Building a Professional Development Plan
A professional development plan is created by the manager working closely with the staff member to document the goals, required skill and competency development, and objectives the staff member will need to accomplish in order to support continuous improvement and career development. See the list of suggested professional development activities below.
- Expand a staff member's job content to include a wider variety of tasks, risk taking opportunities, greater responsibility and/or authority.
- Ensure that different types of tasks and levels of responsibility are needed, not just more work in the same task.
- Monitor and review the staff member's progress.
ATTENDANCE AND INVOLVEMENT IN DEPARTMENT, DIVISION, STAFF OR OTHER SPECIALLY DESIGNATED MEETINGS:
- Select the meeting(s) which will provide the staff member with the knowledge, exposure or broadening needed.
- Pre-plan the staff member's involvement in the meeting and determine the expected outcome for the staff member.
- Review the meeting with the staff member - emphasizing the areas related to the anticipated results (e.g. exposure to thinking at a more global instead of local level).
ON-THE-JOB COACHING AND FEEDBACK COUNSELING:
- Provide skill and knowledge by answering questions, reviewing work, discussing progress and providing general direction.
- Work through actual problems in order to share insight and problem solving strategies.
- Monitor development progress and feed back the results.
SERVING AS A CONFERENCE LEADER OR TRAINER:
- Schedule the staff member to serve as a conference leader or trainer.
- Teaching others is a valuable way to obtain new knowledge, broaden one's viewpoint and clarify one's thinking.
- Select training responsibilities that put the staff member in touch with new operations, process or operating problems.
- Review audience responses with the staff member.
FORMAL PRESENTATION OPPORTUNITIES:
- Assign a presentation that will give the staff member an opportunity to develop planning and organization skills as well as effectiveness in speaking.
- Review and critique the plan prior to presentation.
- Provide feedback on the effectiveness of presentation.
- Prepare the staff member to assume the responsibility of his or her supervisor either as a substitute or as a replacement.
- Provide opportunity to observe and be involved in the day-to-day responsibility of the supervisor's job.
PLANNED EXPOSURE TO ANOTHER FUNCTION:
- Expose the staff member to lateral job functions either on a project or observation basis.
- Identify and plan the expected outcomes with the staff member.
- Review and critique the exposure experience.
- Transfer the staff member to another job at the same position level to broaden his/her knowledge and experience as well as develop an appreciation for viewpoints and interrelationships of various groups within the organization.
VACATION OR REPLACEMENT ASSIGNMENTS:
- Assign the staff member to responsibilities of his/her superior when the superior is on vacation or extended travel.
- Review the assignment with the staff member and critique his or her performance.
- Select a problem area that will require increased analytical ability, improved judgment, knowledge of the organization and/or decision-making skills.
- Assign an in-depth study of the problem area.
- Review and critique the study.
SPECIAL TEAM PROJECTS OR ASSIGNMENTS:
- Place the staff member in a group problem-solving situation to develop his/her skills in working with others.
- Place the staff member in a group with representatives from various parts of the organization to develop the participant's knowledge and understanding of the organization.
- Review and critique the staff member's performance or participation.
WORK ONE-ON-ONE WITH A SPECIALIST:
- Arrange to have the staff member talk or work with people experienced in specific areas.
- Arrange to have the staff member talk or work with external professionals.
- Follow-up to review new ideas, perspectives, and knowledge gained.
IN-HOUSE TRAINING PROGRAMS:
- Enroll the staff member in an applicable in-house course or program at Learning and Organization Development, DUHS Education Services, the Professional Development Academy and/or Continuing Education.
- Have the staff member report on what was learned.
- Provide the staff member with access to computer-based training.
OUTSIDE FUNCTIONAL TRAINING:
- Carefully select outside professional development programs.
- Ensure that the programs (e.g., leadership development, functional broadening, or technical education) meet the organization's and staff member's specific needs.
- Consider community college and university courses that can be used to teach specific skills.
- Schedule participants in interpersonal skills and motivational programs.
- Expect only short-term effects.
READING SKILLS TRAINING:
- Enroll the staff member in reading courses to increase reading skill and comprehension.
- Use organizational or community literacy programs.
STUDY MANUALS, BULLETINS, REPORTS AND OTHER PRINTED MATERIALS:
- Carefully select the reading material and have the staff member study it.
- Follow-up and discuss the insights and/or knowledge gained as well as its applicability.
PLANNED READING IN SPECIALIZED FIELDS (E.G. TECHNICAL BOOKS, TRADE JOURNALS, MANAGEMENT LITERATURE, ETC.):
- Limit the amount of time spent on reading by carefully planning the reading assignment.
- Reinforce the staff member's effort and demonstrate interest in his/her development by follow-up discussion of material covered.
- Encourage the staff member to check out books, tapes, videos and journals from the internet and/or department/university/local libraries.
- Share your experience, knowledge and ideas on specific topics with the staff member in order to encourage him/her to try new approaches to solving problems.
HOME STUDY COURSES AND FORMAL EVENING COURSES:
- Select courses through many community colleges, universities and professional associations.
- Such courses require a great deal of self-discipline and effort.
- Review progress.
ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN COMMUNITY AND CIVIC AFFAIRS:
- Encourage the staff member to become involved in community organizations in order to develop leadership ability, skills in planning and organizing, problem-solving ability and community awareness.
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS:
- Carefully select and evaluate the workshops.
- Select participation on a voluntary basis only.
- Select workshops to help gain new insights into his/her personal style and how others perceive him/her in interpersonal relationships.
MODELING OR ROLE PLAYING:
- Demonstrate to the staff member the appropriate behavior in a specific situation (e.g. evaluation discussions).
- Allow the staff member to practice the demonstrated behaviors.
- Critique the staff member using the S-B-I feedback model.
PLANNED STRUCTURED BEHAVIOR CHANGE:
- Identify desirable behaviors that need to increase.
- Provide a means of systematically reinforcing positive behaviors.
PERSONAL COUNSELING BY A TRAINED PROFESSIONAL:
- Arrange professional counseling (beginning with Personal Assistance Services) for a staff member who has personal or adjustment problems.