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The benefits of creating a career development plan
One of the first things you should do when you get into a management position is come up with a clear route forward for you and your workforce.
Setting clear objectives
Objectives and goals are the cornerstone of any successful business. OKRs (objectives and key results) are a go-to for lots of highly successful companies. These goals are created with the intent of driving a business forwards.
The same can also apply on an individual basis. Having objectives to work towards is a guaranteed way of narrowing focus and helping people to produce their best possible results.
End-game in mind Knowing targets from day one helps give an employee a path to follow. It gives employees a tangible goal to strive towards.
Evaluation process simplified From the perspective of a manager, having parameters by which you can measure your employee’s progression is incredibly useful. When it comes to reviews, it can be hard to know exactly how to assess someone. With objectives set up for everyone, you’ll have a much better understanding of how all employees are progressing.
Reduced stress or confusion With objectives in place, there’s far less chance of people panicking about their future. They know what they’re working towards, and can take active steps to do so.
With reports suggesting that each day as many as one million people miss work because of stress, this could make a massive difference in your place of work. There’s a comfort in having set parameters to hit, especially with senior members of the team seeing the active strides forward you’re taking. You have that safety net of knowing even if you don’t hit them, you can show what progression you have made.
It helps to make these goals as tangible as possible. That means thinking about objectives where there’s a definitive measure of success.
A good career plan will streamline channels of work. Clear goals provide people with the means of focusing on what they’re producing.
Speeding up progression
The more someone works towards a defined goal, the quicker they’re likely to get there. In theory, this will in turn result in an increased level of efficiency. The more experienced a worker, the more you (and the company) are likely to get out of them.
One quiz they’ve run since 2009 (with over 500,000 participants to date) emphasised that people with more menial job titles had been conditioned not to actively pursue growth. Having role progression integrated as a responsibility within a career plan can negate this factor.
Everyone pushing towards the same targets
If you have a department which has one concentrated goal to strive towards, you’ll find you work better as a group trying to achieve those aims.
Knowledge transfer and retention
To truly progress as a company, you’ll need to have people in positions of influence who are able to inspire and coach your junior staff. Setting specific goals to meet means people are able to take the step up into this higher bracket earlier.
Internal teaching opportunities Rather than needing to provide dedicated training days, having staff who’ve worked towards set goals in the past means they’ll be able to pass on their knowledge.
A templated platform Following a similar train of thought, using a development plan means you’ll have a templated format to work from. This saves time in the case of new employees, who will then know what they need to learn.
Trial and error By repeating a tried and tested format, you’ll be able to work out what is and isn’t realistic for workers. There may have been times when you over or underestimated the rate at which someone could advance. This is something to learn from.
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Aspiring senior manager’s guide to writing a career development plan
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