Personal Development Planning

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The general purpose of a job analysis is to document the requirements of a job and the work performed. Job and task analysis is performed as a preliminary to successive actions such as; defining a job domain, writing a job description, creating performance appraisals, selection and promotion, training needs, assessment and organisational analysis/planning. In the fields of Human Resources, job analysis is often used to gather information for use in personnel selection, training, classification and/or compensation.

There are several ways to conduct a job analysis including: interviews with supervisors, questionnaires, observation, and gathering background information such as duty statements. In job analysis it is common to use more than one of these methods. For example, the job analysts may tour the job site and observe workers performing their jobs. During the tour the analyst may collect materials that directly or indirectly indicate required skills (duty statements, instructions, safety manuals, quality charts etc.) The analyst may then meet with a group of workers, and finally a survey may be administrated.

Job analysis can result in a description of common duties, or tasks, performed on the job, as well as descriptions of the knowledge, skills, abilities and characteristics required to perform tasks. When carrying out a job analysis, it is important to consider the function of the job and to anticipate future developments that might alter this function or the current job tasks. E.g. Developments in technology may require different skills or lead to increased productivity so that some employees have to be redeployed within the organisation. Each case requires different types of training and development.

Observation Observation is perhaps the easiest and most obvious way of assessing the needs of an employee for training and development. Observation normally consist of an employee’s manager or supervisor being aware; through day-to-day contact and seeing an employees productivity in terms of throughput, errors or waste, capabilities, the employees strengths and weaknesses etc. This can be used to decide whether training is needed to improve employees’ skills and abilities. Employees however, may feel intimidated, if they feel they are being observed too closely or judged too harshly, therefore, this will affect both productivity and motivation.

Self-Observation Self-observation seeks to avoid any feelings of intimidation by letting employees consider their own performance and to make a judgement about the skills they need to develop in order to become more efficient in their jobs. Being given the responsibility of assessing their own ability and training needs can lead to increased motivation. However, the main problem with self-observation is that it’s likely to result in a subjective assessment.

Peer Assessment Peer assessment is when an employees’ performance is assessed by their colleagues. This is likely to be more objective than self-observation and give a more all-round assessment than simple observation by the employees’ manager/supervisor. However, the result could be bias, if colleagues feel they have to support an employee. In 360 degree assessment or appraisal the assessment is made by everyone who has working contact with that employee, including the employee’s manager or supervisor, colleagues, subordinates and others in the organisation, and even customers and suppliers where this is appropriate.

Appraisal Appraisal, normally involves an interview between the employee being appraised and his/her manager or supervisor. The interview must be carried out in an atmosphere of trust and support, and the employee should not feel intimidated or threatened in any way. A well-conducted appraisal interview will help an employee feel valued and identify the areas of concern for the employee as well as the employer. Poor appraisal interviews can de-motivate employees. Appraisals which are not acted upon can also lead to de motivation.

Performance Review A performance review is the most wide-ranging method of establishing the training and development needs of an employee. Usually, a performance review includes use of the tools described above to provide an in-depth analysis of an employee’s training and development needs. Examples of how different companies undertake this investigation:


All Tesco Staff have Personal Development Programme, to ensure they have the right skills to do their job and can access learning tailored to their own personal development needs, from induction and operating and leadership skills to core skills, such as project management, personal efficiency, effective meeting management, presentation skill and facilitation. Each individual has a career discussion with their manager to plan their career progression. They are placed in a “talent pool”, and this information is used to determine who fills future vacancies and to identify cross-functional movement and development opportunities.

Marks;spencer In-depth training and performance coaching is offered and the employees are regularly assessed to ensure that they have the support needed to achieve their potential. At the end of every 6 months a performance review or appraisal takes place. Employees discuss their progress with their line managers. Employees are given ratings for the skills and competencies they have shown over the past year. These are compared with expected skills profiles for these areas.

This feedback helps employees identify how they are performing in relation to the expected technical skills and business competencies and reveals any gaps. The line managers and employee then discuss and agree on a plan for further development for the following year. All staff have a personal development plan in which they set objectives based on the feedback from their performance review. This helps them to construct a realistic and focused career path. They use training and development to improve the technical skills and business competencies they need in order to undertake particular management roles. This performance cycle helps Marks ; Spencer to maintain an efficient, effective and motivated workforce.


To help develop the talent required, the company operates a performance development programme for all staff, and amongst management, the company runs a leadership and succession planning programme. These development programmes are provided to help employees expand on their skills and competencies with the aim of, where appropriate, developing their careers within LogicaCMG.

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