Any human resources manager who has ever hired walk-in employees already knows the importance of manpower development in an organization. In order to ensure consistent customer service and increase employee retention, every company must engage in manpower development, also known as workforce training.

Even if you only hire sign spinners and roadside trash pickup crews, for example, your workers still need to have a few basic skills and a higher level of physical fitness than average. Sign spinners with an outgoing personality and a few dance moves will drive more traffic to your doors. Roadside trash pickup crews need some training to differentiate garbage from lost valuables, including a set of protocols on how to report their daily finds so that all items return to their rightful owners.


If you encounter the term manpower development in older versions of company forms and manuals, assume that the term refers to improving the employability and skill set of every person in the workforce.

Despite its replacement with more inclusive terms such as employee skill development and staff training, as well as workforce development and worker management, the concept of manpower development remains useful. Until the next review of the company policy manual, treat the word as if it reads "human resources development." Acknowledge the term's throwback status and assign a balanced group of employees to the task of updating all company paperwork, especially the staff handbook.

Identify Current and Future Needs

The C-suite staff in every successful startup in the world evaluates the need for manpower development as early as possible in the formation process of the company. The most successful firms refuse to stuff themselves into a cookie-cutter staff training schedule. Instead, the leaders of these businesses brainstorm.

Taking the time to identify future staffing changes from the beginning of the hiring process ensures that hiring and training create instant lines of succession. These ready-made chains of command create and enforce efficient processes for current needs and anticipate changes in the local and global political and economic climate. This proactive employee development plan ensures that neither the economy nor any local or global politics can drag the company into the weeds.

Examples of Workforce Development Needs

After receiving several inquiries from tenants in the new industrial park in the area, Company X identified a need to hire food truck workers to serve the coffee break and lunch crowd. In nearly every state, all new food truck employees must obtain a food handler's license within 30 days of their hire date. As a result, the company hiring manager anticipated the need for time and a place to study to ensure that the new hires could pass the exam before completion of their initial training period.

Suppose one of these drivers becomes impaired during a shift; consequently, a minimum of two workers on each truck will need a valid class D driver's license. Additionally, if your food truck weighs more than 26,000 pounds, each of your drivers must acquire a commercial driver's license, also known as a CDL. No matter what size vehicle you operate, however, your workers need to know what measures to take in case of a breakdown, including how to maintain food safety during an extended traffic delay in 90-plus-degree heat.

Describe the Purpose of Manpower Development

Out of the 1,257 CEOs who participated in a fourth-quarter survey in 2018, 65 percent intended to hire more employees in the upcoming year. These forward-thinking CEOs will beat other hiring managers to the punch, thereby forcing everyone else to pay higher wages, offer more benefits or make existing work schedules more flexible if they wish to retain their current staff members.

Consequently, hiring managers must create work-related training programs that improve employee engagement and prepare current staff to step into middle management and C-suite positions as part of intentional manpower development, otherwise known as succession planning.

Intentional Manpower Development

Succession planning requires providing intentional workforce development. This deliberate, purposeful advanced planning ensures that any loss of key personnel does not result in gaping holes in the company hierarchy, whether through staff members taking a new role in another organization, retiring from their current position or as the result of long-term illness or death.

This intentional development must include offering frequent opportunities to serve as managers, recruiters, trainers and C-suite members to any employees who have the necessary grit, determination and people skills.

Begin Succession Planning on Date of Hire

Creating a line of succession for your chain of command ensures an easier transition and prevents squabbles over who takes command in a crisis situation. Consequently, always identify interested potential internal hires during their probationary period. Begin their workforce development in those early weeks rather than waiting until an opening occurs in the organizational chart.

Provide all of these future executives with scheduled training modules that equip them to recognize and act upon any situations that require compliance with the rules, codes, regulations and laws that apply to company operations. In addition to learning the applicable rules and regulations, provide employees who demonstrate C-suite acumen with opportunities to attend board meetings, serve as trustees, create and implement strategic plans and address stakeholders in the business, community and nation with full authority.

Production Measures for Skilled Manpower

Production measures for skilled manpower that increase a company's ability to recruit and retain staff include creating metrics that predict and minimize employee turnover. On a predictable schedule, everyone from floor managers to members of the C-suite must have accurate data to forecast any surplus or shortage of human resources. These forecasts help minimize deficiencies in the quality of products and services due to overwork as well as eliminate excess downtime at every stage of production or service delivery.

