Hopefully you have long – and short-term plans for your business and you may even have a strategy for your own personal development, but have you considered having a personal development plan (or individual development plan) for your team?
A team member personal development plan is an action plan that focuses on helping your team improve their knowledge, capabilities, and skills in areas related to your business.
Creating such plans shows your team you’re invested in their future, which increases team satisfaction. It helps them understand their role and gives them a framework for expanding their talents. It helps you develop your team, allowing you to promote from within and enabling your employees to grow with your business.
Here are some steps to take to write a personal development plan.
Determine business and team member goals
The first step is to determine your business’s goals and needs. Are you looking to expand locations soon? Add new products or services? Do you have senior team members who will be retiring soon? Once you know what your business needs, you can identify the skills, experience and training that will support the people who will help you meet those requirements.
Then determine your team members goals. Talk to them about the work they currently do and where they feel they could use training. Ask where they see themselves in your business in the future. Find out why they want to develop their skills. Their answers will help you determine how to put the plan into action.
When you assess team members, keep in mind that having the ambition or potential to move up in your business doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready right now. They may require a few years of gradually expanding their role and skills or they may be great at one job (say sales) but not at another (such as sales manager).
Explore training and development options
Now you can look at training and development options for your team. Consider what training will give them the skills they need to expand their talents while also weighing their individual learning styles. Not everybody will learn well in a classroom setting – and not all have the time to devote to taking courses.
Explore other options, such as coaching and mentoring, special projects, networking groups, online training and working with experts. Combining a few of these strategies will likely work well for your team as they can learn new skills and see how those skills apply to their jobs.
Write a development plan
Finally, you can write up the plan, including specific goals with deadlines and the steps to take to help your team members achieve their goals. Sit down with your team to talk the plan over, so they know what the goals are and how acquiring new skills helps them and the business.
Ensure everyone has the opportunity to apply their new skills on the job and get feedback about their progress. This will keep them engaged in the process and help them refine their abilities.
Remember to review the plan periodically so you can measure their development and determine if the plan should be revised.
Team member development plans are a great way to invest in your team and help them acquire new skills that will help them in their career. It also enables you to promote from within your business, saving you time and money in the long run.
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