Understand the Principles and Practices of Operational Planning in Organisations

The need for operational planning for different types of operations

Operational planning is the process of planning strategic goals and objectives to tactical goals and objectives. It describes milestones, conditions for success and explains how, or what portion of, a strategic plan will be put into operation during a given operational period, in the case of commercial application, a fiscal year or another given budgetary term.[1]

There is a difference between operational planning and strategic planning, which are compared below:

Basis for Comparison Strategic Planning Operational Planning
Meaning The planning for achieving the vision of the organization is Strategic Planning. Operational Planning is a process of deciding in advance of what is to be done to achieve the tactical objectives of business?
Time Horizon Long term planning Short term planning
Approach Extroverted Introverted
Modifications Generally, the plan lasts longer The plan changes every year
Performed by Top level management Middle level management
Scope Wide Narrow
Emphasis Planning of vision, mission and objectives Planning the routine activities of the company


Operational Planning is vital for the day-to-day running of any business, providing employees with a clear understanding of what is required of them within their individual responsibilities.

The operational plan assist employees in understanding what needs to be done, by whom, how it will be done and where. An operational plan also forms the basis for financial budget requests as well as deciding on timescales for events over the short, medium and long term.

Operational plans will usually contain several important points. My own organisations operational plan is very lengthy due to the nature of business, but contains clear objectives and quality standards. In addition, an operation plan should also contain:

  • activities to be delivered
  • desired outcome
  • staffing and resource requirements
  • implementation timetables
  • a process for monitoring progress

I should be noted that operation planning should constantly consider the strategic planning of an organisation and not contradict it in any way.



The process of developing an operational plan for an organisation

There are several important key areas to consider when developing an operation plan and all of them must be considered before the plan can be put into place. An operational plan must take into consideration the organisations strategic plan.

In my experience, there are 5 core areas to consider when putting together an operation plan. These are:

By consulting all stakeholders within the organisation and identifying the organisations targets and how we are going to achieve them, we can ensure that we have specific goals or objectives to achieve whilst insuring that those objectives are relevant and achievable. Managers can then use systems to measure whether the organisation and its employees are heading in the correct direction to ensure that the plan is on course to be achieved within the agreed or desired timescale, such as key performance indicators or staged targets (as discussed in Unit 3).

When developing an operation plan, we must ensure that we set objectives which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART), especially when forecasting progress.


Short term priorities

Short term priorities are those which are required for the day-to-day running of the organisation, whilst at the same time looking to achieve the goals of the strategic plan.

Short term priorities in operational planning are those when there may be limited resources, and therefore the organisation will be looking to make the most of those resources over the next planned period, usually 12 months.



When developing our operational plan, our goals help us aim towards to achieving the objectives of the strategic plan. The goals may be single or multiple and stages over a short, medium or long-term period and will form part of our SMART targets.

Goals should be clear and concise.



Our initiatives within operational planning can form part of our goals. They may include such items as:

  • Recycling a minimum of 95% materials
  • Achieving a carbon neutral status
  • Allow employees more time to focus on professional development
  • Improving customer satisfaction feedback levels
  • Achieving a 0% accident rate

Out initiatives can be measured using KPIs and should be realistic and achievable.



Core Functions

Core functions are business functions that are critical, and closely related, to a firm’s strategy expressed in customer service, marketing, product design, etc. Routine administrative and maintenance tasks are not a part of core activities.[3]



Do we have the money to achieve what we want to achieve? Will we have enough cashflow to survive whilst we work towards our goals? Can we afford to buy and maintain equipment? These are just some of the questions that managers need to consider when building an operational plan and managers need to be certain that each action and that the organisation has or will have the capacity to provide the required resources.


The use of different planning tools and techniques in the operational planning for an organisation

Managers can utilise several planning tools and techniques in operational planning.

As already discussed, the fiscal element of an operational plan is vital. There is little point in having an ambitious plan without the financial means of delivering it. This may mean setting restrictions on what can be purchased, ensuring that there are sufficient funds available through the course of the plan to ensure that the plan can be achieved. Later, using software to monitor income and expenditure and having this information reported in a ledger report to managers daily. This can also help to ensure that budgets are being adhered to. In my organisation we use the well-known accountancy system, Sage. We may also be able to use previous experience and records to decide whether our plan is realistic and attainable. Of course, it may be difficult (if not impossible) to budget for a completely new idea where there is little existing evidence to support budget predictions. Nevertheless, a budget will usually form part of any business plan.

A financial and operational planning load forecast can be tied into fiscal planning to consider variables that influence a budget over a period, usually up to five years. Will bad weather have an effect on cashflow at certain times of the year? Does a supplier shut down for the summer holiday? In my industry, we know that we are going to be busier during school holidays and so plan our manpower accordingly for these holiday periods. There may be occurrences which cannot be predicted that may have an effect of the businesses load (financial or in terms of manpower such as illness, natural disaster, etc., but if at all possible load forecasting should be considered.

Within load forecasting, managers can also consider whether contingencies are required. Within my own organisation, we need to ensure that we always have a set number of specialist operatives on site at any one time. It would be too expensive to employ reserve staff for the odd occasions where illness results in us needing extra staff, so we pool trained operatives from a select number of agencies. In addition, we have a number of backup negative pressure units in case of emergency to ensure that we can still continue with a contract and that our operation isn’t unnecessarily interrupted.



Charts can often be useful for managers to understand the current progress of a project at any time. Some managers might like to use a system such as a Gantt chart (that illustrates a project schedule). Others may simply prefer a large whiteboard and some drywipe markers to tick off progress as it occurs!

Analysis forms an important part of operational planning. One such example is the project evaluation and review technique (PERT) which is intended to analyse and represent the tasks involved in completing a given project. PERT defines and makes visible dependencies by breaking them down into sections, facilitates identification of early start, late start, and slack for each activity. PERT provides for potentially reduced project duration due to better understanding of dependencies leading to improved overlapping of activities and tasks where feasible. Thus, a large amount of project data can be organised and presented in diagram for use in decision making. PERT can also provide a probability of completing before a given time.[4] However, PERT does have some disadvantages such as being difficult to scale down for smaller projects and charts being difficult to read, which is perhaps why it isn’t typically used in small and medium sized business.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operational_planning

[2][2] http://keydifferences.com/difference-between-strategic-planning-and-operational-planning.html

[3] http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/core-activities.html

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Program_evaluation_and_review_technique#Advantages

Understand Health and Safety Requirements in Managing Work Activities in Organisations

Assess the impact of health and safety legislation in carrying out work activities in an organisation

Health and safety forms a large percentage of the work methods which many companies employ.

