Success Through Succession: Implementing Succession Planning at the Texas Department of Insurance
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While turnover is an inevitable factor that all agencies face, succession planning provides a method of ensuring that turnover does not prove detrimental to the organization. According to Human Resource reports at the Texas Department of Insurance, fifteen to eighteen percent of employees in Texas state agencies are slated to retire within the next three years, many of whom serve in management and key strategic positions for their respective agencies. These employees retain a wealth of knowledge gained through years of experience. Succession planning is a method of grooming less tenured staff to ensure the "availability of a supply of capable staff who are ready to assume key or critical positions" (Podger, 2003, iii). The purpose of this research is threefold. First, based on the Applied Research Project of Sharon Ley (2002), as well as literature pertaining to the subject, it describes the critical components of an ideal succession plan. Second, utilizing the practical ideal type characteristics, it assesses strategies for implementing succession planning at the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). Finally, based on the assessment, recommendations have been made to TDI on the most effective method for implementing succession planning. Succession planning at TDI was assessed using document analysis and focused interviews. The study found that while succession planning is being practiced at TDI, there is not a cohesive plan that has been implemented on an agency-wide level. By applying the practical ideal model for succession planning, as developed by Sharon Ley and tailored to the needs of state agencies through this research, TDI can modify their current practices and implement a comprehensive, successful succession plan at the agency.