Personal Development Plan

Title: Advisor


  • Making customer experience first priority
  • Focus on industry data
  • Attention to detail and accuracy

Areas of Improvement:

  • Time management
  • Prioritization of daily required tasks and progress on outside projects
  • Task delegation

Development Goals

Long-Term: Transition to Human Resource Department to focus on employee and organizational development based on business strategies and goals.

Short-Term: Improve delegation of my time between tasks and projects to efficiently achieve goals and learn to seek assistance from peers and manager

Training and Development Needs


I will complete my current Instructional Design and Training certificate by summer 2015 and begin a graduate degree in human resource management. This outside education helps me work towards my long term goal of transitioning to a different department. I will also join the Society for Human Resource Management to access additional industry content and details about HR trends.

Job Experiences

Shadow a current member of the Human Resource department to review current organization needs and how this department works towards those organization goals. This insight into a different department and position will not only prepare me for a future transition but also shed light in how human resource affects my current position. Determine if there are additional resources I can be taking advantage of to improve current position performance.


Reach out to a tenured advisor to “pick” his or her brain about daily set up. Learn new ways to prioritize daily advisor tasks and how to manage time efficiently. Being able to draw from a successful, senior advisor’s experience can also provide me insight into how someone else completes tasks and provides a fresh perspective on the position requirements.


I would reach out to the human resource employee that allowed me to job shadow as a potential coach candidate. In reaching out to this coach I would like to receive feedback about work completed within the graduate human resource program and possibly network with other contacts within the human resource department.


Employee Training and Development

Do we need it? How can we make it happen?

Yes and here are 3 methods to implement

Technology in Training

Technology, for better or worse, is steadily settling into every facet of our personal lives. professionally technology is having and will continue to have an impact employee training and development. Trainers can utilize different methods to efficiently incorporate technology to make an impact on learning. Podcasts and applications are affecting the mobility of training and where or when learners access content. Learning Management Systems speak to the need to balance training and job performance letting learners access needed content on demand. Virtual Worlds is the next level of practice a learner can participate in before implementing knowledge or skills in the real world.

Podcasts are “audio or video content program distributed in episodes using software such as RSS” (Noe, p345). These episodes are best for sharing a subject matter expert’s knowledge via interviews, stories, or other narrative based content for learners to review. Podcasts allow learners to listen at his or her own leisure and digest the content at his or her own pace. In reviewing a 2007 case study from the Association for Talent Development the use of podcasts by the salesforce was implemented to replace conference call attendance. Nguyen and Giordano found that this specific company was able to “deliver information to a mobile sales force, reach a broader audience, reduce operating costs” (p 3). In this instance utilizing this technology the company efficiently offered content and the learners were able to efficiently retain the content.

Apps are another facet of how to make training mobile for learner access. Apps are “designed specifically for smart phones or tablets” utilized to “supplement training, manage training paths, and keep training records” (Noe, p 345). The use of mobile technology and specifically applications is slowly becoming the main source of training. Geoff Stead of the Association for Talent Development writes that employees “selfserve to find answers at work” and this “guerilla learning” means they “grab what they need when they need it without the organization even knowing” (p 2) In this respect organizations can organize how learners access content on the go via an app store that includes public or private applications available for free or with a small charge. An organization is able to “gain insight into employee needs and increase employee engagement” by maintaining a specific app store (Stead, p1).

Learning Management Systems are increasingly becoming a normal use of technology for a training department. LMS is “a technology platform to automate the administration, development, and delivery of all of a company’s training programs” and is most beneficial to an organization to “track all learning activities” (Noe, p 352) As more companies adopt LMSs, the systems themselves are becoming more advanced in how learner attention is caught and retains. In an article for the society of Human Resource Management, Jeremy Ames explains why LMSs will be an important technology to adopt for 2015. Companies not only need to house the training data and track employee progress, but also be able to “present learning in a vivid and distinctive manner” (Ames, para 3) Ames goes on to explore and review a few effective platforms and discuss how quickly these platforms will come to grow as more organizations adopt this effective technology to manage their human capital.

