Employee Development Plans LO19734

Fri, 23 Oct 1998 07:54:46 -0500

Replying to LO19604 --

On 22 Oct 98, at 10:43, Jessica Malone wrote:

> I'd like
> to get some feedback on Employee Development Plans in LO's. I have been
> tasked with revamping our current process, and would like to know of
> organizations that have successful EDPs. Let me clarify what I mean by an
> Employee Development Plan. This plan is a form, which is filled out at
> the time of performance appraisal (annually) to determine an employee's
> developmental needs. Are there any thoughts out there? Currently, the
> employee simply chooses training they'd like to attend for the year and
> they are put into our Registar database and enrolled. This is obviously
> ineffective in determining need and fulfilling it successfully. I'm open
> to any suggestions anyone may have. Thank you!

Jessica --

To me,employee development planning that serves organizational
learning requires three critical elements that must work together:
a) a relationship between employee and supervisor that considers
learning and development more than once a year (and preferably in
a way that _isn't_ directly linked to annual performance evaluation);
b) an understanding on everyone's part of the relationship between
individual development/learning, and the company's strategic
direction and business plans; and
c) an appreciation that individual learning for personal growth AND
organizational success must encompass a broad range of learning
possiblities, well beyond what's on the training calendar.

With these in mind, it's relatively simple to design an instrument by
which an employee identifies her/his own strong knowledge and skill areas
(since it's in the organization's interest to foster these) as well as
areas for improvement, and his/her annual action plans related to these.
This is then paired with a supervisor's evaluation of the same
strength/improvement areas, with an added area identifying the
organization and unit's business goals/ directions/needs for the near
future. By comparing these in a shared conversation, a final portion
identifies specific activities/courses/self-directed learning programs,
etc. that will best meet the agreed-upon learning direction for the

Such a system has the advantage of linking what the employee wants to do
with supervisory feedback and organizational direction. In my experience,
it has an added "unintended consequence" of real value to the
organization: the _aggregate_ of employee- identified (and supervisor
validated) development areas frequently indicates to management areas to
which resources should be directed to improve organizational performance.
To use a concrete example, it might allow the decision to import specific
training for a larger group, rather than sending individuals outside. And
keeping track of such data also begins to build an identified "knowledge
inventory" within the organization.

Enough for now; I'll look forward to others' responses.



Malcolm C. Burson Management Solutions (207) 866-0019 mburson@mint.net

"Knowledge must be gained by ourselves. [Hu]mankind may supply us with the facts; but the results, even if they agree with previous ones, must be the work of our mind. --Benjamin Disraeli

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