Custom plan, hoping for the best
In this quadrant, a development program is created by the employee, typically around the same time that both the performance appraisals are performed and annual goals and objectives are assigned. While the development plan is custom to each individual, there is no data-driven basis for it. It’s based on both gut instinct, and those development activities known or perceived available by the employee and their manager.
Because self-assessments are not included, employees may not know what they don’t know, and therefore their plans are incomplete (don’t address their skill gaps), inconsistent (don’t pick the best development activity for their role), inaccurate (don’t pick an activity that addresses their requirements), and haphazardly developed (search is difficult and time consuming), which is why we describe it as “hope for the best”. Because development plans lack structure, and the employees don’t know exactly what to expect as a result of completing of the plan, employees lose faith in development programs. Such plans frequently become outdated, and are usually reviewed only once a year. By the time the plan is implemented, it may no longer be relevant. There is a potential to address the wrong issues, and a waste of time and money spent training the wrong employees on the wrong things.
Beyond the development impact, the ability for employees to develop or change skills critical to success may be ignored. There may be a lack of agility for the business. There will likely be missed opportunities.
You may be in this quadrant if:
- Employee completion of development plans is consistently low
- Employee exit interviews frequently cite lack of development opportunities or structure
- Employees view development plan creation as an exercise for corporate, not for them
- You miss opportunities and don’t know why