18Personal Development Plan, Career Development, and Training

Simon Beausaert, Mien Segers, and Therese Grohnert


The current labor market is characterized by a growing number of short-term contracts, a shortage of skilled workers in various industries, an aging workforce, and increasing employee mobility. Next, organizations are dealing with fast-changing insights and knowledge, globalization and technological innovations. Continuous innovation requires continuous development of employees’ expertise and flexibility towards changing circumstances. In addition, companies strong on learning and development policies are often preferred by employees over those offering the greatest rewards (McDowall & Fletcher, 2004). In sum, investment in human capital serves the purpose of the attraction and retention of high-quality employees and is described as a crucial strategic tool for organizations to be competitive in an environment that is characterized by ongoing innovation.

Popular techniques for supporting employees in their learning and development are multisource or 360-degree feedback, self- and peer-assessments, and appraisal or review processes. The latter are often organized around a personal development plan (PDP). In general a PDP can be described as an assessment tool embedded in a larger assessment cycle of development and performance interviews, used to gather and document information about the competencies the employee worked on and is planning to further ...

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