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Report on personal development Planning

Drawing up personal development plans for your team

Flock - Personal development plansIn #1 of our series on personal development plans (PDPs), we looked at 5 good reasons business owners should draw up a PDP.

Now we turn our attention to your team.

How might each person who works for and with you benefit from their own tailored PDP? And how do you go about doing that tailoring?

Basically there are 2 key elements:

• Identifying an employee’s long-term objectives – which you then break down into short-term goals
• Mapping these against needs of your company – arriving at a win-win combination where everyone’s happy.

Identifying long-term objectives

Ideally every employee should have a PDP – one personal to him or her, and which takes account of their own particular aspirations.

PDPs should also be designed with a view to long-term development, not just short-term training needs.

That’s the difference between a PDP and a departmental, say, training programme – although traditional training might form part of a package if a number of people in your team identify the same set of needs or weaknesses.

So how do you uncover those big long-term objectives?

To help do this, use a standard PDP questionnaire.

Here’s a set of questions you can usefully include, whatever the person’s position.

1. What do you want to get out of work?
2. What are your strengths, and which parts of your work would you like to improve?
3. Where would you like more responsibility?
4. What is preventing you from developing as you’d like?
5. Which interests or abilities would you like to develop?
6. Which new skills, or improved skills, would enhance your work performance?
7. How do you like to learn?
8. What skills or experience would allow you to feel more confident at work?
9. Who would you like to oversee your PDP?

Use your answers to draw up a long-term plan. Then break these down into short-term goals. (More on this next time.)

A PDP is typically based on an individual’s developmental objectives for the next year, which have been set within the broader context of their long-term developmental goals.

Mapping objectives against company needs

Obviously you can’t go completely crazy though – have people designing programmes that look at their own personal development willy nilly with scant regard for the actual business you’re in!

Objectives may not always be directly work-related – but mapping these 2 against each other is a crucial element.

It’s also important, that said, to remain instinctual and flexible – not just rules-bound for the sake of it.

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Related facts

  • The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) was formerly known as the National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT). ATMAE sets standards for academic program accreditation, personal certification, and professional development...

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