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The problem with Personal Development Reviews ...

So, when was the last time you got a promotion, and the reason given was “Well, we went through all your Personal Development Review reports and you are clearly the right person for the job.”

In reality, Personal Development Reviews (PDRs) don’t seem to count much for promotion. Neither have I ever seen PDR results quoted when applying for another job, either in support of the application or questioned owned about at interview. So, if a PDR isn’t about recording performance in order to get the next job, what is it for?

Annie Ives is a Senior Consultant with Goodfoot, and has solid experience building powerful Personal Development Review systems in multi-nationals.

Here at Goodfoot we did some informal research back in September and October 2016, here is what we found:

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Reflection time as a manager pays huge dividends

Whilst coaching managers, the conversations often turn towards the guilt managers feel about the way they have responded to different people issues.  “If only I had listened to what they really wanted…”, “if only I had not snapped back...” The problem with regret is that you don’t proactively learn from mistakes, but wallow in what could have been.

The power of taking time out to think helps leaders shape future responses.  By using a structure to think about a situation that has already happened managers can unpack why they responded in certain way and how they could have responded differently.  In this way the brain begins to forge new neural pathways within their unconscious, alerts them when similar situations arise so they have the opportunity to choose a different approach.

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Tools to help teams to solve business problems

In today’s world, we have to think quicker, be sharper, and take action quickly to be ahead of the game.  The pressure for high performance has never been greater and change is relentless. What can happen too often is that the first decision is the one that gets implemented due to expediency.

But how often do you reflect on decisions that have been poorly made?  Problem solving team events that result in great decisions are quite scarce. If you had had more time would you have come up with some better alternatives?  Why don’t people speak up or moan when problems are not solved with their input and decisions are made without their input?

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Getting senior support for your training budget

We hear the same story quite frequently. In tough times marketing and training get cut. We all also know that in tough times smart companies invest in training. What we need is the tools to explain why the right training spend is a good move even in tough times. But the real trick to get backing is to find out what type of R.O.I. the decision makers actually want. It could be straight money saving, or it could be time saving or reduction of turnover or many other factors which are the political hot potato. Once we can get them to explain that to us, and we couch our proposals for budget in those terms, it is difficult for them then to turn down our proposals and we can make the training budget work.

Back in the day I was given responsibility for training technical staff. Being a techy I was caught between loving the technical stuff and wanting to sit on my own solving problems and feeling intelligent, or training others in the darker side of software coding and feeling even more intelligent. I am still the same I guess, flitting between ‘leave me alone I want to work on something’ through to ‘let me sit with you and show you how it’s done’. Both are mini ego trips in their way, and why not, we all need to feel useful !

One thing that has changed since those early days of my career is my approach to ROI, especially for management training. We used to get given budgets and made sure we spent them to get the next inflationary increase. Now it is smarter to be able to discuss investment and returns with senior staff.

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