Performance Management – Personal Development Plan

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS
Personal development plans specify courses of action to be taken to improve
performance. Also, achieving the goals stated in the development plan allows
employees to keep abreast of changes in their field or profession. Such plans
highlight an employee’s strengths and the areas in need of development, and they
provide an action plan to improve in areas of weaknesses and further develop
areas of strength.1 In a nutshell, personal development plans allow employees
to answer the following questions:
• How can I continually learn and grow in the next year?
• How can I do better in the future?
• How can I avoid performance problems faced in the past?
• Where am I now and where would I like to be in terms of my career path?
Development plans can be created for every job, ranging from entry level to
the executive suite (e.g., CEO, CFO). No matter how high up the position within
the organization and how simple or complex the nature of the job in q uestion,
there is always room for improvement. Information to be used in designing
development plans comes from the appraisal form. Specifically, a development
plan can be designed based on each of the performance dimensions evaluated. For
example, if the performance dimension “communication” is rated as substandard,
this area would be included in the development plan.
Development plans focus on the short term and on specific roles and positions,
but also on the knowledge and skills needed for more long-term career aspirations
and career development. Specifically, good development plans also focus on
developing career competencies, including the following three sets of competencies2
:

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Author Since: February 25, 2021

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