Approach to personal development Planning
What's The Matter with Personal Development Plans (PDP's)?
Most organisations we work with have a PDP process in place. And most of the PDP templates we see are reasonable, sensible and basically helpful. So what's the problem? The problem is that often that many people's experience of PDP's is that it a dry process, remote from their day-to-day work, and that the documents they create don't actually help them to take action. (And if you don't believe us, just think how many times have you seen the same things on someone's PDP, year after year?) As Business Psychologists, we are well-positioned to provide some of the elements that are often missing, such as making sure that objective-setting is effective, working with individuals' motivation in mind, and creating plans that are workable - with real clarity and commitment to taking the first steps.
How We Re-Focus People's PDP's
Sometimes it's useful to re-focus and re-energise people's PDPs. This is particularly cost-effective with people in key roles, or with potential, as a small time and financial investment can generate quick and significant returns. Working with whatever processes and templates are in use in the organisation, we take individuals through a structured process:
The first priority is to clarify and confirm a small number of key goals - ones that are important and relevant for both the individual and their organisation. And if you're reading this and thinking "well that's not rocket science", you're right - the skill lies in how this is done so that people end up genuinely clear and committed to what they're saying they will achieve. It's a bit like the old addage of "doing the right things, not just doing things right".
Once compelling goals have been identified and articulated, we actively support people as they create and execute their action plans. We draw on our psychological expertise and coaching skills here, paying attention to the enablers and blockers that are present in each case. And we stay practical and action focused, making sure that individuals have a clear 'route map' for getting from where they are, to where they want to be.
We offer PDP work in various different formats, depending on your' preferences and the numbers of individuals involved. Some projects have comprised a package of remote and face-to-face development coaching, and others have combined facilitated group workshops with individual support.
Developing line manager and HR skills in this area is another valuable investment, enabling organisations to get a better return on investment from their performance review and development planning processes. One reason why this pays such high dividends is that skilled managers maximise day-to-day development opportunities, rather than ‘sign off’ on expensive, external courses.
"The insight was spot on and the analysis we have now done on how to move forward has really helped to create the plan in my mind of the steps I'm going to take"