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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.
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.