Personal development plans specify courses of action to be taken to improve performance. Also, achieving the goals stated in the development plan allows employees to stay informed of changes in their field or profession. Such plans highlight an employees strengths and the areas in need of development, and they provide an action plan to improve in areas of weaknesses and further develop areas of strength.
Development plans can be created for every job, ranging from entry level to the executive suite (e.g., CEO, CFO). No matter how high up the position within the organization and how simple or complex the nature of the job in question, there is always room for improvement. A development plan can be designed based on each of the performance dimensions evaluated on the appraisal form. For example, if the performance dimension communication is rated as substandard, this area would be included in the development plan.
Development plans focus on the short term and on specific roles and positions, but also on the knowledge and skills needed for more long-term career aspirations and career development. The inclusion of development plans and identification of strengths and weaknesses also helps employees to be more likely to be satisfied with the performance management system.