Personal development is essential to the successful performance of any organization. In the 21st century, with growth of science and technology the expectations of people with professional knowledge and skills have also increased. The organization of professional training has become one of the main functions of personnel management. Organizations such as IBM, Motorola and General Motors annually spend billions of dollars on professional development and training of their employees and even created their own standing universities and institutes.
In the UK, the QAA (2004) defined PDP as "a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement, and to plan for their personal, educational and career development. The primary objective for PDP is to improve the capacity of individuals to understand what and how they are learning, and to review, plan and take responsibility for their own learning."
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Activities for professional development are workshops on marketing for department staff personnel, trainings, appraisals and career planning. In the large multinational corporations there are special departments for professional development, led by the director or vice president. The main purpose of the plan is development of a "recipe" to improve employee performance. There are several forms of plans such as an individual development plan and personal goals. Often an individual plan contains an item on the long-term professional development of the employee and the development of his career. Personal goals are a limited set of key objectives for the employee's appraisal period. Many organizations today are using individual development plans and personal goals. Throughout the appraisal period the manager supervises the staff, including the implementation of individual plan.
The choice of methods to assess personnel for each organization is a unique challenge to solve and can only guide most organizations. System assessments take into account and reflect several factors: the strategic objectives organization, state of the environment, organizational culture and structure, tradition of the organization and characteristics of employment in its workforce. In organizations with stable hierarchical structure traditional methods of assessment can be effectively used; for dynamic organizations operating in a changing external environment, more suitable non-traditional methods.
Many employers now expect employees to understand their own performance and to know how to adapt to meet times of increased workload, stressful situations or conditions of change. Employees are expected to respond well to change. Whilst some employers offer training, it is more typical for employers to expect graduates to arrive ready to manage both their own performance and the performance of other people. It is also important to be aware of how own behaviour affects other people (PDP, 2010).
Flower Power has two factors to look when operating a business. The external aspect engages the situation of the market, and other components outside the entrepreneur and the business. External factors include opportunities and pressure of fears. Opportunities are those external factors that can cause the Flower Power to prosper, provided companies are able to respond to them correctly. In the internal factor of business owner Mr.Tomlinson can include his strengths and weaknesses according to business. He can increase his strength by developing his personal development. The more powerful the internal factor, the more powerful the business. The benefits of Personal Development plan for the Flower Power Company:
1. Individual growth of each employee with improved skills, knowledge, experience and attitude.
2. Improve Decision making Power: Personal development improve decision making power so Manager can take decision faster.
3. Building up moveable skills like self-awareness, ability to learn new things, flexibility to change, empathy, good time management.
4. Motivated and loyal employees, linking its professional career with the company that reduces labour turnover;
5. Improve technical and communication skills. Employee can handle client better and communicate with them efficiently.
PDP would help Flower Power to minimise the learning cost and increase productivity, improve performance and increase commitment to the organisation's goals (motivation). At the same time PDP would help to develop employee's skills for future career within or outside the company, improve the competitiveness of employees in the labour market, increase motivation and loyalty to the company and sense of responsibility which would encourage job satisfaction with opportunity to professional growth and improving living standards. PDP would improve general intellectual development of staff, strengthening their self-confidence. As a result the public would get better-qualified members of the higher productivity of social work at no additional cost. The Flower Power like other organizations exists to achieve company's goals. Feedback has beneficial effect on employee motivation, allowing them to adjust their behaviour in the workplace, thus improving performance, planning training. Staff evaluation enables identify gaps in the work of each employee and provide measures for their elimination. Evaluations of staff identify their strengths and weaknesses professional quality that allows carefully prepares individual development plans and effectively plans a career, decisions on compensation, promotion, dismissal.
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Personal development plan is something that happens over time. There are many methods, plans and programs through which people can improve their skills. There are a number of different theories related to how people learn. Bass and Vaughn suggested that there are five ways of learning: trial and error, where the learner repeats the successful actions and avoids the unsuccessful ones until an effective actions have been developed; perceptual organisation, where the learner creates an organised pattern of activities before taking any action; behaviour modelling based on observation others before making a decision, mediation when the learner uses language to obtain knowledge and reflection(British Dental Journal,2001).
According to David Kolb (1984, Appendix 1) people learn differently because they have individual preferences for learning through doing or learning through thinking. Kolb believed that learning was composed of four discrete experiential methods: immersing oneself in a 'concrete' experience in a completely non-judgmental way, being able to consider that experience and reflect on it from a number of different angles, then work out rational theories based on the observations and finally put the ideas into practice to make decisions and take actions.
Honey and Mumford have based their learning styles on a similar model with David Kolb (Appendix, 2). They suggest that people tend to prefer different methods of learning, four states relate to their own version of the learning cycle where by people have an experience, reflect on it, draw their own conclusions (theorize) and then put the theory into practice to see what happens. Based on the result they then move round the circle again if required until they are successful (British Dental Journal, 2001).
According to Honey and Mumford's Learning Cycle I would say that I am a Reflector. As a Reflector I like working closely with someone experienced and learning through observation and discussing. I also learn much from books. I, like a sponge, collect (by listening and observing) as much information as possible from experienced people, then think and analyse the data before coming to a conclusion.
Different people learn more effectively in different ways. For some the concept of learning by activity (activist) is by far the most attractive, while others are much more reflective (reflectors) by nature and prefer to be given information and time to think about it before doing anything. In order to gain benefit from the training needs analysis the Flower Power management needs to provide appropriate methods of learning for the different individuals in the organization. As people tend to learn more effectively in different ways (referred to as learning styles), the company needs to identify the styles of different people to try and match their style with an appropriate form of training. An effective method of self-appraisal is to identify strengths and weaknesses and to examine both the opportunities and the threats (HNC/HND Management, p.138). By conducting a SWOT analysis, which was created by Albert Humphrey, a developing plan will begin that defines exactly what is expected of individuals and develops the attributes of individuals and their workplace. A manager of Flower Power can then keep track of how the individual is progressing towards their goals and reward successful completion.
Based on Honey and Mumford's learning cycle result I produced my personal SWOT. I have 15 years of experience as a nurse and speak several different languages. This gives me a strength in my present job as a Deputy Manager in a Care Home where is my nursing experience play important role in making decisions dealing with elderly people. I have very positive relationship with my clients and staff which make my working day enjoyable. I know my weaknesses: I did not have management experience when I began work as a Deputy Manager and my language vocabulary is not of a high level. I also have a child what can make it difficult to organise my time. To overcome these weaknesses I am actively working on developing my management skills by doing NVQ4 Management and Leadership at work and the same time doing Foundation Degree in Management at Blackpool and the Fylde College. To improve my writing and communication skills I have done interpreter course and am actively reading English books. Awareness of possible threats such as family commitment, losing my job, failing assessments or exams gives me a chance to minimise negative consequences (Appendix, 3). After analysing my strengths, weaknesses, opportunity and threats I have produced my Personal Development Plan which in itself provides some sense of achievement and clarity in my mind (Appendix, 4).
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