Personal Development Plans for Employees

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Personal Development Plans for Employees
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A personal development plan is simply a plan that details the steps you may want to take to develop yourself. This may be targeted at a particular aspect of your life or a general plan that will enable growth and advancement in life. In the plan you will be able to state in clear details what it would take to move you from point A to point B. This could include an appraisal of yourself, a review of your past activities and experiences and analysis of your strengths and weaknesses.

In organisations, there must be a personal development plan that is put in place for employees to help them become more productive in their personal lives and career, develop more skills and enable them grow in their career. The organisation should take responsibility for this and develop workable and realistic programmes to assist employees. It is important for business owners and managers in organisations to follow these steps if their employee personal development plan is to succeed.

What the organisation must do first

- Align the company's needs and the personal development plan you want to implement. You should first of all identify and understand your business goals and objectives are. This will help you identify the right individuals that have requisite competencies to support your objectives. If your business is a growing one, you will need to bring in qualified and experienced people to help push its growth.

- Get information

from your employees to enable you know their skill level and career aspirations. Through this interaction, you will get to know what their career goals are and how they can go about achieving them. You will also need to know what type of challenges they are faced with on-the-job. Identify the areas where they struggle to enable you determine what training needs they may have.

- From your interaction with your employees, you may have been able to determine what their skill needs may be.

- You will then need to create an action plan on what you have decided to do. This may include: formal training programmes, mentoring, etc. You should also determine when to put this plan into action and then create a schedule for this.

- Create opportunities for your employees to put their new skills to use in the work place.

The bottom line is that your personal development plan for your employees will make them more effective and knowledgeable and also improve their job satisfaction. This in turn will affect their contribution to your organisation.

Some of the personal development plans that employees in the organisation can benefit from include:

1. Regular Training and Re-training
The organisation should have a policy of ensuring that their employees are well trained.

2. Self Appraisal
When a personal development plan is put in place, it enables employees to carry out an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses. This personal appraisal will assist them to know who they really are and the experiences in life that have moulded them. It helps them review their past in order to make the future better and enables them examine the mistakes they have made in the past and identify the causative factors with a view to proffering solutions.

Self appraisal is very important and is a key factor to the success of the personal development plan. It would also help you to determine what you will need to do that will move you forward; friends and lifestyles you must avoid if your plan will ever be realized.

I stated earlier that in this appraisal, you would also need it to help you identify your:

Strengths: These are your strongest areas. Where you stand strong may be in terms of the skills you possess, educational qualifications, work experience, level of training, ability to cope with pressure, commitment to assignments and goals, leadership and management qualities.

Weaknesses: These could include areas where you lack skill or the requisite knowledge to deliver appropriately. It may be your inability to balance your work and life properly, inability to plan and lack of skill in leadership.

Opportunities: This would require you to detail the opportunities that will enhance the utilization of the

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skills and abilities that you possess. It may also include external factors that will enable you follow through your course of action with a view to achieving it.

Threats: This may refer to the perceived limitations or areas in your life that need to be further developed to help in the realization of your personal development plan. These threats may also be external such as the economic situation. Other threats that exist may be personal to you and may include a wrong mindset and attitude could threaten your personal development plan from being realized and stand in the way for a long time. Association also matters as this could pose a threat.

3. Goal setting
The personal development plan of the organisation will help employees in the area of goal setting. When you know what you want to achieve, it is easier to pursue and accomplish it. Goals can be likened to targets, where you are heading to in life. They may be classified as short, medium or long term but they will give you an idea of what your future will look like if your personal development plan is actualized. These goals must be realizable and measurable. If your goals can not be measured, you will not even know when you have achieved them. You need to know what it is you are gunning at and how you will need to go about it. Goals give you a picture of your future.

Your goals should also have timelines attached to them as this enables you work with a specific time when you should have accomplished a particular goal, all things being equal. Remember, that goals are not mere wishes.

In summary, questions such as: What are my learning goals? What must I do to achieve it? What resources will I need? How can I measure my progress? should be answered while at the point of goal setting.

- Short term goals
These are goals that you want to achieve in the next 12 months. You will need to identify what goals to put in the short term so that you won't overstretch yourself.

- Medium term goals
These goals should be achievable within the next 2 -3 years.

- Long term goals
These goals are things you may want to achieve from 3 years upwards.

4. Succession Plan
The organisation should also include in its personal development plans a good succession plan. This will motivate employees to contribute their best to the growth and development of the organisation. When employees see the benefits in the personal development plan, they would do all that is possible to grow the business.

Benefits to the Organisation

1. Increased productivity
2. Higher retention rates of qualified professionals
3. Higher profitability
4. Less errors are made in operations
5. A clear career growth path which in turn encourages staff

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