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Individual Development Plans

Don’t let your staff go another day without a clear developmental direction that increases their value to the organization, heads off performance problems, and retains critical talent.

Create Individual Development Plans Your Employees Will Love in Six Easy Steps

From: Jessica Hartung

Dear Manager,

Most managers find it terribly difficult to create effective individual development plans with their staff. Managers hire me because they don’t know how to talk about development, they don’t know what options to suggest, and they don’t how to make it "stick" and get staff to really want to follow-through. In addition, it is hard to make time for development planning in the first place, so many people just don't do it, which leaves their staff wondering what, if anything, they can be working on to advance their career.

If this sounds like your situation, professional development planning is about to get much easier and much more successful.

As a professional development coach and consultant, I have spent the last ten years refining strategies to help individuals grow from their work in productive ways. Organizations ranging from the agencies in the Federal Government, large Fortune 500 corporations, and small non-profits have spent thousands of dollars to retain my firm to help them train, coach, and provide professional development planning. Their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Good, practical information on development planning is hard to find.

I know there are many corporate, non-profit, and government managers who need to know how to use development plans to enhance their staff performance, but I also know most are unlikely to hire a consultant or coach to help them. Because I truly believe in this material and its importance, I have spent the last six weeks consolidating hundreds of hours of development planning into one, easy-to-implement guide.

If you are responsible for managing people, you need clear, practical guidelines for creating professional development plans that show you how to:

  • Start the process by having initial conversations and clarifying responsibilities

  • Identify work-related development ideas that improve performance

  • Coach staff through developmental issues

  • Deal with employees suggestions for development, including the ones you don’t agree with!

  • Choose improvement options that truly help the staff member be more productive and progress in their career

  • Get real returns on your time investment to do development planning

Instead experiencing development planning as being difficult, time-consuming, and confusing, you can learn what other executives have -- how to turn your conversations with staff about development into enjoyable, productive interactions that leave both of you more motivated and ready to take on new challenges.

Why do top managers spend the time to develop their employees?
Because it makes their work life easier to retain talented, growing, productive staff.

Investment in employee development results in a talented workforce and a pool of skilled employees that are ready to take on more responsibility within the organization.

Employees are going to go where the learning opportunities are best. Managers who want a stable workforce need to work with employees to develop their skills.

Individual professional development will contribute to improved performance.

Employees are more likely to be loyal to a manager that invests a personal interest in them.

Employees who have a clear, development path typically are more productive, take fewer sick days, and may stay with the company longer.

The cost of turnover is tremendous. Keep employees satisfied by helping them know where they are headed.

Much of the literature on management and leadership focuses at the macro-level identifying what an organization should do, or approaches to dealing with large, strategic issues. On the other hand, most of the “how to” manuals for individual managerial tasks, are dry, narrowly focused publications telling you how to fill out a form. I decided that what managers need is a blend – an clean understanding of the big-picture issues with the practical “how to” methods to implement them. Translating what we believe we should do into what we are actually doing on a daily basis is hard for most people. The Six Steps described below can guide you through the development process and help you put big ideas into action for yourself and your staff.

You can follow Six Simple Steps to create outstanding development plans.

Use my templates, talking points, and huge lists of development options to save time and effort while producing individual development plans your staff will truly appreciate.

The Six-Step Guide To Individual Development Plans will literally walk you through the process of having developmental conversations, developing plans and following up to support employees and hold them accountable.

Our Six-Step Process is clear and simple. It makes development planning easier to know what to do next. Even if you have no experience doing development plans, you can do these steps.

Templates and Talking Points go from beginning to end. The talking points help you structure conversations about an employees development, the templates give you examples for worksheets and final plans. A

57 No-Cost/Low Cost Development Options. No more racking your brain to figure out how to offer development opportunities when you have no budget for training classes. Use our list of low cost/no-cost development options instead, and cross-reference them to specific areas of employee improvement.

Top Talent Development Options. Know what type of development to provide for your top performers to keep them motivated and at the top of their game. Reward outstanding employees with developmental options that invest in their future.

Tools to handle the "Tough Stuff": Conflict, Difficult employees, and Poor Performers. For managers working through difficult employee situations, development planning is probably the last thing on your mind, yet, development plans can directly and immediately address performance needs. While development planning is not the same as a performance review, or a performance plan, they are often done in combination. Learn how to leverage the development planning process to improve performance issues and morale.

Time saving Tips. Understanding the benefits of development plans in terms of retention, morale, and motivation, managers STILL find it hard to make time for it. My timesaving tips allow you to get more high-quality development plans done in less time by consolidating your efforts, and systematizing data collection and plan creation.

Real-Life Case Studies. Based on my coaching work in corporations, non-profits and government organizations, I have created case studies to explain how to implement the steps, the issues you may encounter as you do so, and how to deal with each of them. The case studies help managers relate the material to their own organizational reality, and discover how to customize to fit their needs exactly.

If I were personally working with you over the telephone or in person to walk you through the process, it would take several sessions, and cost between $1,200 and $2,500 depending on the circumstances. If I were working with many people across a department, the costs might be ten times as much to bring these ideas into your organization. Developing contracts as large as that takes time, and are not always possible because of budget constraints.

When I think of all the people wondering if their manager is going to help them grow in their skills, or outline a career path, or show them how they can move on to new challenges, I get aggravated. This information should be available to everyone who wants to use it! Therefore, I am pricing this comprehensive development planning material so everyone can afford it.

Additionally, I know that managers need more than clear instructions on how to create development plans. They also need to have their own career development path work.

Recent studies show that investing in the human side of business is a sound investment in productivity.

In a study of 3000 companies, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that spending 10% of revenue on capital improvements boosts productivity by 3.9%, but a similar investment in developing human capital increases productivity by 8.5%--more than twice as much.

Fast Company, August 2003 “How to Lead Now”


The Individual Development Plan is currently being updated.
Please contact Integrated Work Strategies at 303-516-9001 or
info@integratedwork.com if you are interested in more information.

Warm regards,

Jessica Hartung
President, Integrated Work Strategies