Template: An Employee Development Plan for Accountability and Trust

Building a culture of accountability and trust where employees are engaged can seem like a difficult task. How do you create behavior change on an individual level to work towards improving culture and what’s more, how can you measure the ROI of your efforts with something intangible as culture? Is it a skill issue, a personnel issue…the wrong leadership or is it that your company systems are lacking?
This is a focus area for many of my clients who have struggled with identifying an effective solution that will have a positive impact on their company culture and performance. Our work together has offered clarity into the kinds of tools and processes that are effective at achieving better outcomes associated with organizational culture and performance. One of the keys is to focus specifically on individual development.
Here is an excerpt from one of my clients’ individual development plans:

     Behavioral Goal(s) – at least one

     List specific behavior trait (s) to stop doing or start doing:

     Relationship of goal to organization’s goals:

     Activities/Resources required:

     Target date for completion:
Another effective component for individual growth that supports the health of the organization is a concrete focus on skills and abilities:

     Developmental Skills/Abilities/Core Competencies Goals

     List specific skill areas/abilities to further develop:
     Relationship of goal to organization’s goals:
     Activities/Resources suggested:
     Target date for completion:
Rounding out an individual development plan includes an emphasis on knowledge and learning:
     Knowledge Acquisition/Learning Goals
     List learning/knowledge areas of focus to acquire:
     Relationship of goal to organization’s goals:
     Activities/Resources required:
     Target date for completion:
Focusing on each of these three areas: (1) Behaviors to start/stop, (2) skills to develop, and (3) knowledge to acquire, ensures that individual development towards organizational improvement is addressed from a behavior, skill and learning level which creates a comprehensive foundation for growth addressed from a multi-dimensional perspective.
Leveraging a coaching process with a focused plan on growth has been associated with organizational outcomes that are superior to other forms of organizational development such as training or stand-alone consulting because it addresses the gaps from an individual perspective that once corrected, support organizational goals. Further, an individual plan lends itself easily to progress checks and accountability which means a greater chance for success.
The above template is typically used in conjunction with individual leadership assessments and job performance reviews to support a greater organizational initiative to build a stronger culture and a high performing company.
Every organizational leader aims to build not just a good company but a great one. And while there’s no magic bullet, there are best practices like leveraging an individual development plan which can be seamlessly integrated into the workflow for a significant, positive impact both short-term and over the long haul.
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