Health and safety legislation is designed to clear set out what is and is not acceptable in any UK workplace, whether that may be in an office, a factory or demolition site. It is designed to protect workers and the public from the risk of any type of injury and provide a legal basis for any litigation in the event of a breach of the legislation.

Therefore, health and safety legislation forms a part of all businesses in some form or another.

There can be a significant amount of cost related to health and safety. Employees must be fully trained in the type of activities and machinery they operated. The cost of this training (and annual retraining) along with the cost of specialist equipment (PPE) can easily run into thousands of pounds per employee. Then there can be the additional cost of certification for training for working at height, for operation machinery such as forklifts; the list can sometimes feels endless. Add these costs to the costs of specialist testing and insurances, and health and safety legislation can have a huge impact of the companies cashflow.

In addition, health and safety legislation can impact the requirements for administration on the business. Some contracts will require a specific set of Risk Assessments and Method Statements which described exactly how each contract will be conducted from start to finish. This requires a considerable amount of manpower and various other systems to administer.

Health and Safety requirements also reduce the company’s exposure to litigation and are a requirement for our Professional Liability and Indemnity Insurance.


Explain the purpose and benefits of carrying out risk assessments when managing work activities

A Risk Assessment identifies areas where there could be the risk of an accident, and puts in place measures to either completely prevent and accident or reduce the risk of an accident occurring.

A Risk Assessment may also look at other areas of health and safety, for example, identifying employees at risk of stress, sunburn, noise exposure, chemical burns, working at heights, etc.

The benefit of a Risk Assessment is that accidents are reduced, along with injuries and deaths. They also help to reduce litigation in the event of a workplace injury.

In addition, risk assessments assist productivity, can result in happier and healthier employees, save money over time and provide a position company image.

A companies approach to safety consulting and accident prevention can often be founded on a zero-accident philosophy, the belief that workplace accidents are:

  • Predictable
  • Preventable
  • Unacceptable

The guiding principle in this philosophy shapes the creation of solutions to predict and prevent accidents and establish an organizational culture in which accidents are viewed as unacceptable. If an organisation adopts such an approach, employees build on the zero-accident philosophy, proactively addressing potential hazards before losses can occur. The zero-accident philosophy has proven to not only enhance employee safety and well-being, but also to increase morale, productivity, and work quality, and to decrease accident-related expenditures.



Assess the need to regularly review organisational health and safety policies and procedures

It is important to review a health and safety policy regularly (for example every 6 to 12 months from the date of the current Health & Safety Policy) and revise it if and when new legal requirements come into force or new information is available which require new training for employees pending the introduction of new machinery, processes or substances, as necessary.

Although there may be a health and safety office, it is often the responsibility of the Managing Director to ensure that organisational health and safety policies and procedures are up to date and relevent.

How to Create a Fair, Supportive and Rewarding Working Environment

The concept of performance management

UC Berkeley define the concept of performance management as “an ongoing process of communication between a supervisor and an employee that occurs throughout the year, in support of accomplishing the strategic objectives of the organization” by “clarifying expectations, setting objectives, identifying goals, providing feedback, and reviewing results”.[1]

Performance management is vital to ensure that employees and the Company remain on-track in all areas including productivity, behaviour, achieving targets/goals and ensures that employees clearly understand what is expected of them. It ensures that employees understand what is expected of them, and allows employers to ensure that performance is kept at a minimum expected level.

Without performance management, standards may slip, potentially resulting in employees being disciplined (or dismissed) and overall quality of service diminishing. In addition, a lack of performance management fails to provide opportunity for an employee’s improvement, recognition or development to be measured.[2]

Performance management also assist in linking performance to compensation and recognition.


The main tools used in performance management in organisations

Key Performance Indicators

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a type of performance measurement used to evaluate the success of an organisation or a particular activity in which it engages.[3] Examples of where KPIs might be used include achieving sales targets, reaching a minimum level of customer satisfaction or bringing projects in on time. KPIs assit to allow companies to set targets/goals and monitor that these are being achieved.

Chosen correctly, KPIs are a useful tool which assist managers in understanding whether an individual employee, department, or the overall organisation are getting the most from the resources available to it. By analysing the information, KPIs can also help to identify areas within the organisation where performance may be lacking.

The type of KPIs used will vary depending on the type of industry. In my own industry, performance indicators are used in a number of ways including:

  • Completing projects within a set deadline
  • Employee performance
  • Inventory
  • Procurement
  • Cost savings

As technology advances, and as analytical software becomes more advanced, KPIs are used increasingly and the development of algorithms allow the data to be scrutinised in more detail. However, it is important to bear in mind that that we should only be collecting data which is relevant to track performance; there is little point in collecting data which will not be used.


Performance appraisals

Performance appraisals allow the performance of an employee to be documented and evaluated. Appraisals have a number of benefits, which include communicating between the employee and management the current goals and any potential issues, promoting trust, re-establishing the organisations goals, increasing performance by reasonably identifying areas for improvement, and identifying areas where training may be required) or could be of benefit to career development).

Appraisals may also assist in identifying employees who may be suitable for promotion within an organisation.

In most organisations, a performance appraisal may be carried out monthly, quarterly or annually. However, in some other organisations it may be necessary for such appraisals to occur daily or during each project. When I worked in the motor trade, appraisals were monthly. When I worked in the insurance sector they were annual.

In my current organisation where the trade is highly regulated (asbestos removal and management), we carry out internal audits as often as practicable and as a manager it is often my responsibility to conduct these audits. Such audits include ensuring that our customer service levels are constantly achieved by reviewing customer satisfaction levels which provide us with an ongoing overview of praise and complaints. This information is obtained directly from the customer who is requested to provide a written appraisal of each job once completed. Although we refer to our own appraisals as audits, they are realistically an appraisal of employees to ensure that they are carrying out their work at the expected regulatory and high standards.

In addition, we employ and external company to carry out unannounced site audits of our asbestos removal processes. These audits provide a rigorous, honest appraisal of each site Supervisor and team of Operatives, ensuring that all Health and Safety laws and regulations are adhered to at all times. It also allows us to quickly identify and weak links or issues which may result in us receiving a prohibition from the HSE.

As well as the external audits, I occasionally carry out my own unannounced site audits. Our audits are less about finding fault in individuals or team leaders, and instead more focused on ensuring that all concerned understand that they may be scrutinised at any time; thus ensuring they are ‘on the ball’. The Health & Safety Executive can arrive on any site at any time and our own unannounced audits help supervisors to understand if they are making mistakes to prevent them reoccurring in the future: prevention rather than cure!

