The progression and success of a team is dependent on their commitment to learning and development. It's important to create an employee development plan that will get the most out of your team members. A clear and well-prepared plan can motivate employees to engage with their development and consequently become better equipped to fulfill their responsibilities to a higher standard.
Creating an effective employee development plan with PeopleGoal is a walk in the park. In this 'How-to' we will take you through the steps to get your development plan up and running. Our pre-built template is ready to use from installation. If you'd like to tweak the plan in accordance with your specific needs this can easily be done using our simple, no-code workflow builder.
We'll take a few seconds to add this to your account.
All of the pre-built development plan questions and states are installed and ready to go. You can use the app right out of the box! To skip the customization, jump down to step 4 and set up your app participants and permissions.
If you do want to configure the development plan to add your own questions and states, click the Template menu, then Edit template.
Elements are your individual form fields that make up your development plan. Whether they're text questions, rating selects, display-only fields or numerical calculations, every element can be changed to suit your custom process and company culture.
From this example, you can see how we've changed the questions prompting employees about activities that "give or drain their energy" to instead ask them to describe how they feel when performing their most and least favorite activities at work. Furthermore, they have been set to "not required" so that it's an optional response.
Each element is unique, so if for example you change the rating set on one element you'll need to change any other questions to match this. Don't worry, it's quick and easy to duplicate an element once you're happy with its setup.
Reordering is a breeze - all you need to do is click and drag to change the element or section order.
A new element that's useful to add to your first section is a display-only Description or Rich-text area. You can use this to remind employees and managers of the core target for development, or give instructions on areas to focus on for their development plans.
This example demonstrates how we can add a new section for an employee to upload evidence for their development. Prompting employees to post an image or hyperlink that can prove that the employee is doing as instructed is great to track the compliance of your employees in accordance with your guidance.
States are the steps in your Development plan workflow, and each state has its own participant. The employee New Development Plan is one state and the employee is the participant - likewise with the Supervisor Approval state and any others.
There's no limit to the number of states you can add to your Development plan workflow, allowing you easily create a complex process where every stakeholder can participate. You can also control the visibility of sections (and individual elements!) in every state, and select whether they are read-only, editable or hidden to the selected state participant.
In our example, we added a section for a second supervisor's approval. We're going to create a state for this section so that we can define the second supervising participant and allow them to give their input on the employee development plan. This section should only be accessible to the second supervisor, as such we will hide this section from other states. Since this supervisor needs to be able to see the responses from other participants we must make sure all other sections are set to read-only. For this, we must also ensure that the second supervisor state is editable in the appropriate state.
In this example we no longer have a need for the second supervisor, so we can delete the necessary state. Remember to also delete any sections relating to that state participant, too!
Every state has a default status flag that indicates to all participants what stage of the process their item is in. Your Employee Development Plan app is set up with default status flags which you can customize.
It's a good idea to delete any unused status flags so that they don't clutter up your Item filter once your Development plans are underway.
Participants are the individuals involved in the planning of development and each state has one participant. To automate your development plans you can create default participants based on your account Relationships, define an individual as the state participant, or leave these blank to allow the employee to select all participants in their plan.
Setting up your participants based on relationships means that when an employee's development plan is opened, all of the people who need to be involved in the workflow are automatically assigned.
Below we will set the default relationship for the Supervisor to automatically be the user's Line manager.
The need to set certain visibilities will vary depending on how your company decide to go about your development planning process. Users can be given two defined visibility states - limited visibility will provide participants with access to see only the states that they own, whilst full visibility provides participants with access to view all states.
In our template, participants are able to see the states that they own. Since they ought to be involved in each step of their development, we believe maximum transparency in the process would be most beneficial. Of course, this can be changed.
We're almost at the end now! For our final step to automate the development plan workflow, you need to decide who can create, edit and/or view all of the Development plans in your account. To do so, we use Permissions. Permissions control the access to your app within your PeopleGoal account.
For development plans, you're best off setting permissions to Create only. This way, employees can create plans for themselves but will not be able to see the plans of any other colleagues.
The user who installed the Development app template has Owner permission by default, and can assign specific permissions to other teams or users. Specific team and user permissions will replace the default permission type.
You might want to give "Create and view" permission to your C-Suite so that they can see all of the development plans for all employees, without changing the app settings or edit plans they're not a participant in.
Good job! You're ready to go ahead and start initiating your development plans. All you need to do now is to create new plans for your employees to fill in. You are able to either create these for individuals or have users create plans for themselves.
Now that you've got your Development plans up and running, you may want to arrange a recurring meeting with employees to discuss their development.
This is useful for managers that want to track development and ensure that all the training and learning is effective. To arrange these recurring meetings you can make use of the Career Development One-on-Ones app in the Development workspace.
To schedule an independent meeting is easy enough. All you have to do is go to the app menu, select New Career Development 1-1s, and then fill in the necessary information. As always you can edit any of the questions/ elements to meet your specific needs.
The specified manager/employee will be informed and then they have the option to accept or reject the request. Once confirmed, each participant will be informed of the agreed time and date.
You may find it useful to link your development plan to the meeting request. In our example, we have created a new section specifically for this item. In the new section, we have added an Item select element, this can then be linked to the development plan app. By doing this, if there is a specific area of your development plan that you'd like to discuss, this can be then be incorporated into the talking points for your meeting.
You can schedule recurring one-on-one meetings to be monthly, bi-weekly or whatever you need.
Give yourself a pat on the back. You're now completely good to go and your team can start developing into the best team ever to set foot on this planet!
Data and information is valuable for every company. Learning and gathering an accumulative projection of how your workforce is approaching their development can provide terrific insights. They could make the difference in enabling your company to flourish as you continue to grow. PeopleGoal captures every single data point from your development plan app in the Data table so that you can construct custom reports and automated charts. Head over to our Reports building article to learn how to create reports and analytics tracking.
Having got your development plans saddled and prepared for the virtual wilderness, take a look at the other apps you can install from other workspaces. For example, since you have been guiding your employees to set targets and development goals, you might find it useful to take up some of the Performance apps. We'd recommend implementing SMART Goals that you can link directly to each individuals' development plans. You could also add the Company OKRs app to set out some company-wide objectives in tandem with their plans. This and more can be found in the App Store.
PeopleGoal Support Team
Account Management & Implementation Specialists