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How to create effective personal development plans at scale

We’ll look at how your organization can create personal development plans at scale, analyzing the benefits of this approach and key considerations.
Mike Jeavons, Content Writer

When developing your employees, a one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective if you want to get the most out of your workforce. Rather, personalized development plans are essential to ensure your organization remains competitive and upskills and develops employees

Pull quote with the text: Personalized development plans are essential to ensure your organisation remains copetitive and upskills and develops employees

So, how do you effectively create personal development plans in an organization with thousands of employees? Creating personal development plans at scale may seem daunting, especially if your business has remote employees or global teams. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. You can create a personalized development strategy for every employee, which is neither expensive nor a logistical nightmare.

We’ll look at how your organization can create personal development plans at scale, analyzing the benefits of this approach, key considerations, and a step-by-step guide for creating personal development plans for your business.

What does personalized learning at scale mean?

Personalized learning means creating learning and development plans that help individual employees grow in a way specific to their goals, strengths, weaknesses, and interests. This strategy should align with your organization’s overall goals and objectives so they can work in tandem to ensure your business is on track. 

Because personalized learning allows employees to develop in unique ways, it improves engagement, increases retention, and ensures employees are in the best position to be productive and successful in their roles.

Personalized learning at scale takes this approach but with your entire workforce. However, in an organization with hundreds or even thousands of employees, this would be a long, inefficient, and laborious process if done manually. Thankfully, tools are available to automate and streamline the process, making it not only possible, but vital if you want to remain competitive.

A one-size-fits-all approach to learning is possible for some topics, such as mandatory compliance training in a specific industry or safety training such as fire or first-aid. However, taking this approach with general learning and development isn’t an effective use of time or budget.

Personalized learning empowers employees to take control of their development, leading to a more engaged and productive workforce.

What are the benefits of creating personal development plans at scale?

Switching to a scaled approach to employee development doesn’t need to be a logistical challenge or an expensive drain on resources. Many aspects can be automated, relying on data your organization likely already collates. Here are some benefits of creating a personal development strategy at scale.

Employee development aligns with your organization’s goals

Offering your employees a blanket approach to learning can stifle growth. Personal development ensures that employees with a range of skills, strengths, and interests develop in unique ways that contribute to your organizational goals.

Increased employee engagement

When employees have a customized learning plan that is specific to them, they’re more likely to engage with learning materials and retain what they’ve learned. As such, they’re in a better position to utilize their new skills, thereby increasing your team's overall skill set.

Pull quote with the text: When employees have a customized learning plan that is specific to them, they're more likely to engage with learning materials and retain what they've learned

Improved efficiency and productivity business-wide

If you allow employees to develop in areas that interest them, they will have higher levels of efficiency and productivity, positively impacting your team’s overall output and performance. 

Increased job satisfaction

When employees are more engaged, they’re also happier and more confident, which improves job satisfaction.

Greater return on investment

Creating personal development plans can also increase your return on investment. Due to the greater efficiency and output, your business should be able to increase its offering to customers.

Increased opportunity to promote from within

By upskilling employees in ways that transform and develop your organization, you will have more opportunities to promote from within and retain top industry talent for longer.

Lower employee turnover

More job satisfaction and the opportunity to progress within your organization leads to lower employee turnover. Accordingly, there’s less disruption to operations, reducing the need for lengthy and expensive recruitment processes.

Collate data to drive business decisions

Scaled personal development will produce data you can use for future business decisions, including data related to ROI, progress, engagement, and skill gaps.

Key considerations when scaling learning 

If your organization is new to scaling personalized development plans, there are several hurdles you should be aware of to help with quick and effective implementation.

  • Ensure you have all the necessary resources and tools, such as your LMS being integrated with relevant systems to allow you to produce useful data.
  • Communicate this new strategy to your workforce, detailing what it means for them and the future of your organization.
  • Ensure you have enough learning content - or the ability to quickly source relevant courses - to cater to a wide range of development needs and paths. At Go1, we have thousands of eLearning courses that can be accessed instantly.
  • Be mindful that as well as having unique goals and objectives, each employee will also learn differently. Employing a wide variety of learning materials, such as micro-learning and gamification, will further improve engagement and retention. 
  • Keep overall business goals and objectives in mind with every decision, ensuring your new strategy aligns with these goals.
  • Utilize your LMS to see how employees engage with their training. Support struggling employees and work with them to increase their motivation.
  • Use data to continuously improve your learning and development strategy so it’s as efficient and effective as possible.
  • Ensure your workforce has enough time to dedicate to learning and development.
  • Set goals and objectives for learning as part of performance reviews, but don’t pressure employees as it can lead to anxiety, stress, and burnout.

How to create individual learning plans that are effective at an organizational level

Creating a scaled personal development strategy at your organization shouldn’t differ drastically from your current learning and development program. But, by using the data you likely already have, you can customize learning for everyone to not only benefit your employees, but your entire organization.

Step 1: Have a clear understanding of what your organization needs to meet its goals and objectives

Ask yourself: what organizational goals and objectives will contribute to growth and profit? Once you know this, you can outline the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to make that happen.

Step 2: Use data to identify individual employees’ strengths, weaknesses, and professional goals

Collate comprehensive data on your employees and their performance to date. Then, analyze this data to identify knowledge and skills gaps that learning and development can address.

Step 3: Set clear and actionable goals

Utilize this data as part of performance reviews so employees can work with managers to set goals that align with your business goals. You can then use eLearning courses and other resources to achieve these goals.

For example, if your goal is to increase the average customer value and an employee in sales would like to increase their confidence, a negotiation course will allow both to achieve their goals.

Step 4: Monitor progress and provide feedback

While a personal learning and development plan naturally encourages greater engagement, monitoring progress allows managers to provide support and guidance when needed.

Regular feedback from employees and managers will also allow you to make continuous improvements to refine development plans and to ensure they always align with broader business goals. 

Step 5: Review and make changes

While adopting a scaled approach to personal development will undoubtedly yield better results than a standardized development plan, chances are there will still be room for improvement. Continue to use data to analyze and review outcomes, so you can make changes to improve your efficiency and effectiveness.

Following the above steps will allow your employees to expand their knowledge, develop their skills, and increase their confidence to be more effective at an organizational level. To start, all you need is the data that should already be available to you! 

How Go1 helps

At Go1, we can help your organization create customized personal development plans for your entire workforce with an extensive library of online courses across multiple industries.

Download our 5 essential tools to help you develop a future-fit organization, or speak to an expert to find out how Go1 can support your organization’s learning and development plan.

For more insights, subscribe to the Go1 newsletter to stay on top of all the latest L&D trends. Or, you can book a demo today to find out how Go1 can help with your team’s learning needs. 

Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
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