Written by: Monika Bajaj
Let’s face it, between high sales targets and looming deadlines, Personal Development Plans or PDPs often become the ﬂuff that People Management team can afford to indulge in.
While writing and submitting them is often adhered to as a tick-box exercise, it is the follow-through and ownership that falls through the cracks.
However, with high disengagement rates amongst employees and the need to prevent future skill gaps, it becomes imperative that PDPs are owned equally by the organisation and the employee.
Below are 5 ways to get employees excited about PDPs.
Introduce during Induction
Introducing your company as a learning organisation from the get go means that you are setting the right expectation and also establishing yourself as a company that takes an active interest in employee development.
A new employee is often positive, open-minded and impressionable and once PDPs are accepted as company culture, employee alignment comes naturally.
Propagate as Personal
Personal development plan may be aligned with the organisation’s goals however it may disengage the employee if it does not reﬂect their personal goals.
Mix up the goals to reﬂect the strengthening of skills in the existing department, intake of new skills from another department and personal pursuits outside of work.
Humans are multi-dimensional beings and restraining them into singular pursuits can drain and bore them easily.
Also, inter-departmental cross-training would enrich an employee’s experience within the organisation and therefore build their loyalty.
Coin it Concise
Long winding forms which are visually challenging can deter employees from ﬁlling and following through on the PDPs.
A concise format for periodic reviews would be far more enticing for busy employees who are simultaneously working towards stringent deadlines.
This simple act of empathy from the People team can make a huge difference in the upkeep of the process.
Advocate as Alive
Creating and ﬁling the document away, so it never surfaces again may not serve its purpose.
Keeping the option to amend their plan mid-term would add an element of ﬂexibility that few organisations offer.
The goal is to keep the plan as relevant to the employee as possible.
Only a plan which is personally relevant will help an employee stay engaged with it.
The organisation should establish their role as a mediator, rather than a task-master, which assists the employee in developing their potential.
Serve ’em Social
Building a social platform within the organisation where commitments are shared and even reviewed socially will build in an internal accounting system that is a quantum leap from a private discussion with the supervisor.
Such a platform can serve as a mastermind group where aspirations are shared and execution is encouraged.
This can also help the organisation build up a central database of skills that future employees can beneﬁt from. In terms of this database it can also feed into your online learning platform and any online and face to face training needs so the elearning content that you create is specific to support the requirements of the PDP’s.
With employee-engagement being one of the top-most challenges in the current work-environment, a deeply involving Personal Development Plan can be a signiﬁcant tool for employee retention.
The entrepreneurial generation of today looks towards a decentralised structure which provides them with a certain level of ﬂexibility, the same spirit should run through the PDPs if these are to be successful.