It is important to recognise that appraisals can have some detrimental effects if not carried out correctly. For example, if a manager is uncomfortable in providing negative feedback about an employee, this may result in them over-inflating the employee’s performance in other areas to compensate which will result in an inaccurate review and/or overall grading. It is therefore vital than managers have the correct training and communication skills to be able to adequately present negative feedback to employees.


Recognised quality standards/trade organisations

A General Manager, I oversea that standards are adhered to in terms of our ISO:9001 Quality Management Award. My Team are expected to keep records in different areas of information to constantly monitor the service we provide to customers, whilst also monitoring the service we are provided by our suppliers.

Our performance is managed by the HSE which reviews our Asbestos Licence at regular intervals to ensure that our staff and the Company consistently meet the strict regulations in the management and removal of asbestos containing materials.

Finally, we are also members of various trade organisations which set out acceptable levels of performance, some of which allow customers to provide honest, impartial feedback on our employees. Such organisations include CHAS and Checkatrade.



Mission and Vision Statements

The overriding purpose of such statements is to ensure that all efforts to improve performance (at strategic, operational and individual levels) are pointing in the same direction: so usage should be encouraged.[4]

A mission describes the reasons why an organization exists – and might remain stable over many decades. For instance, Google’s mission is to, “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”[5]


The value of mentoring and coaching in managing the performance of individuals in an organisation

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” – Bill Gates

Mentoring and coaching are invaluable tools for any business. They allow more skilled and experienced individuals to pass on their skills and knowledge to those who may not be as experienced in a role, whist guiding their mentees in the correct direction. They can also help to provide less experienced employees with new problem solving skills and ways in which to deal with new situations as they arise.

According to a survey by the American Society for Training and Development, 75% of private sector executives said that mentoring had been critical in helping them reach their current position.[6]

Mentoring can also provide the mentee with increased confidence, allowing them to develop within the role that they are training for with a more assertive attitude towards their required role.

Mentors can also become a valuable point of contact for someone who is training, allows organisations to make better use of their resources (perhaps as opposed to employing more expensive external training companies).

Mentors can offer value in identifying where a trainee is making mistakes as (as long as the mentor is adequately trained) quickly explain where mistakes have been made and guide the trainee on to the correct path; preventing time wasting for all concerned.

Mentoring also assist the trainee in learning about a role, based around an organisation’s goals or expected standards. It allows a trainee to be educated in a specific way which aims towards the organisation, not just in a “generic” capability.



The role of effective communication in managing the performance of individuals in an organisation

According to the United States Office of Personnel Management[7], there are four main roles in effective communication in managing performance that managers must adhere to. These are:

  • to establish strong working relationships with employees,
  • to promote easy access to information and feedback,
  • to promote employee involvement in planning and development activities, and
  • to recognise and praise top performers.

Communication of feedback to employees, whether negative or positive, can help establish stronger bonds between employees, if it is provided in a well presented and positive nature.

Providing information clearly and concisely can assist employees in understands the targets that they are expected to achieve and, if presented correctly, provide a visual aid for employees to monitor their own progress.

Effectively communicating performance results can help to establish clear expectations, which in turn can help to motivate employees.


The importance of recognising achievement in the work environment

Recognising achievement in the workplace helps foster engagement, increases productivity, and reduces tension in the work environment. Leading a team can often be a challenging task let alone ensuring all staff are engaged.[8] It can also help to make staff feel valued whilst helping to build bonds between managers and juniors.

Recognising achievement helps employees understand if they have achieved goals and may result in them working harder to achieve targets through incentives. It can also to being out those ‘hidden talents’ that many employees may have.

As well as the more obvious effects that recognising achievement brings, it can also help to retain employees.

Employees who feel valued as much more likely to be loyal to an organisation as well as being more enthusiastic when dealing with customers or representing the company outside of working hours.


Qualitative information and qualitative data that can be used to evaluate staff wellbeing

We can collect qualitative information to evaluate staff wellbeing on areas such as absenteeism, staff turnover, accident records, overtime, attendance, retention, working hours, productivity, job satisfaction, innovative suggestions, staff exit interviews and staff surveys.

Qualitative data is information recorded in more than just numbers – in involves a more complex record of information. For example, data on staff absenteeism may need to record the reasons for the time away from work. Is there a pattern occurring with an individual or within a team which may point to a problem with stress or illness?

Staff turnover and retention can also be measured using qualitative data. Employee turnover refers to the proportion of employees who leave an organisation over a set period (often on a year-on-year basis), expressed as a percentage of total workforce numbers[9] but the percentage doesn’t tell us why the turnover rate is as it is. To really understand the cause of the figure, managers need to gather further information from employees in terms of their satisfaction, perhaps by requesting staff surveys are completed or conducting exit interviews. This can help us gather a better understanding of the reasons for staff leaving the company. Is there a problem with a particular member of staff? Are working conditions unacceptable? Are workloads resulting in high stress levels? Are staff feeling undervalued and underpaid compared to competitors in the same industry?

In many cases, the information collected will need to have a human aspect to it, perhaps in areas that KPIs and algorithms are unable to adjust to make allowances for a more personal aspect.

Producing and reviewing quantitative and qualitative reports can prove time consuming and expensive. However, compiling detailed performance reports, and keeping them on file, protects your business from legal disputes with former employees. Additionally, some businesses might be able to cut costs after addressing long-standing production issues that only come to light in performance reports.[10]



Initiatives that may be implemented to improve staff wellbeing

Employee Development & Engagement

There are a number of areas in which employee development can be incentivised.

Staff training incentives such providing a financial bonus for achieving a level of expertise, or perhaps a gift or promotion, is used widely across business. Used correctly, such incentives allow employees to work towards a set target, and by performing at their best, achieve an incentive as a reward.

However, Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer of Stanford Graduate School of Business warns that using monetary incentives can backfire, especially if they are offered mainly to influence behavior:[11]

“Incentives should be used not to drive behavior but instead to provide recognition and to share the company’s success with its employees,” said Professor Pfeffer.

“There are, unfortunately, few shortcuts in leadership — and using financial incentives to fix companies isn’t one of them.”

The important phrase in Professor Pfeffer’s comment for me is to “share in the company’s success”. It is important that we engage our staff with the right inventives to engage them, in turn improving their own development and in turn the best of the company.


