Making and executing a personal development plan is not always easy. Read below how you can come up with a personal development plan in 3 steps and what you as a manager and your employee can do to make it a success.
1. Reflection on personal development
To prepare a personal development plan, both the employee and the manager do ‘homework’. You reflect on the current and future functioning of the employee: which development would be desirable?
Questions or considerations for you as a manager can be:
- What competencies does the employee now have?
- Which competencies are required for the current job?
- How will the job develop?
- What qualities are needed for the future job?
- How does the organization develop in the coming year?
- Are there other positions that might be interesting for the employee?
Considerations for your employee in this step can be:
- What am I good at?
- What do I like?
- Do I use that in my current job?
- What can I do to better fulfill my job?
- In which direction do I want to develop further?
- What are my ambitions?
- What do I want to achieve in three years?
- What do I want to learn for this?
2. Establish a personal development plan
If you and your employee have agreed on the development goals in the conversation, please name them separately and formulate SMART (Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic and Time-based).
Indicate per goal:
- What concrete activity your employee will undertake.
- What the desired result is: what are the visible, observable or even measurable knowledge and skills that your employee wants to acquire?
- When your employee will carry out the development activities.
- What support and facilities your employee needs. Think of:
- own hours and time
- time and hours of you as a manager, supervisor or coach
- learning materials such as a study, course, training or workshop
Other elements that your employee can include in a personal development plan are:
- The starting level with regard to a certain development goal (what do you already know and can already do).
- The reward that your employee receives from you as a manager or organization. Consider: a salary increase, a new responsibility, a current job divestiture, extra days off, etc.
Make a distinction between development goals in the short term (the coming months) and the medium term (between half a year and a year and a half).
Your employee writes his final personal development plan himself. This plan is a ‘contract’ between employee and manager, with agreements that can be evaluated later.
3. Implementation and evaluation of a personal development plan
A personal development plan remains a piece of paper if you do not do anything. Your employee is responsible for this. For example, the personal development plan can be a fixed agenda item for the work discussions between your employee and you as a manager.
Since the development goals are formulated SMART, there is a time when the goals must be achieved. Then it is time to evaluate:
- Have the development goals been achieved?
- What effect does this have on the functioning of your employee?
- And what effect does it have on his or her career prospects?
After the evaluation it is logical to see which development needs are even more. Then the cycle starts again. Often the cycle lasts for one or two years, depending on the set goals.