Personal development plan appraisal
Performance appraisal or personal development plan - which is it to be?
What is it called at your place? I've lost count of the terms that are out there - Performance management, performance appraisal, Performance development review, performance development plan, personal development plan and that's before we get into the three letter acronyms - PMP; PDR etc.
However, are they the same and more importantly which is a priority for your organisation?
Well, we recommend that you need to focus on both performance and development if you are to get the best out of your people and deliver the best overall results, however it is essential that managers and staff understand that there should be a relationship between objectives and development. This is why we often use the term performance management as that process really should encompass objective setting, development, appraisal and ongoing manager/employee conversations.
The key point to recognise is the fact that performance objectives and development actions should be aligned. I used to work in a business where development planning took place at the end of the year, during the performance appraisal meeting. At best people ended up going on courses as a reward for high performance, at worst they waited all year to get the development that they needed to succeed in the first place. We were actually delivering development 18 months too late, failing the individual and the business.
So this is what we recommend as an alternative
- Set objectives clearly at the start of the year
- Review the objectives at the end of Q1 and identify any training or development needs that would enable or accelerate the achievement of these objectives
- Document these development needs (ideally in a performance appraisal system) to allow L&D to address them in the shortest possible time
- At the half year point - check whether the needs have been met and review performance against objectives
- At the end of Q3, again assess as to whether all is on track and ideally invest the time talking about career goals or longer term plans
- Q4 - complete the cycle, talk performance and ratings if necessary and set up for next year.
So perhaps performance development process is the best term to use or in fact performance management which is the exact process we describe above. Unfortunately this term has too many connotations due to historic poor management practice - but that's a subject for another blog!