Work-life balance/flexible working hours

A work-life balance is arguably of the of most spoken about areas of staff wellbeing in today’s modern era and technology now makes it as easy as it has ever been for employees to spend more quality time at home whilst still being a productive member of an organisation. It can certainly be an incentive for employees to have the option to work from home or be given the trust to work more flexible working hours.

Working from home, for example, is now seen as a style of work which more employers are prepared to offer to their staff where a role allows. As someone who worked from home for 8 years, I am very experienced how home-working can help to keep a work-life balance healthy, which in turn can assist employees in their own wellbeing. Often, time spent commuting to and from work is considered as “wasted” time for many employees as it is difficult to work on a train or in the car and communication in some forms such as telephone conversations are almost impossible. Working from home allows an employee to take more control over the times they work during the week and also allowed me to build my working weeks around my family obligations.

Giving employees the incentive to work more from home, or providing more flexible working hours, can be seen as a bonus to take more control over their work-life balance but it also involves a large element of trust between the employer and employee. Therefore, this may not be suited to people who struggle with self-motivation or planning. This incentivised style of working may also not be suitable for personnel who thrive on a more social, group rated type of role.


Physical and mental health

In March 2016, the NHS announced a new incentive to assist in staff wellbeing[12] due to a current cost to the NHS of staff absence due to poor health at £2.4bn a year. To achieve this, they plan to:

  • offer frontline nurses, therapists, doctors, care assistants and other staff access to workplace physio, mental health support, and healthy workplace options
  • take action on junk food and obesity by ensuring that healthy food options are available for their staff and visitors, including those working night shifts
  • increase the uptake of the winter flu vaccine for their staff so as to reduce sickness absence and protect vulnerable patients from infection

Of course, these schemes are generally not going to be achievable for small businesses due to the short term-high cost, but the research conducted by the NHS does suggest that there is a large amount of money to be saves in the long term in staff absences. The NHS have also urged private companies to introduce a range of physical activity schemes for staff, reduce sedentary behaviours or subsidise employees’ memberships of gyms or fitness clubs.

As discussed in section 2.1, mental health in an issue which can have a huge impact on an employee’s wellbeing and although mental health is more acceptable to speak about today, it is still misunderstood or ignored by many employers. As in physical health, there are a number of methods which employees to can put into place to incentivise employees to seek help if they feel they are struggling with stress, depression or any other mental health issues. This may include providing free-of-charge access to occupational health professionals and understanding /implementing the NICE Health and Wellbeing at work guidelines.[13]


The value of a learning and innovation culture to organisational performance

A learning and innovation culture in the workplace helps to develop employees and the organisation as a whole through ongoing learning rather than just acquiring a set of skills and then preventing the employee (and so the company) from developing further. Encouraging innovation means that the company will strive to look for new ideas and encourages growth.

A learning culture is recognised by many companies as a vital part of the organisations development in strengthening employee’s knowledge and experience.

As a member of the Scout Association, ongoing learning is an expectation of all Leaders within the organisation and is something I have had a great deal of experience. In fact, if a Leader fails to adopt the program of ongoing learning they can have their Leadership Warrant removed. This is because our needs as Leaders are constantly changing, so to do a good job for our young people it’s important that we are always learning and refining our skills. The same applies to almost every organisation as without the ability to learn, refine and think of new ideas, an organisation of any size can quickly be left behind the competition.

Perhaps an obvious example of learning and innovation increasingly performance of organisations is that of the ‘discount’ supermarkets Aldi and Lidl. In 2015, Aldi and Lidl achieved growth of 17.3% and 16%, respectively compared to the market leaders, Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s who all suffered losses.[14] Aldi and Lidl had a different plan for the UK and went against the grain and when the financial crash occurred they were ready to pounce. Their plan was a shopping experience was based on constantly low cost quality products. Learning from their experience in Germany and other EU countries, they kept their overheads low by removing elaborate, expensive large superstores (at a time when the market leads were investing millions in such stores) and instead focusing on smaller, more local branches. They also threw away the idea of loyalty cards, ‘buy one get one free’ offers and other sales gimmicks.

It could be argued that there was nothing innovative about getting rid of the marketing ideas that had helped to grow companies such as Tesco, Morrison’s and Asda, but it was nevertheless a risky plan: customers had become loyal to their brands and their supermarkets. Needless to say this back to basics approach worked and by utilising clever marketing, the companies have managed to change the consumer’s attitudes from brand loyalty and instead focus consumers on constantly low prices. I would argue that it was innovative to focus on a shopping experience which none of the larger brands either considered or were prepared to risk – and it worked.

In my own organisation, there is limited scope of innovation when it comes to the highly regulated activity of asbestos removal as the processes for managing and removing these materials is defined by the HSE. That said, we are constantly looking to make our services more clearly explained to potential customers, especially private individuals. Although we may not be able to innovate in the management of asbestos we can innovate and learn about the way in which we present ourselves to the commercial and private sector.

We are constantly developing our website to make it as clear as possible in an industry which has a history of being evasive about the processes involved in managing asbestos safely. In addition, we provide services that other companies don’t such as an opportunity to get price-specific quotations based on a postcode area. We are the only company which advertises our prices clearly on our advertising, and we are regularly commended by customers for our plain-speaking approach. We encourage our employees to avoid jargon as much as possible when dealing with customers (who may know nothing about asbestos).



These are some of the examples which, though our different approach, have helped to see our turnover increase 20% from 2014-2015 and 2016 looks to be just as successful.

[1] http://hr.berkeley.edu/hr-network/central-guide-managing-hr/managing-hr/managing-successfully/performance-management/concepts

[2] http://www.hrinz.org.nz/Site/Resources/Knowledge_Base/I-P/performance_Mgt_2.aspx

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Performance_indicator

[4] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140522054403-64875646-the-5-most-popular-tools-to-manage-performance-good-news-and-cautionary-tales

[5] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140522054403-64875646-the-5-most-popular-tools-to-manage-performance-good-news-and-cautionary-tales

[6] http://commongoodcareers.org/articles/detail/finding-a-guide-the-value-of-having-a-professional-mentor%20%20%20

[7] https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/performance-management/performance-management-cycle/planning/communication-skills/

[8] http://www.power2motivate.com/news-blog/blog/10-reasons-to-recognise-employee-achievements

[9] http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/factsheets/employee-turnover-retention.aspx

[10] http://smallbusiness.chron.com/can-hr-departments-use-quantitative-qualitative-data-39617.html

[11] https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/jeffrey-pfeffer-how-employee-financial-incentives-can-backfire

[12] https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/03/improve-staff-health/

[13] https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph22

[14] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34315643

Techniques That May be Used to Manage and Resolve Conflict in the Workplace

Techniques that may be used to manage and resolve conflict in the workplace

“Well-managed conflict can also be constructive, helping to ‘clear the air’, releasing emotion and stress, and resolving tension, especially if those involved use it as an opportunity to increase understanding and find a way forward together out of the conflict situation.”[1]



As I have touched on already, managing and resolving conflict in the workplace requires good communication skills, in particular the ability to listen. Allowing an employee to air their concerns or voice their opinion often helps to clear the air.