Virtual Worlds are “computer based simulated online 3D representations of the real world where learning programs or experiences can be hosted” (Noe, p 343). Studies have shown that those learners who participate in training that uses virtual worlds “learn more and faster than in traditional courses” (Noe, p343). Siemens is a company that creates different simulation software that organizations can implement for employee training. ITS and COMOS Wakinside are two available programs that can “teach typical work steps and the right way to operate … familiarize themselves with their future working environment” (Schroder, para 3).  Learners are able to enter this simulated environment to learn and then implement those new skills without any danger or harm to real people or product but still reviewing what the consequences could be based on the learner’s action.

The examples are only a sample of how training is evolving to implement new technology to help learners in and out of the classroom. As learners become accustomed to mobile access, on demand content, and real world simulations in games via personal use it is not far fetched to see the application of podcasts, apps, and virtual worlds in a training environment.


Ames, Jeremy (2015). Learning Management Systems and Why They Top My 2015 Predictions. Retrieved April 10, 2015, from

Nguyen, F., Giordano, M. (2007) Case Study: Podcasting In Corporate Training. Retrieved April 10, 2015, from

Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Schroder, Stefan (2014). Training in the Virtual World. Retrieved April 10, 2015, from
Stead, Geoff (2014). Mobilize your Learning With Employee App Stores. Retrieved April 10, 2015, from

Whole Foods Needs Assessment

Image result for whole foods logo

Whole Foods began in 1980 in Austin, TX and has since spread to over 360 stores within the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. This company takes Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet as a mission statement to help “support the health, well-being, and healing of both people and the planet” and become a leader for natural and organic foods.

A needs assessment is used to “determine whether training is necessary” and is the first step taken for the instructional design process. The needs assessment is parceled into an organizational analysis, person analysis, and a task analysis. The organizational analysis covers if training would or would not be appropriate based on the business strategy, business resources, and support from managers and staff. The person analysis encompasses three parts, the first of which questions if the performance gap arose from lack of staff knowledge/skill, ability, or motivation. The second part determines what area needs training and the final part reviews if staff is ready to receive training. The task analysis would determine what skills need to be reviewed in training so employees can complete his or her tasks. To complete the needs analysis, I would involve the regional manager, the store manager and the staff to provide documentation and take part in interviews, observation rounds, etc to gather data.

Organizational Analysis:

Regional Manager – Work together to review what is the organization’s business strategy and confirm via documentation.

Store Manager – Interview to determine what resources are available to commit to training endeavors and what the store manager feels is the business strategy.

Staff – Provide questionnaires to determine what the attitude is towards training and gain insight into what the staff feels is the organization’s strategy

Person Analysis:

Regional Manager – Interview to discuss what the performance gap is and confirm by reviewing historical data.

Store Manager – Observe daily managerial performance and interaction with staff

Staff – Observe task performance

Task Analysis:

Regional Manager – Work together to list specific tasks and skills per position or department and how it aligns with organizational strategy

Store Manager – Review what the expectations are per position and which current employees could be considered subject matter experts

Staff – Interview and observe subject matter experts to determine what actions or skills determine successful task completion
Once the data from these three analyses are synthesized, the completed needs assessment can be utilized to determine if training is needed and move forward with the remainder of the instructional design process.


Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

The Truth About Training

Training and development plays an important role by increasing an organization’s competitive edge. You add to the company’s human capital to make your workforce a unique facet your competition is unable to recreate. Being able to engage your staff via training not only adds to your competitive edge but can also lead to a healthier organization. Surveys show that employees feel appreciated when appropriate training for new skills or responsibilities is provided. This appreciation can then be translated into effort and loyalty.  

I can see how convenience, or lack thereof, could play a role in the decision to provide training and development opportunities. With new technology to deliver training, participants are able to take advantage of this content anytime or anywhere. More organizations are increasing the option to complete courses online to complement the existing classroom based training. The positives to this trend include flexibility, time saving, and cost saving.

If you’re available I would like to discuss your experience with training and see what learning opportunities are present within your company.

Let’s talk Training and Development

Thank you for visiting my blog for EDIT 6501 – Training and Development. I look forward to sharing my thoughts on the training process and the impact developing a company’s human capital has for growth and competitive advantage.