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Personal Development Plans
More Than Training
Who is Involved?
Setting Objectives
PDP Reviews
PDPs in Action
Measuring Success

Personal Development Plans

3. Setting Objectives

To help the employee determine PDP objectives use a standard PDP questionnaire. You can create different questionnaires for different roles in the business, but these questions are relevant to everyone regardless of position. This shows you are adopting a consistent approach and the questions can help uncover key issues.

3.1 Useful questions might include:

  • What do you want to get out of work?
  • What are your strengths and which parts of your work would you like to improve?
  • Where would you like more responsibility?
  • What is preventing you from developing as you would like?
  • Which interests or abilities would you like to develop?
  • Which new skills, or improved skills, would enhance your work performance?
  • How do you like to learn?
  • What skills or experience would allow you to feel more confident at work?

3.2 See where the employee's PDP objectives can be matched to the requirements of your business.

  • Provide a copy of the company's objectives or business plan with the questionnaire. This makes it easier to agree what is and is not in line with your plans.
  • When updating your business plan, identify what new demands will be placed on employees.
  • It can take skilled negotiation to bring the employee's objectives in line with those of the company.

3.3 Agree the development objectives.

  • You may need to compromise with the employee. For example, agreeing one objective which suits the company and one which suits the employee.
  • Unless the employee genuinely accepts the objectives, and believes they are worth striving for, the PDP will not lead to change.
  • With short-term objectives in particular, make each objective SMART (specific, measurable, agreed, realistic, time-limited).
  • Resources are limited, so prioritise the objectives with the employee.
  • Limit the number of main objectives to three or four. You can add subsequent objectives as progress is made.
  • Agree the action points necessary to achieve each objective.
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Labels: Staff Training