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The Nuts & Bolts Of Constructing An Effective Individual Development Plan


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The Nuts & Bolts Of Constructing An Effective Individual Development Plan

  1. 1. <ul><li>The “Nuts and Bolts” </li></ul><ul><li>of Constructing an Effective </li></ul><ul><li>Individual Development Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Ron Weisinger © </li></ul><ul><li>Originally presented at the </li></ul><ul><li>New England Human Resources Association HR Invention Convention </li></ul><ul><li>November, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>©2006 Ron Weisinger </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(intellectual property of Ron Weisinger; may not be modified, copied or distributed without expressed permission) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  2. 3. “ Development is a series of small changes that, over time, result in a fundamental and enduring transformation of a behavior, competency, skill, or other personal characteristic.” What is Development?
  3. 4. <ul><li>Performance in a specific area is below the current requirements of the job </li></ul><ul><li>A weakness or gap in a skill that isn’t negatively impacting performance but might hold the employee back from future advancement </li></ul><ul><li>To leverage strengths in order to maximize performance in the current job </li></ul><ul><li>To acquire a new skill either for emerging business needs or to advance one’s career </li></ul>There Are Many Reasons To Have An Individual Development Plan (IDP) All of these are valid reasons to have an Individual Development Plan
  4. 5. <ul><li>Further development of a strength can be an untapped source of rewards and recognition </li></ul><ul><li>After all, our strengths are what got us to where we are. They are the drivers of our success </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes it makes sense to find new ways to apply a strength so we can have a bigger impact in our current role </li></ul>Developing a Strength is Often Overlooked
  5. 6. <ul><li>In their annual review an employee is told: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ you need to improve your communication skills” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What does this actually mean? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Listening, showing interest, and responding to others’ ideas and concerns; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>or… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gathering and giving relevant information to others in a timely manner; </li></ul></ul><ul><li>or… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding the real needs of internal and external customers by asking the right questions, listening, and confirming </li></ul></ul>What Is The Message To An Employee?
  6. 7. <ul><li>If the manager isn’t able to isolate the right skill, how will s/he be sure that the employee’s IDP is on target? </li></ul>The Importance of Identifying the Right Skill
  7. 8. <ul><li>If you want an approach that is a bit more structured, you can use what is known as a “skills inventory” </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes the skill gap is perfectly obvious, especially if you have received clear feedback </li></ul>Ways of Identifying the “Right” Skill <ul><li>You can think of the skills inventory as a toolbox of generic skills that apply to most exempt jobs </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>A list of skills that generically applies to most exempt jobs </li></ul><ul><li>The inventory is divided into seven sections: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Managing work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commitment to learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality and customer focus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership Skills (only for those who manage or supervise others) </li></ul></ul>The Skills Inventory ©Blessing-White
  9. 10. <ul><ul><li>A skill refers to a specific technique or method, such as knowing how to run a software program or how to execute a scientific experiment. Skills typically reflect a programmed sequence of steps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A competency is a listing of related knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal characteristics that help distinguish superior performance from average performance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skills are the building blocks of competencies </li></ul>Connecting Skills and Competencies to Development
  10. 11. <ul><ul><li>For example, the ability to play professional baseball could be viewed as a competency </li></ul></ul>Skills and Competencies: An Example <ul><ul><li>But the specific skills are hitting, fielding, pitching and running the bases </li></ul></ul>We’re #1!
