The importance of a personal development plan

HR/learning in organisations
19/3/2020

Every person is unique and has their own talents and ambitions. Of course, this also applies to your employees. But how do you make sure you know what those wishes and possibilities are?

So, how does your flag hang? Over the past few months, have you completed the mandatory end-of-year interviews with your employees with a lot of enthusiasm and support? Or do you see evaluation interviews as an excellent opportunity to go in-depth and would you like to make time for them? We are happy to give you some tips on how to make it a win-win situation and to invest in the future of both your employee and the organisation!

Every person is unique and has their own talents and ambitions. Of course, this also applies to your employees.

But how do you make sure you know what those wishes and possibilities are?

And how do you also let them run parallel to those of the organisation? It probably won't surprise you: it starts with a good conversation.

Preferably not at a lost time after working hours.

Schedule an (online) appointment well in advance so that both interlocutors can prepare themselves properly. Have a good cup of coffee and go!

Tip 1: Lay a good basis


A personal development plan is exactly what the name says: it is personally. But that doesn't mean you have to invent the same wheel for each individual over and over again. Fortunately, no. On the contrary, you can do great preliminary work by already developing development and training programs, which are common within your organisation, in a standard format.

If a position has certain competency and educational requirements, feel free to include them in a basic plan with various education and training modules.

But what's important: don't pour that base into concrete! Keep plenty of options open to respond to personal needs that come up during the conversation. By making concrete adjustments to the format, a customised process is almost automatically created.

Tip 2: Keep your finger on the pulse


Developing yourself is an ongoing process. Of course, this goes far beyond sitting down with each other once a year, or completing two course modules between companies.

That is why it is important to always keep your finger on the pulse.

  • Are you able to comply with the training agreements made?
  • Does the employee need extra support, or a more challenging process than initially estimated?
  • Are there perhaps changes at work or at home that undermined the original schedule?

Especially with a larger organisation, it is difficult to monitor these types of progress and obstacles during personal contact moments.

So make smart use of online opportunities. By incorporating various e-learning modules and online questionnaires into the POP, the employee can be followed fairly easily. Of course, this is not a complete substitute for personal contact, but it does make preparing for a conversation and its depth a lot easier!

Tip 3: Create an interesting menu


Most employees often know pretty much what they want with their career. But it certainly doesn't hurt to offer clear tools. Put together a selection menu with enough different 'flavors' for the employee to choose from.

Not only because this provides you as an employer with control options in terms of content, costs and quality of the process.


By offering various training courses or naming service providers you may have already had positive experiences with, an employee can also be inspired and motivated. In addition, sufficient freedom of choice increases the chance of a truly customised process with a high success rate.

To continue on the same theme: make sure there is sufficient variety in the flavors you offer.

Alternate attractive video material with a fun quiz, and dare to incorporate a touch of humor after a dusty, theoretical chapter. By occasionally incorporating a surprise element into the process, you keep the employee curious about what's next and it stays fun.

Tip 4: Together, you are not alone


Of course, it's nice to dive into textbooks at the time and place that suits you. But how nice is it to be able to occasionally discuss an issue with colleagues? Or to be able to let off steam with a fellow student, or to take on a project together?

Maybe it's an open door, but he's so important: together, you're not alone. An online environment offers many options for this., so take advantage of that.
Encourage the use of WhatsApp groups or create a (closed) social media environment for certain training courses.

It strengthens the relationship between them and increases motivation. By being able to ask questions to a mentor or lecturer via a chat function, the student will become more secure and will feel extra supported in his studies.

Tip 5: Room for personal input


Of course, it is the responsibility of an employer to adequately facilitate personal development. But only the employee himself can make a process successful. Therefore, offer enough space for your own input.


Ask the employee to set up a detailed time frame for their development themselves. If he is delayed, or, on the contrary, he needs to accelerate, it is also his responsibility to raise the alarm about this. Does he have his own ideas about certain training courses or coaching? Let him request quotes himself and work out the various options.


Above all, don't see this as complacency for the manager. Allowing yourself to take control is actually a sign of trust in the employee. And it also makes sense. After all, who knows better what they need than the employee himself?

Are you still looking for fresh ideas for creating and implementing a personal development plan?

A lot is possible when it comes to personal development and training. Perhaps so much that it is not always easy to keep seeing the forest for the trees.

That's why Pluvo is happy to help you set up online solutions that suit your organisation and employees! So feel free to contact us for an informal conversation.

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