What's The Relationships Between Individual Training Plans and Performance Management?
In an ideal world, training needs to be linked to employee performance. While some companies invest in training as an overall employee development strategy for the long term, the scarcity of money for training has pushed most companies to provide training that has some relationship to the job responsibilities of those sent.
However, most of those companies aren't doing a good job of matching training NEEDS of individuals (and their job requirements) to the seminars they attend.
What Is An Individual Training Plan?
It's simply a road map for the next year or two, for an individual employee, of the learning and skill needs of the person, within the context of his or her job responsibilities. At its simplest, it's a plan for the person to attend specific training, and with a little more complexity, it specifies the job responsibilities, needed skill upgrades, and learning methods. Learning methods need not be addressed through attendance at training sessions, but also through coaching, mentoring, peer teaching, or even reading.
Where Does A Training Plan Come From?
While its conceivable that manager and employee sit down to discuss learning and training opportunities, in a stand alone meeting, it makes far more sense to include that discussion as part of either the goal setting process, OR the review process. Since training and learning needs MUST tie in to the job tasks the individual carries out, and performance management meetings are about those tasks, and how to improve performance, it works best if it's all combined together.
The process adds little additional time, since it can be discussed on the basis of one simple question:
What do you need to learn to better carry out your current and future job responsibilities?
That question is used to identify job related learning needs. The next step in finishing the "training plan" is to identify HOW the skills will be upgraded or learned, and that can be left to the employee to research. By having the employee find possible learning solutions, there's an increase in commitment to the training activity.
So, ultimately, the relationship between performance management and individual training plans is that the specific learning needs are identified either during discussion of job responsibilities for the next year (performance planning), and/or during the review process.
Of course, one can move outside of these meetings, on an as needed basis, but the performance management process is perfect as a base for identifying training needs, both for the individual, and across individuals.