As instructional designers and performance consultants, we spend a great deal of time developing solutions to help people perform better for themselves and their organizations. Well, maybe we can help people help themselves. This tip is the first of two and focuses on the process of linking employee development to organizational and departmental needs through Performance Plans and Development Plans.
A Performance Plan is a written plan which clearly outlines each employee’s key objectives and how those objectives are aligned to organizational and departmental goals. A Development Plan is a written plan that lists how the employee will develop the critical skills and knowledge they need to meet current and future organizational/business needs and accomplish their own career or professional goals.
We suggest employees at all levels and in all positions do performance and development planning. We also suggest that the plans be formed using a collaborative process with each individual’s managers. If this is not possible to implement throughout the organization, it can be accomplished on a departmental basis or even on an individual basis. This process of writing Performance and Development Plans seeks to clearly link employee’s contribution to business performance and results at any level.
Since the information in a Performance Plan helps to create a Development Plan, the Performance Plan is written before the Development Plan.
A Performance Plan is accomplished in two phases. Phase one involves collecting information on the organization’s current and near future objectives and collecting information your department and the immediate manager’s objectives. This information can be collected from such places as: Your organization’s current business plans, sales reports, quarterly and annual reports, executive initiates for the organization and meetings with your manager.
Phase two involves working with your immediate manager to develop your own performance objectives linked to the organization as a whole, your department or business unit and your manager’s objectives. Your performance objectives (about 3-4 key ones) should answer the following question:
What results will you contribute to help your manager achieve their objectives?
Your performance objective should also measure results and provide time frames. It should not be a learning or development objective. Learning or development objectives will be discussed in part 2 on writing Development Plans.
See you next time,