  11. 12. <ul><li>Whether we’re focusing on skills, competencies, or behaviors, the approach is the same </li></ul>Assess Identify SKILLS COMPETENCIES BEHAVIORS Develop A Model of Development
  12. 13. <ul><li>Most development (whether skill or competency based) occurs through “on the job” activities vs. traditional classroom training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>70% on the job </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Role changes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Responsibilities enhanced </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Practices, techniques, ideas to apply during one’s regular work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20% from working with other people (for support) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feedback </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mentoring </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Modeling </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Coaching </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Partnering </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10% from readings and course work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Internal/external training </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reading/reference materials </li></ul></ul></ul>Sources of Development Activities
  13. 14. Constructing Your IDP
  14. 15. A development plan is a focused activity and typically an employee should be working on 1-2 identified needs at any one time. Each employee is responsible for his/her own development, with management and HR providing identification of needs and feedback, support, and resources as appropriate. Construction of this plan is a cooperative effort between the employee, manager and HR. SKILL/COMPETENCY: Conflict management and peer relationships. DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVE: INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN <ul><li>A “development objective” should: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>State a desired outcome or result </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be action oriented </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrate the specific skill(s) being targeted </li></ul></ul>Skill Identification and Development Objective Improving my effectiveness as a project leader by actively listening and responding to others’ ideas, suggestions, and concerns; working effectively with those who have different ideas and perspectives.
  15. 16. <ul><li>Answering these three questions should help you determine if the planned development activities are meaningful and on target </li></ul><ul><li>They will also give you and your employee a common framework for recognizing progress </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How does the activity relate to the development need that has been identified? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will you make it actionable? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How will you know if it’s having the desired impact? </li></ul></ul>The Three Questions of Highly Effective Development Activities
  16. 17. On-the-Job Experiences TIME FRAME(S) (By when?) SPECIFIC ACTIONS/ACTIVITIES (What will you do?) LEARNING MODE (How will you learn?) <ul><li>On-the-Job Experiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Role Change/Enhancements (New Projects, Assignments) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practices, Techniques, Ideas to apply </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>Conduct regular, individual Stop, Start, Continue dialogues with all team members and others across the organization as appropriate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify the specific individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify what my objectives are </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop an introductory “script” for explaining my objective and spinning up their receptivity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solicit coaching from my manager or HR before implementing the above </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep a journal of the feedback and on a monthly basis, discuss trends with my manager and/or HR. Develop follow-up steps based upon the feedback and these monthly coaching discussions </li></ul></ul>On-the-Job Activity (Example 1)
  18. 19. <ul><li>In partnership with my manager and HR implement methods to assess how the team is functioning and how I am functioning as the project leader </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brief recaps at the end of each team meeting based upon a pre-determined set of questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quarterly use of a formal questionnaire to take a “snap shot” of team and team leader effectiveness </li></ul></ul>On-the-Job Activity (Example 2)
  19. 20. <ul><li>Prior to selected team meetings, meet with my manager to anticipate issues that may come up so I am better prepared to manage them </li></ul>On-the-Job Activity (Example 3)
  20. 21. <ul><li>Every few days take a step back and review the communications and interactions I have had with others. Enter these in a journal answering questions such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did I maximize my effectiveness? Why or why not? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did I ask for the other person’s opinions or ideas? Why or why not? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If I was resistant to an idea was it because it was a poor one or because it was different from my own? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did I ask open ended questions to gain more information? Why or why not? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did I maintain the other person’s self esteem? Why or why not? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Was there a missed opportunity? Why or why not? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is follow-up necessary with the other person? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On a monthly basis review the entries for trends. Review with my manager and/or HR as appropriate for on-going coaching. </li></ul></ul>On-the-Job Activity (Example 4)
  21. 22. Working With Other People for Support TIME FRAME(S) (By when?) SPECIFIC ACTIONS/ACTIVITIES (What will you do?) LEARNING MODE (How will you learn?) <ul><li>Working with Other People for Support </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sources of Feedback, Mentoring, Modeling, Coaching & Partnering </li></ul></ul>
  22. 23. <ul><li>Coaching from my manager and/or HR </li></ul><ul><li>360 0 feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Team and Project Leader assessment tools </li></ul>Working with Other People For Support (Example)
  23. 24. <ul><li>Readings and course work typically supplement on-the-job development activities </li></ul><ul><li>If you incorporate these into your IDP, be sure to explain how you will make them actionable </li></ul>Readings and Course Work TIME FRAME(S) (By when?) SPECIFIC ACTIONS/ACTIVITIES (What will you do?) LEARNING MODE (How will you learn?) <ul><li>Readings and Course Work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal/External Training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reading/References </li></ul></ul>
  24. 25. <ul><li>Review three chapters in Leadership Through People Skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chapter 8: Creating Receptivity to Your Ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chapter 9: Probing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chapter 10: Presentation Skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extract key points from these chapters and develop them into an action plan to augment the activities in the practices, techniques, ideas to apply section </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Attend Facilitation Skills (internal course) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Extract key points from this course and develop them into an action plan to augment the activities in the practices, techniques, ideas to apply section </li></ul></ul>Readings and Course Work (Examples)
  25. 26. <ul><li>For each activity in your IDP you should indicate a timeframe for completion, or milestone dates </li></ul><ul><li>Without dates or milestones, how will you know you are on schedule? </li></ul><ul><li>Be realistic in terms of your “bandwidth” </li></ul><ul><li>Apply appropriate “urgency” </li></ul>Time Frames TIME FRAME(S) (By when?) SPECIFIC ACTIONS/ACTIVITIES (What will you do?) LEARNING MODE (How will you learn?)
