How to Identify Development Needs

Creating Action Plans Worksheet

A performance review is an opportunity for the employee to identify any knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that can be further developed.  It is important that the supervisor and employee work together to ensure that the employee can continue to develop the necessary KSAs to ensure the job can be performed.

  • Examine Ratings
    The supervisor and employee should review the performance ratings for each of the areas on the PRD form and identify those areas that are below expectations.  The supervisor and employee may also focus on any areas that meet expectations but would benefit from additional enhancement.  Both should examine the ratings and comments for each area and decide which job task(s) created the most difficulty and why.  The supervisor and employee then identify the knowledge, skills, or abilities (KSAs) that seem to limit performance on these tasks.
  • Discuss Weaknessess
    The supervisor and employee should, during the Performance Review, discuss performance weaknesses and KSAs.  They should try to reach agreement on which areas are the most important to correct, and record them on the review form.
  • Identify Assignments
    The supervisor and employee should identify the types of assignments that could strengthen the employee’s KSAs.  In addition, they should also identify any related assignments that coworkers or other employees in similar positions perform.  It is likely that more experience working on some of these assignments, coupled with some On-the-Job Training (OJT), would improve weaker KSAs.  The supervisor and employee should make a list of the type of assignments that seem most appropriate.  It may help to speak with other employees who appear particularly strong in those identified areas.  Ask those employees for their opinion on the kinds of assignments that would strengthen relevant KSAs.
  • Determine OJT Needed
    In addition to work assignments, the supervisor and employee should determine what On-the-Job Training is needed.  Sometimes improper or incomplete knowledge of job tasks is the cause of low performance.  The supervisor and employee should think carefully about the possible causes of low performance.  Sometimes having the supervisor, or a high-performing coworker, reiterate the proper procedure or process of a particular task or duty will help improve performance.  Other suggestions could be observing someone else do the task, or working closely with a high-performance coworker for a time.
  • Identify Training Programs
    The supervisor and employee should also identify any relevant training and development programs that would benefit the employee.  University Human Resources has a calendar of training programs that are available to UMCP employees.  There are also other units on campus that offer various training programs.  In addition, the supervisor and employee may look to external sources of training and development.  They should make a list of training programs that seem likely to help the employee improve, and note the times and dates they are offered for future development.
  • Create an Action Plan
    For the development portion of the PRD, the supervisor and employee must specify a series of actions for strengthening weaknesses (e.g., receiving OJT from a highly competent employee, attending a training program).  They must also set dates by which these actions will be accomplished, and specify follow-up dates to make certain they are completed.  The supervisor must record this information on the review form.