Professional development plan: what is it and how to prepare it?

The professional development plan is critical in retaining talent in your company, although this will only happen if it is...
15 September 2022

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Professional development plan: what is it and how to prepare it?

The professional development plan is critical in retaining talent in your company, although this will only happen if it is appropriately designed. Moreover, by integrating Individual Development Plans, you will be able to identify gaps in professional competencies and agree on actions to eliminate them.

Take note of some of the most commonly used professional development strategies and learn how to combine your global plan with the professional program of your teams.

What is a professional development plan?

A professional development plan (also known as a career development plan) is a roadmap that a person – whether a student or an employee – sets for themselves to achieve pre-established objectives.

To achieve this, it must focus on their ambitions and interests, considering the competencies and skills they must acquire or improve to reach the goals they have set for themselves.

The professional development plan of a company consists of a project in which the employee is trained to outline the development of his professional career in accordance with the organization’s global strategy.

Your company’s most important asset is its human capital. If you identify talent and retain it, you will generate value and consequent profitability in your project.

The advantages of a career development plan are numerous:

  • They improve employees’ self-esteem.
  • They increase performance and motivation in a dynamic of continuous progress.
  • They help team management by identifying where you want to invest in development.
  • Decrease staff turnover.
  • Encourage leadership communication towards excellence.
  • Enrich team competencies through training.

Finally, all these advantages improve the company’s profitability and bring added value to the employee, strengthening their commitment to the organization.

Professional development plan

How to develop a professional development plan in the company?

While it is true that many companies fail to implement a professional development plan, designing and developing it successfully may involve some complications, but it is not an impossible task.

To expand the knowledge and skills of your employees, you must set realistic professional goals and propose experiences that guarantee the professional’s evolution in line with the company’s objectives.

The first step to achieving this sustainable balance is to establish your organization’s short, medium, and long-term career goals to plan your Human Resources needs thoroughly.

We provide more information on the 5 phases of implementing a professional development plan.

Analysis of the company’s needs

Analyzing the company’s needs involves defining the profiles, competencies, skills and knowledge you need in your business development strategy. This first step will determine the rest of the plan’s actions.

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Identifying talent

Identifying talent involves detecting employees’ potential based on their strengths and weaknesses.

Distinguishing talent through the creation of an Assessment Center, for example, is a situational assessment center that is increasingly being used in companies.

Creating a talent management matrix will make it easier for you to rank based on qualitative and quantitative objectives.

Strategies and professional development plan: how to design them?

Planning individualized actions

Once you have classified your talent, you must plan actions to develop your employees’ competencies in a personalized way.

At this point, the active participation of employees is essential to seal the commitment to improvement and set the objectives to be achieved.

Competency development

The competency development phase is the backbone of the professional development plan, and for its progress, you can use tools such as:

  • Training.
  • Formations.
  • Qualification.
  • Mentoring.
  • Coaching.

These processes also serve to detect obstacles, solve problems and improve interpersonal relationships within the organization.

Follow-up and analysis

The analysis and follow-up elements you use must be able to supervise the development of the plans fairly and objectively. At this point, make use of all the advantages provided by technology.

After the whole process, the performance evaluation interview will assess the results regarding the objectives achieved and the level of competencies and skills acquired by individuals.

The employee will see and understand the following job opportunities within the company through training in the competencies and skills required according to their profile and motivations.

What is a professional development plan?

Other career path development strategies

You can integrate the following professional development strategies into your talent development plans or use them in isolation to enhance the management of your teams.

Ikigai test

The Ikigai test – from the Japanese concept of “raison d’être” – is a self-assessment test that brings together passions, strengths, values, and the compensation you seek.

Personal SWOT

This test records a person’s skills, strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats.

360-degree performance appraisal

The 360-degree performance evaluation is one of the methods you can use in your company to develop an individual career plan based on the assessment of an employee by their direct superior, peers, subordinates, and customers.

Continuous evaluations

Continuous evaluations are one of the most effective methods for retaining talent, as they are a constant accompaniment in the employee’s training.

In the design of strategies and professional development plans, technology plays a decisive role with benefits such as:

  • Time optimization.
  • The creation of safe environments.
  • The development of objective tests.
  • Respectful supervision of the participants.
  • Customized reports and parameterizations.

At Smowltech, we offer customized proctoring products so that you have access to the innovative and quality supervision you need.

Request a free demo to share our solutions with you.

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