It is vital that the information communicated is noted and, if required, action taken. There is little point in a manager taking the time to listen to a complaint if they are unable to understand what they are being told and then consequently fail to take relevant action to resolve the source of conflict.


Creating a level playing field

Brian V. Moore, team-building expert and founder of Celebrating Humanity, says it’s important to create a level playing field where each person feels as though they can speak without being ridiculed or embarrassed.[2] This allows each party to voice their concerns or problems to enable all sides to understand the cause of conflict and to better understand how to resolve it.


Getting to the root cause of the problem

As previously discussed, listening is vital in helping managers to understand the causes of conflict. One-on-one and group discussions can help to determine the cause of a problem, thus providing important information to enable managers to clear the air and resolve problems within the work environment.

In addition, getting to the root cause of a problem can assist in devising an actionable plan to prevent the problem or failure from reoccurring as well as sharing learnings and best practices so that other teams or individuals can avoid making the same mistakes.[3]


Encouraging understanding of differences in personalities

Everyone has their own personality traits, and so their work and management styles can differ. People differ. Encouraging understanding of differences in personalities helps us to appreciate how other people may deal with a task and encourage tolerance and understanding. This can be particularly useful when dealing with different cultures, ethnicities and social groups.



Finding common ground – negotiate!

Negotiation is a skill which we use daily in many parts of our lives.

According to marsdd.com, negotiation is a “means to an end”, which involves “three basic levels of negotiation: power, rights and interest”.

  • Power: Negotiations that rely on power often involve threats and coercion. This is not a long-term strategy as it has a negative impact on the future of the relationship between parties.
  • Rights: This type of negotiation is based on contracts and precedent and often leads to legal action, which can be expensive and time consuming.
  • Interest: Interest-based negotiations are what you should strive for. They often involve good communication and collaboration, resulting in win-win situations for both parties.[4]

Just as in creating a level playing field, using negotiation allows all parties to express their interests so that these can be included (and if possible achieved) in the conflict resolution process. In addition, effective negotiation can help form constructive relationships between employees and help in forging long-lasting relationships.


Defining Acceptable Behaviour

Defining acceptable behaviour is vital for all business. All employees must clearly understand what is expected of them at all times when representing the company, which in turn can ensure that company expectations prevent incidents of bullying or harassment, and define an ethical climate for all employees. It also helps to promote a level playing field of all employees.

In addition to assisting management of conflict, defining acceptable behaviour can assist in a company’s grievance process and as a matter of last resort define the process for dismissing a member of staff, if required.


Encouraging all parties an opportunity to participate in the problem-solving process

Promoting participation is key in allowing all employees to put forward their ideas and voice their concerns. At the same time, it allows managers and other employees to hear a point of view which they may not have appreciated or have not previously considered. Participation also helps to build a consensus.

Participation allows information to be shared between staff. This could, for example, mean that someone serving customers on the shop floor is able to participate a method to management which could speed up the process in servicing customers. It may also mean that if there is a concern or potential source of conflict, that it can be extinguished quickly through managers listening to and understanding the information being communicated. In turn, this can help to build credibility within managers and teams.


Promoting teamwork

Promoting teamwork helps to build relationships between colleagues through joint and open planning, agreed strategy management, agreed methods of achieving goals and achievement sharing – all of which help to reduce conflict when managed correctly. It is also an excellent way of combining the talents and skills of multiple people to help achieve goals quickly and to a high standard.

By considering the facts, assumptions, beliefs and decision making that lead to other people’s positions, the group will gain a better understanding of those positions. Not only can this reveal new areas of agreement, it can also reveal new ideas and solutions that make the best of each position and perspective.[5] All of these benefits help to reduce and manage conflict.



Final thought

In my opinion, eliminating conflict as early as possible is vital in preventing problems becoming deep-rooted and also in preventing negative emotions becoming a greater problem.


[1] http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/conflict-resolution.html

[2] http://brianvmoore.com/conflict.html

[3] https://blog.asana.com/2015/06/workstyle-ask-5-whys-to-get-to-the-root-of-any-problem/

[4] https://www.marsdd.com/news-and-insights/negotiation-conflict-resolution-perfecting-a-skill-you-use-daily/

[5] https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_79.htm

Factors which Influence the Need for Personal and Professional Development

Trends and developments in management that influence the need for professional development

As international trade and development has increased over the past century, it has become vital for managers to be able to adapt to the effect on their business. Technology has played a major part in the globalisation of businesses, bringing countries and continents closer. It is as important as ever for professionals to adapt with these changes in both communication and cultural barriers.



At the same time that international trade barriers have been eroded through easier travel and increased technology, there has been a social and ethical change in the way that business conducts itself in terms of sustainability. Pressure on organisation to meet climate change targets and reducing the use of the Earth’s resources, means that businesses are constantly looking to adapt to new regulations and the ethnical expectations of their clients. In my own industry, there are now primary contractors who will refuse to trade with companies who fail to buy sustainably sourced timber under the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). PEFC has recognised certification systems in 38 countries. Together these account for over 275 million hectares of certified forests, making PEFC the world’s largest forest and wood product certification system. This is just one small example of how managers are expected to constantly adapt to global challenges and ongoing personal development assists employees in understanding what these changes are, how they are relevant to their business and how to achieve them.


Corporate Social Responsibility

A Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy functions as a self-regulatory mechanism whereby a business monitors and ensures its active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards and national or international norms.[1] In layman’s terms, a company with an active CSR policy goes above and beyond what is expected by it whether for the benefit of communities, research and development or charitable work. Most of us will utilise the services of organisations which have an active CSR on a daily basis with perhaps not even realising. As an example in the retail sector, The Co-operative has a CSR in which it aims to provide “self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity”; none of which would be required for it to trade but which helps benefit others both in local communities and in other countries through it’s Fair Trade scheme.[2] Other examples include power companies which attempt to obtain as much energy possibly from renewable energy sources – such as HSBC which plan to use a minimum of 25% of their global fuel use from renewables by 2020.[3]

Meanwhile, customers are increasingly coming to expect companies to have a CSR in place and may choose to conduct business with such a company on this basis as a preference to a company which does not. This increased trend means that managers need to understand how a CSR can affect their business and be able to adapt accordingly.



