Personal Development Plan

Make clear and tangible goals with specific actions on how to achieve them

What Are Personal Development Plans?

Aligning plans with business goals

Employees are generally engaged and motivated by self-development. When aligned with the goals and needs of an organisation, self-development can be used to address potential issues and build employee engagement, motivation and confidence.

Personal development plans, or commonly abbreviated to PDP, are plans to reflect on achievement, identify skills and areas for development, set goals, record reflection and learn to capitalise on strengths. The development of your employees helps address essential planning that is needed to help operations run smoothly.

Whilst personal development plans are well suited to employees, they’re ideal for managers and leaders to have as a reflection of how they effectively work. As a manager, it’s worth identifying how you work:

  • Do you openly communicate with your employees and
  • Do you build trustworthy relationships with your employees?
  • Do you encourage collaboration, team-working and knowledge sharing?
  • Do you spend much time committed to the development of your employees?
  • Do you provide employees with a clear vision for the business you are leading?
  • How are your employees provided with ongoing 360 feedback?

Creating a personal development plan

Creating a personal development plan depends on the primary needs of your business. With that being said, most personal development plans include work development needs, career goals, personal goals, changes that need to be made and how they will be implemented into the personal strategy.

After assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each employee, you’ll need to address the challenges they may face and need to overcome.

Many goals that are to be included in a personal development plan are orientated around growth, skills or work relationships. A solid personal development plan will have multiple goals in different areas that look beyond the essential needs of the business, but more importantly, can help push the company forward and go above and beyond.

Employees should view their development plans as part of their daily role rather than something to focus on outside of working hours. When used correctly, development plans provide opportunities through daily work.

Why Are Personal Development Plans Important?

Ensuring effective personal development

In order to ensure that your development plans encourage personal progress, it’s worth understanding that 70% of learning comes from their day-to-day role, 20% is from colleagues and external influences and 10% of their learning comes from training. Training should be crafted and built into the development plan to prompt personal progress.

Employees are responsible for implementing changes according to their own action plan with support from their line manager or leader. As a manager, any hurdles should be cleared to assist with the personal development of employees.

Whilst creating an action plan is highly beneficial, following up on this action plan over an agreed course of time is critical in ensuring that these goals have been achieved by employees. Having employees reflect on their action plan will help both a manager and employee understand what went well, what didn’t and what could have been done differently.

Employee engagement is a core element of effective performance management. By collaborating with employees, companies can provide a plan of action with the relevant tools and training needed to boost performance. This aspect is often overlooked, however, expanding the skill sets of your employees should be an integral part of performance management.

Looking at the bigger picture

Using personal development plans can make it easier for employees to understand the overall bigger picture and how their individual roles will contribute towards it. Personal development plans encourage personal growth in individuals who work alone or in teams.

The main benefit of using personal development plans is to encourage personal growth to help scale for the future. Whilst it can only require a small investment in time, personal development plans keep each individual employee on board and aware of their own personal progress in the company.