If you´re going to implement Employee Development Plans (EDPs) into your employee development program, you´ve got to nail down much more than the plans themselves. You need to know, for instance, if your organization is poised to work within a framework that includes EDPs. For instance, are your managers equipped to handle the added responsibility of coaching or simply administering the plan? If they´re not trained to manage the duties involved with EDPs, how could you expect the employees to succeed under something fractured and unplanned?
You also need to make sure that the goals set forth for the employee are appropriate for that particular individual´s needs. For example, just because someone on high thinks everyone should be a good oral communicator doesn´t necessarily mean that a workshop is speaking is what the researcher in the lab really needs, at least early on. I´m not suggesting that what the company believes is necessary isn´t something an employee needs to grow, but timing is essential not to mention getting input from the individual worker.
One of the best ways to determine if a plan is going to work is to bring in another perspective. How often have you walked into a situation only to find that someone, somewhere, neglected to think about X or Y or some other obvious factor? It happens, doesn´t it? Usually this occurs because someone, the big planner even, forgot to ask some very basic questions like, "Do we have the internal resources to accommodate our employees´ training needs or do we have to look outside the company?" Sometimes even a question like that isn´t asked because there´s a chance that someone might be OFFENDED. Oh, no! But folks, you need to eliminate the personal from this otherwise you might waste a whole lot of time.
Even if you do ask those important questions about internal resources you need to extend your concerns into the future. For example, are you incorporating whatever you´ll need for succession? Do the goals include considerations for the ways your company will pass responsibilities on to the next generation? How will you identify and then address any gaps (and there will be gaps) that exist between what people can do and what they should be doing down the road?
Are people willing to put the time into EDPs? Is there someone on staff who can create a systematic approach to achieving the desired results?
Next time: more about ways to implement a successful strategy for EDPs