The learning process ideally should never end and those who constantly seek self-improvement understand that this can only be achieved through focused efforts. This is where the importance of a professional growth plan sample comes to the forefront as it is through this medium that business goals are achieved and new ones are brought to light.
For a downloadable template that you can use to create your own goals, please see Marjory Pilley's Goal Setting Worksheet for Personal and Professional Development.
The following steps all contribute to creating a professional growth plan sample that can be applied to several different industries.
Identify Performance Criteria
Before you can create a document that claims to set up a path for an individual's development, you must first identify what criteria is used to judge that person's performance. This is necessary because your results will form the basis for the foundation of the growth plan. It simply doesn't make sense to focus on developing areas that make no valuable contribution to stated goals and objectives so the items that are included in the plan must be relevant to the job that needs to be done. For instance, if a person is hired to work in sales and they would like to continue along this path, then their professional growth plan should focus on areas that can propel a salesperson forward. Training courses on closing the deal, sourcing more leads or even basic communication may all be applicable, but for these to be identified, the underlying performance criteria must first be highlighted at this stage.
Assess the Gaps in Ideal and Actual Performance
When the performance criteria have been listed, the next step is to develop a standard for the organization. This benchmark is used to measure the performance of all employees so gaps can be identified. Some employees may score above the company benchmark and appropriate rewards should be set up for such high achievers, however, others may fall below the average performance. Those who fall below should be earmarked for improvement or development of particular skills.
Identify Activities and Programs to Narrow These Gaps
When the gaps have been highlighted, appropriate training programs need to be chosen to build the necessary skills. These programs can then be suggested for inclusion in individual professional growth plans.
Schedule Time and Money for Participation
There must be sufficient money in the budget to pay for these training programs so planning is also necessary in this regard. Every business year, a portion of the company's budget should be allocated to staff improvement because this is one of the main ways to increase productivity. In addition to money, time must also be set aside for staff to attend these sessions, which might mean minor setbacks while individuals are out on training or reasonable delays in projects due to less availability of staff time.
Measure and Document Outcomes
Every activity that takes away time and money from the direct production of goods or services should be properly accounted for and the creation of a professional growth strategy is no different. These strategies should be well-documented and measured at set intervals so a determination of value for money can be attained.
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