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Leaders Letters A Leadership Resource

Edition 15. October 2010

PDP Checklist

During the Performance Development Planning (PDP) meeting:

Susan M. Heathfield, Guide

• Establish a comfortable, private setting and chat a few minutes to establish rapport with the staff person.

re you looking for the process that provides the heart of your performance management system? You've found it. The Performance Development Planning (PDP) process enables you and the people who report to you to identify their personal and business goals that are most significant to your organization's success.


The process enables each staff person to understand their true value-added to the organization. They do so when they understand how their job and the requested outcomes from their contribution "fit" inside your department or work unit's overall goals. In the process, staff members also set personal developmental goals that will increase their ability to contribute to the success of your organization. The accomplishment of these goals also provides a foundation for their career success whether in your organization or elsewhere, so they ought to be motivated and excited about achieving these goals. Your system of Performance Management, with the PDP process for goal setting and communication, will ensure that you are developing a superior workforce. As one CEO remarks daily, "The only factor that constrains our growth is our ability to hire a superior workforce." Why not grow that talent from within your organization as well?

• Discuss and agree upon the objective of the meeting: to create a performance development plan. • The staff member is given the opportunity to discuss the achievements and progress accomplished during the quarter. • The staff member identifies ways in which he would like to further develop his professional performance, including training, assignments, new challenges and so on. • The supervisor discusses the employee's performance for the quarter and suggests ways in which the staff member might further develop his performance. • The supervisor provides input to the employee's selected areas of personal and professional development and improvement. • Discuss areas of agreement and disagreement, and reach consensus. Assuming performance is satisfactory, agree on a personal and professional development plan with the staff person, that helps him grow professionally in ways important to him and to your organization. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

The Leaders Letter supports Goal #4 of the Strategic Plan "Improved human resource practices and management"

• If performance is less than satisfactory, develop a written Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), and schedule more frequent feedback meetings. Remind the employee of the consequences connected with continued poor performance. • The supervisor and the employee discuss the employee's feedback and constructive suggestions for the supervisor and the department. • Discuss anything else the supervisor or employee would like to discuss, hopefully, maintaining the positive and constructive environment established thus far, during the meeting. • End the meeting in a positive and supportive manner. The supervisor expresses confidence that the employee can accomplish the plan and that the supervisor is available for support and assistance. • Set a time-frame for formal follow up, generally quarterly. I recommend you set the actual date for follow-up. • Follow up with performance feedback and discussions regularly throughout the quarter. (An employee should never be surprised about the content of feedback at the quarterly performance development meeting.) • The supervisor needs to keep commitments relative to the agreed upon personal and professional development plan, including time needed away from the job, payment for courses, agreed-upon assignments and so on. • The supervisor needs to act upon the feedback from departmental members and let staff members know what has changed, based upon their feedback. • Forward appropriate documentation to the Human Resources office and retain a copy of the plan for easy access and referral. When your organization develops the discipline and commitment necessary to carry out regular performance development planning, your organization will win. This systematic method for cascading goals and commitment throughout your organization will ensure your success. Can you think of a better way to communicate and measure your key strategic objectives to ensure progress and success? I can't.

Managers rarely discuss workers' careers: Survey wo-thirds of workers rarely or never talk to their managers about their careers, according to a survey by Right Management.


The survey of 683 employees in North America found 37 per cent of workers never engage in career discussions with their managers. A further 30 per cent have such a discussion just once a year. Only 17 per cent of employees have such conversations twice a year while 15 per cent have them every three months, found the survey. Conversations on careers and development are frequently a low priority, said Liz Grant, vice-president and national practice leader for career management at Right Management. “With so many competing pressures and responsibilities, as well as constant change due to market realities, career management can end up on the back burner for both managers and individuals,” she said. Managers have a key role to play in reaching out to employees to have these discussions, which have the added benefit of boosting engagement and productivity, said Grant. “Career planning can be a great first step in getting employees more broadly engaged. But managers need to be equipped with the tools to discuss career opportunities and create an environment where employees feel valued and want to grow in their roles. If successful, the outcome will be greater job satisfaction, commitment, and even advocacy – all essential for a healthy bottom line,” she said. Leaders Letters are produced by the Corporate and Finance Division. They are distributed to members of the Senior Leaders Group and posted to the CSSL -public shared drive. For information contact 368-4900.

The Leaders Letter supports Goal #4 of the Strategic Plan "Improved human resource practices and management"

Performance Development Checklist - Leaders Letters October 2010  

A Leaders Letters resource focusing on the Performance Development Planning process.