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Business Advice: Employment

Even sole traders need to take on employees as their business grows. So for the benefit of all small businesses with from 1-250 employees, here's our exhaustive list of business advice articles to help the busy manager or entrepreneur manage their workforce better...

What is the National Minimum Wage?

minimum wage

You will need to pay your workers for their services and there is a statutory minimum that you must pay them, known as the National Minimum Wage.

This varies depending on the age of your staff and the figure changes every year – our article helps you identify how much you should be paying your staff.

Personal Development Plans

Link your employees' personal development goals with the growth of your business...

Employees Working from Home

A flexible workforce might include a few of your staff in a home working capacity...

Staff Planning

There are a number of key issues that managers should consider when planning their staffing requirements...

Performance Appraisals

So how are your staff doing? Are they helping you achieve business success, are they contributing to your bottom line?

Handling Grievance & Discipline

Dealing with employee grievances happens in even the best businesses so how do you handle grievance and discipline?


National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are good for employees and good for business. What do you need to know about NVQs?

Historical Minimum Wage Rates

With the current National Minimum Wage being £6.19 an hour, what are the historical rates since the introduction of NMW?

Age Discrimination Act 2006

Business owners need to be aware of Age Discrimination Legislation...

Fit Notes

A few years ago the "sick note" was replaced by the "fit note"...

Maternity Leave Letter

An example Maternity Leave Letter for employees requesting maternity leave...

Communicating With Your Staff

How to give good instructions, keep employees informed, hear and acknowledge what your workforce have to say about the business...

Working Time Regulations

Covering everything from night workers, to pay in lieu of holiday and breach of contract, we cover the working time regulations...

Employment Law Checklist

Employers can check this at-a-glance list to ensure they are following their obligations, from the job description to the notice period...

Everyday Workplace Policies

Common company rules at the workplace from the basics to written warnings...

Employment Tribunals

It is important to know how the tribunal process operates in case action is taken against you...

Recruiting & Interviewing

It is important that when taking on new staff you get the best person for the job...


What does employment law have to say about holidays?

Internal Recruitment Mistakes

There are 6 common mistakes employers make with internal recruitment moves. Make sure you avoid these...

Employment Contracts

As soon as an applicant accepts your job offer the employment contract exists so understand your contractual obligations...

Recruiting Graduates

Follow our advice if you are actively seeking and placing college and university graduates into employment...

Motivating Employees

Get more productivity from your workforce by motivating your staff...

11 Tips to Be a Good Boss

Good bosses are genuine, they consult with their staff and listen...

Be Assertive

Being assertive is a positive resource for any business...

Writing a Company Handbook

The time has come to pen a non-contractual company handbook...

All our business advice articles on employment are listed below:

Article Index
A Guide to Personal Development Plans for Business
More Than Training
Who is Involved?
Setting Objectives
PDP Reviews
PDPs in Action
Measuring Success

A Guide to Personal Development Plans for Business

How do I set objectives in a PDP?

This should be led by the employee themselves - you can help them determine their objectives by using a standard-form questionnaire.

The questions should be open enough to apply to all sorts of employees, so you can distribute a uniform questionnaire throughout the business. Some examples of useful questions to ask include:

  • What are your strengths and what could you improve upon?
  • Would you like to take on greater responsibility?
  • What is stopping you from moving towards your goals?
  • How do you find you learn most effectively?
  • What would make you more confident in your job?
  • What are you looking to get out of working here?
  • What interests or skills would you like to develop?
  • What new skills could help you at work?

A key element of developing a successful PDP is aligning the employee’s stated goals with those of your business. You should give each employee a copy of your business’ own goals along with the questionnaire – when the time comes to discuss development objectives, this will make it easier to agree what is compatible with your own plans.

After this, you (or a line manager) will need to sit down with the employee and agree specific development objectives to move forward. When doing this, you should ask yourself the following:

  • Do I need to compromise? Sometimes you will need to concede ground to move forward; for example, agreeing one goal which suits the employee in exchange for a goal which suits your business.
  • Have we reached genuine agreement? Unless you and the employee are mutually committed to the goals in a PDP, nothing will change.
  • Are the objectives SMART? Make each agreed goal SMART (specific, measurable, agreed, realistic, time-limited).
  • Have I prioritised the agreed objectives? Resources within your business will be limited, so arrange objectives according to their relative importance.
  • Have I limited the objectives? Similarly, try and whittle down objectives to a list of three or four. You are free to add in goals later if good progress is made.

Labels: Staff Training