Psychology (motivation theories, change models, business ecosystems)

In 1968, Dr. Edwin A. Locke developed the Goal Setting Theory which argues that human behaviour is linked cognitively with goal setting. The theory argues that a person is much more likely to achieve their goal by setting specific goals (e.g., I want to earn £500 more a month) generates higher levels of performance than setting general goals (e.g., I want to earn more money), and that goals that are hard to achieve are linearly and positively connected to performance: the harder the goal, the more a person will work to reach it.[5] Many professionals have since gone on to support this theory, which has led to the development of SMART targets (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound).

Many people are wary of change, especially in the workplace. Some managers may also adopt the use of change management models which can have various connotations but which all aim to help organisations adapt to change. Some may work on a simple 3 step approached such as Kurt Lewin’s Unfreeze – Change – Refreeze model. This model is used as an analogy to demonstrate changing a block of ice in a remodelled or adapted shape.

Another example is John Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model which is designed to motivate employees for change and give them the opportunity to get involved in change[6].

There are other examples of where managers may use physiological processes to help them gain the respect of employees or get them on-board for changes in the workplace. Nevertheless, the importance of using these tools is as important now as it ever has been. It allows for adaptation and creativity; vital abilities in today’s fast paced society.


Business Ecosystems

Our business ecosystems are the links between us, our suppliers and our customers. This links may involve other factors such as distributors, government bodies and even competitors. Any change in this ecosystem can have an effect on our business. Some recent examples which are relevant to my industry include:

  • Suppliers raising their prices due to changes in manufacturing (in September 2016 we had a supplier increase prices by 5% due to the UK’s vote to leave the European Union) – this effectively reduces our profit margin by 5% on any contracts where those suppliers’ products are used
  • The Health and Safety Executive amending legislation which meant that works previously not required to be notified to them are now required to be, which delays the start by a minimum of 14 days and increases the cost of that type of removal works due to the additional administration and labour time required
  • Client’s own customers delaying payment due to a minor administrative error, which delayed payment of over £300,000 and which put significant pressure on our waste haulage account. It was put on stop until settled which meant no hazardous waste skips were available for other contracts

In these examples, our business ecosystem was altered in either a permanent or temporary way and as a manager we had to adapt to those changes. This was either by exploring alternative suppliers, adjust pricing to compensate or changing working methods to accommodate changes in regulations.


There’s more to work than remuneration

There are few people who are lucky enough to go to work for the fun of it and many more who would like to reduce their working hours to instead spend more time with family, perhaps pursuing hobbies or travelling. This means that employees are increasingly looking for ways to either maintain financial security whilst working less, or working harder, to increase their expendable income to allow them to spend more time doing the things that are important to them personally.

The world is a fast moving place, which is constantly changing. Managers need to be adaptable to changes in their markets as without the ability to adapt, organisations will ultimately fail.



The importance of own values, career and personal goals in planning professional development

In my opinion, for a personal development plan to truly be successful, it must empower an individual to plan their goals around the harmony of the organisations and industries which they strive to work in. The moment that someone finds themselves working in a situation where they are uncomfortable or a moral or personal level, it is highly likely to result in them losing interest, reducing their input and looking for alternatives outside of an organisation.

I have personal experience of just this. In my previous role I was employed by an insurance company which was owned in part by a firm of solicitors. Over time, the company moved away from insurance claims are directed their efforts towards the personal injury claim market. From a financial standpoint there was a lot of potential for a quick injection of cash; personal injury claims carried high referral rates. Due to my knowledge of website design and Search Engine Optimisation I was asked to develop a number of websites aimed at capturing enquiries.

Initially, I was quite happy that helping people get the legal advice they needed was a worthwhile cause, however, things quickly took a direction which I was morally uncomfortable with. I was asked to look at specifically targeting phrases such as “sue the NHS” which became difficult for me to do at a time when reports were beginning to surface of a black hole in NHS funding. I had no interest in being part of the “ambulance chasing” industry and quickly began to lose interest in my work (as well as struggling with the moral affect outside of work). Although I raised this with my manager, it fell on deaf ears, and I decided it was time to look for a change in career with a new company. This is an example of how our own values can affect our decisions and plans for developing our careers.

The above example also demonstrates how our own values can affect our personal goals as well as our work satisfaction levels. Such situations can also affect our emotional commitment to an organisation

As well as moral values, there may also be a social aspect between colleagues which can affect how a person plans for their career development for the future. We spend a considerable amount of time with our colleagues, and good working relationships can considerably affect our decision to stay with a company or move on.

In 1991, John Meyer and Natalie Allen developed and published a model which explains how commitment to an organisation is a psychological state.[7] Called the Three Component Model of Commitment, the model decribes three main points of employee commitment:

  1. Affection for your job (“affective commitment”)
  2. Fear of loss (“continuance commitment”)
  3. Sense of obligation to stay (“normative commitment”)

We can use this model to increase commitment and engagement in a team, while also helping people to experience a greater feeling of well-being and job satisfaction. In turn, this can encourage employees to feel a sense of commitment to an organisation to assist in better retention of talent (which is discussed in more details in section 1.3).


How changes in the work environment impact on the requirement for professional and personal development

Organisation restructuring

As much as an employee may have aspirations for their personal professional development, there are likely to be times when those plans need to be altered.

I have already discussed the need for managers to be adaptable, and as organisations grow or change organisational restructuring may be necessary. This may mean that professional and personal development plans are bought forward (such as an unexpected opportunity for promotion), amended (perhaps because a new opportunities become available or new learning opportunities become available) or perhaps put on hold (in the case of redundancy).



Although downsizing within an organisation may mean staff redundancies, it may not always mean that personal development is affected negatively. In fact, downsizing may mean that an employee if given additional responsibilities or offered the opportunity to bring their plans to develop their career forward.



With growth come new opportunities, which may result in new positions becoming available within an organisation.


Succession planning

The CIPD describe succession planning as “the process of identifying and developing potential future leaders or senior managers, as well as individuals to fill other business-critical positions, either in the short or the long-term”.[8]

As employees move on to new role, leave an organisation or perhaps retire, it is vital for an organisation to have a clear vision of anyone within the organisation who may be suitable to promote to or replace a role. Through proper professional development planning, managers can have a clear vision for the organisation to ensure that it continues to opeate at expected levels whilst also making use of their existing manpower.