  26. 27. Measures of Development Progress TIME FRAME(S) (By when?) SPECIFIC ACTIONS/ACTIVITIES (What will you do?) LEARNING MODE (How will you learn?) <ul><li>Measures of Development Progress </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(How will you know if you’ve made progress?) </li></ul></ul>
  27. 28. <ul><li>Don’t agonize over “hard” metrics for skill development; the so-called “soft” skills can be the hardest to measure </li></ul><ul><li>Transforming a weakness into a strength isn’t easy, nor is it realistic in the short term. Aim to “neutralize” a weakness first </li></ul><ul><li>Having a structured process in place to work on the skill is an acceptable “work in progress” metric </li></ul><ul><li>Periodic feedback from appropriate sources (i.e., your manager, co-workers, customers, etc.) can be a good measure of developmental progress </li></ul><ul><li>Ask those your work with for examples of what “improvement” would look like to them </li></ul><ul><li>See if you can describe or define the gap between “what currently is” and “what should be” </li></ul>Tips for Measures and Metrics
  28. 29. <ul><li>The various sources of feedback have enabled me to identify specific behaviors that I want to change in order to meet my development objective </li></ul><ul><li>I’ve been able to implement specific actions, tools, and processes that are helping me to practice the behavior changes I want to make </li></ul><ul><li>I have a process for continuous feedback and am utilizing it regularly </li></ul><ul><li>I’m meeting regularly with my manager and HR to review the insights I’ve learned and assess my progress </li></ul><ul><li>I feel more comfortable in team meetings, and don’t get “hijacked” when there is conflict or a difference of opinion </li></ul><ul><li>When I ask others for feedback they recognize my efforts and offer positive reinforcement. They notice a difference </li></ul><ul><li>There is less “noise” about my leading the team. My manager has noticed a definite change in the amount of negative feedback he’s been receiving after team meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Our team is getting our work done faster </li></ul><ul><li>Their ratings on the team and project leader assessments have improved </li></ul>Indicators/Measures of Developmental Progress (Examples)
  29. 30. <ul><li>Actively soliciting and embracing feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Introspection; a willingness </li></ul><ul><li>to look at oneself </li></ul><ul><li>Receptivity to changing conditions or circumstances </li></ul><ul><li>Venturing outside one’s </li></ul><ul><li>comfort zone </li></ul>Behaviors That Support Development
  30. 31. STOP, START, CONTINUE <ul><li>One way to obtain feedback is to utilize this process with key people your direct report has frequent interactions with </li></ul><ul><li>This approach can be modified for a wide variety of uses in support of development activities </li></ul>A Tool for Soliciting Feedback
  31. 32. <ul><li>A full page of development ideas and activities for each skill in the inventory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On the job ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Readings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to measure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to use this talent more </li></ul></ul>The Skills Inventory Resource Guide ©Blessing-White
  32. 33. <ul><li>Ultimately the best source of advice and assistance for your employee’s IDP is YOU, THEIR MANAGER </li></ul><ul><li>And don’t forget their HR business partner either! </li></ul>The Best Source of Advice on Their IDP
  33. 34. And Remember…