Staff development plans are usually written during the time of annual performance reviews, although they can be written at other times of the year, especially if a company is embarking on a new plan for growth. A staff development plan is a written document that details the ways in which members of the workforce can improve their performance. The key ingredients to a staff development plan are items that are actionable and improvements that are measurable. For example, to write the staff should improve their product reports would be too vague. To say reports should be written within 2 days of a request would be measurable.
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Determine the development needs of the staff. This can be done in consultation with the staff and with managers of other departments that interact with the staff. Use a notebook and pen to take notes. Tailor needs to specific staff individuals; iif there is an overall development need for the staff, there can be group training opportunities later.
Write how improvement for each development need can be measured. This should be specific and quantifiable, such as a specific production rate and a percentage improvement in defects.
Develop ways in which the development needs can be addressed and improved. Remember, this is a document meant to help your staff to improve, and staff members generally are open to improving as it usually means better annual salary increases. The ways to develop improvements can be specific training courses, attendance at seminars, cross training with other employees or an increase in time spent on specific work activities.
Decide on a time line for the development plan. This includes when training and development needs will be met and when improvements will be measured. These are usually done in terms of annual performance reviews. Remember to follow your workplace safety guidelines (see Resources).
Type your written development plan into a computer document. Print it and review it for grammar mistakes. Enter any corrections into the computer document and save the file.
Tips and warnings
- Keep your staff development plan to less than a page. If you make it too long, it can lose its focus.
- A staff development plan can imply that the staff isn't doing a good job. Be careful in the wording of the plan to be certain it highlights the fact that the plan is meant to improve performance that is already good.
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