Talent management

Talent management is a set of integrated organisational workforce processes designed to attract, develop, motivate and retain productive, engaged employees.  The health charity The Kings Fund refers to this as “developing leadership not just leaders” which is an excellently short way to describe how it is import to attract, train and retain talented people who are prepared to work within the ethos of an organisation and remain with it. Without correctly managing our most talented people to keep them on-board, we risk losing them.


The benefits of planning own professional development

Planning one’s own professional development provides a plethora of benefits. Professional development planning helps to provide pathways to promotion, develop new learning opportunities, advance existing skills (or learn new skills) and increase employability.

In addition, professional development can help to increase our own commitment, make us more effective in our roles and help us achieve our business objectives.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) identify a number of key benefits to those organisations which allow employees to plan their own development, which the organisation say:

  • Helps maximise staff potential by linking learning to actions and theory to practice
  • Helps HR professionals to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) objectives, for training activity to be more closely linked to business needs
  • Promotes staff development. This leads to better staff morale and a motivated workforce and helps give a positive image/brand to organisations
  • Adds value; reflecting it will help staff to consciously apply learning to their role and the organisation’s development
  • Linking to appraisals. This is a good tool to help employees focus their achievements throughout the year

In my personal opinion, planning professional development shows a commitment to myself which in turn increases my own confidence in my role and for my professional future. It’s one of the reasons I’m writing this Unit right now!

In addition, planning our personal professional development helps us to realise where our existing knowledge may be lacking and helps to bridge those gaps by using the learning tools available to us.

Finally, planning one’s own personal professional development keeps us interested and interesting!

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_social_responsibility

[2] http://www.coop.co.uk/our-ethics/fairtrade/

[3] http://www.hsbc.com/~/media/hsbc-com/our-approach/sustainability/operations/sustainable-operations.pdf?la=en-gb

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_social_responsibility#/media/File:CSR_framework_-_value1.jpg

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_A._Locke#cite_note-Locke1968-6

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=71&v=xNILBjjVttA

[7] https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/three-component-model-commitment.htm

[8] http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/factsheets/succession-planning.aspx

Visa crash fixed by “turning router off and back on again”

The Europe wide crash of Visa card payment services has now been solved, with bosses confirming the issue was fixed by turning the router off and back on again.

In a statement, CEO of Visa Europe Nicolas Huss said that the issue was resolved after a call to BT Business Broadband’s customer service team.

“We called BT after we saw a red flashing light on the router” said Mr Husk.

“I got our IT guy Roy to call BT, and after a short hold for around 42 minutes, we gave a plethora of pointless answers to identify we really were the account holders. Eventually we were put through to Gary in BT’s Mumbai office who said to turn the router off, wait 10 seconds, and turn it back on again. It worked!”

In a statement, Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive of BT said:

“Unreliable broadband is something we pride ourselves on.”

“Our prices are some of the highest in the UK, and our routers are cheap and nasty. Our shareholders wouldn’t have it any other way” he concluded.

Meanwhile, unknown MP Margot James – Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries – demanded an enquiry.

“I think it’s always important that we launch an enquiry whenever something goes wrong with a puter thingy, because it helps me justify my job. If we don’t get an answer we’ll have Lord Leveson hold an enquiry into the enquiry, which should just about see me reach retirement on a juicy pension.”

“The Visa crash was a major inconvenience. My driver was trying to buy me some cashmere toilet roll in Waitose and had to queue for almost 40 seconds, whilst the old man in front of me tried to pay for his terrine with chicken dog food”.


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Ritchie Hicks also collects potentially personally-identifying information like Internet Protocol (IP) addresses for logged in users and for users leaving comments on gloopa.co.uk blogs/sites. Ritchie Hicks only discloses logged in user and commenter IP addresses under the same circumstances that it uses and discloses personally-identifying information as described below, except that commenter IP addresses and email addresses are visible and disclosed to the administrators of the blog/site where the comment was left.

Gathering of Personally-Identifying Information

Certain visitors to Ritchie's websites choose to interact with Ritchie Hicks in ways that require Ritchie Hicks to gather personally-identifying information. The amount and type of information that Ritchie Hicks gathers depends on the nature of the interaction. For example, we ask visitors who sign up at gloopa.co.uk to provide a username and email address. Those who engage in transactions with Ritchie Hicks are asked to provide additional information, including as necessary the personal and financial information required to process those transactions. In each case, Ritchie Hicks collects such information only insofar as is necessary or appropriate to fulfill the purpose of the visitor's interaction with Ritchie Hicks. Ritchie Hicks does not disclose personally-identifying information other than as described below. And visitors can always refuse to supply personally-identifying information, with the caveat that it may prevent them from engaging in certain website-related activities.

Aggregated Statistics

Ritchie Hicks may collect statistics about the behavior of visitors to its websites. Ritchie Hicks may display this information publicly or provide it to others. However, Ritchie Hicks does not disclose personally-identifying information other than as described below.

Protection of Certain Personally-Identifying Information

Ritchie Hicks discloses potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information only to those of its employees, contractors and affiliated organizations that (i) need to know that information in order to process it on Ritchie's behalf or to provide services available at Ritchie's websites, and (ii) that have agreed not to disclose it to others. Some of those employees, contractors and affiliated organizations may be located outside of your home country; by using Ritchie's websites, you consent to the transfer of such information to them. Ritchie Hicks will not rent or sell potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information to anyone. Other than to its employees, contractors and affiliated organizations, as described above, Ritchie Hicks discloses potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information only in response to a subpoena, court order or other governmental request, or when Ritchie Hicks believes in good faith that disclosure is reasonably necessary to protect the property or rights of Ritchie Hicks, third parties or the public at large. If you are a registered user of an Ritchie Hicks website and have supplied your email address, Ritchie Hicks may occasionally send you an email to tell you about new features, solicit your feedback, or just keep you up to date with what's going on with Ritchie Hicks and our products. If you send us a request (for example via email or via one of our feedback mechanisms), we reserve the right to publish it in order to help us clarify or respond to your request or to help us support other users. Ritchie Hicks takes all measures reasonably necessary to protect against the unauthorized access, use, alteration or destruction of potentially personally-identifying and personally-identifying information.


