03/30/2010

Benefits of the Personal Learning Plan

By Nisha Khare & Christy Ciezki

 Benefits of the Personal Learning Plan:

Personal Learning Plans are effective workplace learning and career development tools because they are of mutual benefit to both the worker-learner and the organization. Some of the key benefits of the Personal Learning Plan are outlined below:

Benefits to Employees:

  • Increases motivation and responsibility for individual learning as a result of a sense of personal accountability for one's own development and the increased integration of one's goals and hopes into practice;

  • Increases self-concept and belief in one's abilities;

  • Develops self-awareness of individual strengths and weaknesses, based on self-reflection and feedback from supervisor;

  • Provides a structure for career planning, as it helps to define and set measurable goals - both short and long-term professional and personal goals;

  • Outlines not only goals, but also the process for career development and learning;

  • Provides flexibility and respects individual differences, as it allows the individual to tailor their learning to suit their needs;

  • Provides an opportunity for worker-learners to engage in coaching and mentoring conversations with their managers.

Benefits to Organizations:

  • Provides worker-learners a unique opportunity to communicate with management about career goals and broad organizational objectives, which can result in improved relationships;

  • Provides managers the opportunity to engage in career development discussions with their staff;

  • Provides a formal, structured approach to initiating discussions around performance and career development which may otherwise be challenging or forgotten;

  • Creates an opportunity for supervisors to outline rationale for training activities and to help staff prioritize learning goals and objectives;

  • By gauging the current competencies of staff, as well as their potential for leadership development, management can assess future recruitment needs. For example, those who have expressed an interest in certain types of work may be offered developmental opportunities instead of looking for these skills outside the organization;

  • At an organizational level, a broad analysis of all employees' Personal Learning Plans can reveal common needs for specific skill development, and thus:

  • Cost savings by coordinating these learning needs on a broader scale;

  • Career and Learning practitioners can assist in evaluating needs and providing learning/development options; and

  • In addition to internal development, this might reveal the need to recruit targeted skill groups.


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