Other production measures for skilled manpower include anticipating the impact of technology on future staffing needs, including whether the learning curve for using new hardware or software will increase efficiency or create bottlenecks and roadblocks. In addition, overseeing the planned onboarding of new staff and periodic separations of surplus personnel will increase budgeting accuracy. By predicting ebbs and flows in staffing needs, business owners can maintain superior customer and stakeholder relations.

Managing Compliance Issues

In certain professions, such as legal services and education, childcare or medical services, numerous legal requirements dictate the ratio of staff to clients, students, program participants or patients. Legal requirements also determine which skill sets employees must possess, what standards they have to meet in their fields and what reporting responsibilities they should expect. Matching every job description word for word with the corresponding laws, regulations and rules will help immunize facilities from future lawsuits.

Effect of the Manpower Officer Job Description on Recruitment

Micromanaging a company rarely ends well, so the manpower officer or human resources manager must have the authority to hire and fire without having to request permission from upper management in every situation. Gross insubordination, credible threats to fellow employees or management, continuous attendance problems or substandard customer service should result in immediate progressive discipline, from write-ups to on-the-spot firings.

A manpower officer job description that specifies these powers will attract a more effective human resource manager, resulting in an increase in the recruiting and retention of productive employees.

Employee Engagement and Retention

Employee engagement drives company success. Neither tardiness nor absenteeism constitutes the worst thing that can happen after spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars training employees. That title belongs to presenteeism: a condition in which a disengaged employee warms a chair or mans a phone line. Presenteeism meant that 51 percent of all employees came to work lukewarm, content to take home a paycheck and serve as a name in an empty slot in the organizational chart.

Worse yet, of the more than 195,600 full-time workers surveyed in 2016 by Gallup, 16 percent had no personal commitment to the company. In some cases, these disengaged staff members actively sabotaged the firm. Only one-third of all employees felt any excitement about the importance of their own personal effort to ensure that the company's vision came to fruition. No company can afford to ignore the ravages of presenteeism on corporate profitability.

Hope for Future Success

Motivating 67 percent of your workforce to return to full engagement requires a total retrenchment in hiring and training practices. This task requires hiring managers who have a commitment to your company vision, not just to how their current position will allow them to reach the next landing on the stairway to success. Identify the strengths and talents that each of your employees already possesses. Prepare to capitalize on those skills by providing frequent opportunities to exercise good judgment, increase current skill levels and study efficient service delivery methods.

Staff Development Essentials

Before hiring another employee, review every detail in their files. Don't miss a great employee whose resume does not contain the correct buzzwords from an AI program. Ask existing employees to describe projects they lead or assisted. Ask them to describe the perfect manager, ideal job assignment and most satisfying work experiences they have ever had.

Importance of Listening

Listen. Listen. No, that is not a typo. Listen appears twice because every person has two ears. Pay attention to what employees say about their reasons for working for your company instead of going somewhere else. Apply that knowledge so that your company stands tall as the employer of choice instead of the employer by default.

Take Action Today

With a potential 16 percent of all employees actively resisting change and growth and 67 percent of all employees not enthusiastically invested in company success, you have nothing to lose by starting right now to ensure that everyone in the company pulls together to create success. While it may rattle everyone and might even result in some on-the-spot resignations, schedule a company-wide meeting today.

Ask all current employees in every department for their input on what changes the company could make that would improve efficiency and make people feel like their contributions create the foundations of the company's success. Provide a timeline for this input to occur. In addition, reassure everyone that the changes might cause consternation at first, but will ultimately create a more satisfying and successful workplace.

Accept any self-attrition with good grace. This means making visible and sincere efforts to help anyone not willing or able to go through the shakedown process in finding more amenable employment. Show interest in employee success that leads outside your company. Celebrate those workers willing to ride the wave and stick with the company.

Understanding Ideal Outcomes

In the end, the spirit of renewed enthusiasm for the newly affirmed vision will jumpstart the company's bottom line, increase profits and create renewed commitment. Helping staff identify their own motivators and demotivators will reduce tensions, raise staff morale and increase productivity and job satisfaction far more effectively than simply targeting departments for manpower reductions.