A cookie is a string of information that a website stores on a visitor's computer, and that the visitor's browser provides to the website each time the visitor returns. Ritchie Hicks uses cookies to help Ritchie Hicks identify and track visitors, their usage of Ritchie Hicks website, and their website access preferences. Ritchie Hicks visitors who do not wish to have cookies placed on their computers should set their browsers to refuse cookies before using Ritchie's websites, with the drawback that certain features of Ritchie's websites may not function properly without the aid of cookies.

Business Transfers

If Ritchie Hicks, or substantially all of its assets, were acquired, or in the unlikely event that Ritchie Hicks goes out of business or enters bankruptcy, user information would be one of the assets that is transferred or acquired by a third party. You acknowledge that such transfers may occur, and that any acquirer of Ritchie Hicks may continue to use your personal information as set forth in this policy.


Ads appearing on any of our websites may be delivered to users by advertising partners, who may set cookies. These cookies allow the ad server to recognize your computer each time they send you an online advertisement to compile information about you or others who use your computer. This information allows ad networks to, among other things, deliver targeted advertisements that they believe will be of most interest to you. This Privacy Policy covers the use of cookies by Ritchie Hicks and does not cover the use of cookies by any advertisers.

Privacy Policy Changes

Although most changes are likely to be minor, Ritchie Hicks may change its Privacy Policy from time to time, and in Ritchie's sole discretion. Ritchie Hicks encourages visitors to frequently check this page for any changes to its Privacy Policy. If you have a gloopa.co.uk account, you might also receive an alert informing you of these changes. Your continued use of this site after any change in this Privacy Policy will constitute your acceptance of such change.

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Max Verwhacken crashes AGAIN

Let me be the first to suggest a new name for F1 racing driver Max Verstappen: Max Verwhacken.

The F1 driver crashed again during First Practice 1 when he hit a wall and ruined his front wing. Unable to start his car under direction from his race engineer, Max Verwhacken was left to return to the pits with his head drooped in shame.

It seems that the 2018 season just isn’t going Max’s way. He needs to stop being so hot-headed and apply more patiences before the team bosses start to look for a replacement.

Although, when he doesn’t crash, he is faster than his teammate…



DeLorean Motor Company Still Plan To Restart Car Production.

First of all, let me get this clear. There will be no Back to the Future jokes in this post regarding the DeLorean. None.

DeLorean Motor Company has announced an intention to start building a small amount of new DeLorean motor cars in 2017 after settling an out-of-court legal battle with John DeLorean’s widow, Sally, who claimed the Texas-based DeLorean Motor Company had been illegally using the DeLorean name.

The move expected to see the original DeLorean DMC-12 tooling and presses being used to build replicas of the infamous car but using off-the-shelf engines and transmission from another manufacturer to past strict US emission laws.

However, the 2017 target has been missed.

In a statement on its website, DMC said:

“A number of hurdles exist before production can begin, and we’re still early on in this process of determining the feasibility of moving forward.”

Changes in the law have allowed production to commence

DeLorean have been able to use a new section of US Law, the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, which DeLorean says “creates a reasonable regulatory structure allowing small companies to produce a limited number of completed replica motor vehicles that resemble the appearance of cars produced 25 years ago or more”.

DeLorean Will Buy Crated Engines From Another Manufacturer

The new cars would have to be fitted with a modern engine (motor if you’re American) to ensure that the cars would pass stringent emissions tests. It would simply cost too much for the manufacturer to design and build their own engines as they only intend to build around 300 cars a year. This means that the car is likely to get to 88mph much faster than the original DMC-12. [D’oh! I made a Back to the Future reference.]

What will a new DMC-12 cost?

The cars are expected to retail for between $80,000 and £100,000; around £62,000.

NO New Models

Despite the internet and social media suggesting that there have been concepts drawn up in plans for an all-new model of DeLorean the company has no current plans to launch a new model.

This DeLorean will not be built. It was not designed by DMC and looks too much like a Lamborghini!
This DeLorean will not be built. It was not designed by DMC and looks too much like a Lamborghini!

How To Monitor Personal Development and Progression Against Objectives

To monitor personal development and progression against objectives, managers need to agree how and when development will be monitored, as well as how and when a personal development plan is reviewed.

When employees are progressing towards an aspect of their professional development, they should be regularly assessed and reviewed at agreed stages to ensure that they are progressing in the required direction (both in a professional and learning capabilities) and meeting the targets which have been set for them.

In many professionals, it is important to ensure that activities are conducted within a strict set of regulations and that employees achieve a certain level of training/experience to allow them to carry out their roles safely or without putting the organisation at risk of receiving poor feedback or legal proceedings.

Regularly Review Projects and Plans

One area in which some companies fail in is reviewing completed projects to look for improvements. It’s far easier (and less time consuming) to look at the next project, rather than spending some time looking back at what has recently been completed, but this approach can be detrimental to a business. Not only does reviewing help pinpoint areas may require improvement, but it often highlights if employees are meeting their goals. This allows us to them revise the PDP for individual’s as required should there be the need.

Regular Meetings are Important

Most companies will want to hold daily, monthly and quarterly meetings with all staff. Although in other businesses the timescales may be longer between reviews, it is nevertheless important to ensure that reviews are conducted and feedback provided as set times. The meetings may be held on an individual or group basis.

Provide Feedback

Some organisations will now only provide feedback internally, but may also look in a wider area by requesting feedback from client’s and external auditing companies. But constructive feedback is vital. This can help us to identify where areas of an organisations performance are as expected, progressing or require improvement.

Value Of Constructive Feedback In Implementing A Personal Development Plan

Constructive feedback is vital in implementing and monitoring a personal development plan. 

When an employee achieves or exceeds a goal within their Personal Development Plan, it is right to praise and encourage them to continue to strive to meet their targets.  

However, there may be times when the goals are not achieved or mistakes are made. It is at this stage that it is vital to provide constructive feedback, even if it is in the negative vein. Without constructive feedback, it may be difficult for the employee to understand where they are going wrong (why they are failing to achieve their objectives), which in turn may leave them unable to correct mistakes or get back on track. 

Additionally, poor quality feedback may leave an employee feeling negative about their personal development or even feeling that they need to give up on this plan and change their goals entirely. It is important that employees and their managers are able to learn from any mistakes to avoid them reoccurring. This can also help trainers and managers to prevent the same errors occurring with the next employee. 

Constructive feedback can help build respect between employees and their mentors or managers.

Management “buy-in” is equally important to the performance management process. If management does not understand the importance and value of the process, it can lead to consistently late or incomplete appraisals, mistrust, avoidance of performance discussions, and a lack of honest performance-related discussions.

Often managers may feel unprepared to deliver quality feedback and oversee effective performance discussions.