning? 

Ans:

According to K. F. Turkman manpower planning can be defined as an attempt to match the supply of people with the jobs available in an organization. Statistical techniques have been used to match the supply of people with the jobs available.

Bruce Coleman has defined manpower planning has been defined as “the process of determining manpower requirements and the means for meeting those requirements in order to carry out the integrated plan of the organization”.

The website www.businessdictionary.com defines manpower planning as: “Estimating or projecting the number of personnel with different skills required over time or for a project, and detailing how and when they will be acquired.”
A business definition according to www.bnet.com for manpower planning is “The development of strategies to match the supply of workers, and the availability of jobs at organizational, regional or national level.” 


Obstacles in Manpower Planning


The major obstacles in manpower planning are as follows:

(1) Non Optimal Utilization of Manpower: 
Following are the main obstacles that organizations face in the process of manpower planning:

1. Under Utilization of Manpower: The biggest obstacle in case of manpower planning is the fact that the industries in general are not making optimum use of their manpower and once manpower planning begins, it encounters heavy odds in stepping up the utilization.

The biggest obstacle for manpower planning is the fact that organizations cannot optimally use their manpower once manpower planning begins. During manpower planning, the number of resources required for a job is decided based on the total work load, the process to be followed and the criticality of the job. Once the analysis is done, it is decided that one person can only handle a certain portion of the workload and hence for any additional workload, additional resources need to be hired proportionately.

Over a period of time, the total workload may change, the processes may change, the criticality of the job may change and new technological innovations may make the job far easier to accomplish. However when the same employees are asked to step up the productivity, they resist accepting any additional workload and resist even deployment of new technology, hence making it hard for the management to maximize the use of their manpower. This makes the organizational processes ineffective or inefficient and hence the organization as a whole becomes ineffective or inefficient and loses out to competition which may be able to remain lean in terms of number of resources and highly effective and efficient.

2. Degree of Absenteeism: Absenteeism is quite high and has been increasing since last few years. Every organization has witnessed an increase in absenteeism. This has lead to errors creeping in the manpower planning exercise. If the plan stated that 4 employees are required to manage the total workload, increased degree of absenteeism leads to the partial failure of the manpower planning exercise.

3. Lack of Education and Skilled Labour: The extent of illiteracy and the slow pace of development of the skilled categories account for low productivity in employees. Low productivity has implications for manpower planning. People are not employable. The slow pace of acquiring business required competencies by people at large also result in low employee productivity. All manpower planning is done basis a certain productivity level considered as a benchmark. And low productivity has negative implications for manpower planning.

4. Manpower Control and Review:
a. Any increase in manpower is considered at the top level of management 
b. On the basis of manpower plans, personnel budgets are prepared. These act as control mechanisms to keep the manpower under certain broadly defined limits. 
c. The productivity of any organization is usually calculated using the formula: 
Productivity = Output / Input
. But a rough index of employee productivity is calculated as follows: 
Employee Productivity = Total Production / Total no. of employees
d. Exit Interviews, the rate of turnover and rate of absenteesim are source of vital information on the satisfaction level of manpower. For conservation of Human Resources and better utilization of men studying these conditions, manpower control would have to take into account the data to make meaningful analysis. 
e. Extent of Overtime: The amount of overtime paid may be due to real shortage of men, ineffective management or improper utilization of manpower. Manpower control would require a careful study of overtime statistics. 

Few Organizations do not have sufficient records and information on manpower. Several of those who have them do not have a proper retrieval system. There are complications in resolving the issues in design, definition and creation of computerized personnel information system for effective manpower planning and utilization. Even the existing technologies in this respect are not optimally used. This is a strategic disadvantage.


Modern Manpower Control and Review Processes

(i) Any increase in manpower is to be approved by the top most levels of the management today.
(ii) Manpower budgets created on the basis of manpower planning act as control mechanisms to keep the manpower cost and headcount under certain defined limits.
(iii) Usually the productivity of any organization is calculated using the formula: Productivity = Output / Input. 
Example: 5 products are sold during the day/ 8 hours of effort put in during the day. i.e., the sales productivity of the employee is 
5 products per day.
But a rough guide of employee productivity used today is: Employee Productivity = Total Production / Total no. of employees
• Example: 50 products are sold during the day/12 employees were responsible for selling 50 products during the day. i.e., the sales productivity of each employee is 4.17 products per day.
(iv) The rate of manpower turnover, exit interviews and absenteeism are sources of measuring dissatisfaction level of manpower. To eliminate employee dissatisfaction and to ensure better utilization of resources a study of the reasons causing the dissatisfaction level is required. 
(v) Overtime is paid to employees due to real shortage of manpower, inefficient management or improper utilization of manpower. Manpower planning requires a study of the overtime statistics.

The current pace at which business is done today is very fast. Many organizations either do not have data or are overwhelmed with data. Non availability and non utilization of the data are also reasons for complicating the situation. In some organization even the existing technologies available for manpower planning are not optimally used. This also creates obstacles in manpower planning.

Example: Business Scenario for Obstacles in Manpower Planning (Lack of employable labor)

The entire BPO industry is suffering with this scenario of lack of employable labor. In a dynamic business scenario, manpower planning is critical to organizational growth and stability. It is integral to recruiting, retaining, retraining and redeployment of talent. Linked to business needs of the organization, the process of manpower planning is much more complicated than it seems. Manpower planning involves developing skills and competencies of existing employees to meet market demands which can change with time. Manpower planning also requires having a contingent plan in place in case of any eventuality (talent shortage).

Out of every 100 candidates interviewed only 10 of them are employable. Majority of them are unemployable by the BPO industry. It’s a known fact in the BPO industry. The manpower planning exercise requires BPO companies to budget for travel to the interiors of the state, travel to other states. It also needs to budget for providing new joiners with relocation allowance. It has to make provision for some joining bonuses as well when the hiring by all companies was at its peak. It decided to lower the level of hiring and spend additional time on training candidates. It needed to engage external organizations to evaluate the voice and accent capability or the potential of the candidate in order to validate its own findings with that of an independent agency, so that no potential candidate was rejected and no candidate who was not trainable was hired.

The manpower planning required inclusion of non standard practices to ensure that the hiring targets were met so as to ensure that migration of client business processes from other countries to India was as per committed timelines.

In fact some of the BPO’s in India also have operations in countries like Philippines. Due to the inability of the India BPOs to hire in some cases, work is split up between India and Philippines.

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