One of the crucial points to consider is that a career development plan enables the execution of planned training activities targeted to employees who wish to advance their careers. For high potential employees (talents), such a clear plan moves them from simply receiving knowledge (i.e. being a participant in a given trading workshop), to actively seeking knowledge to better improve themselves and to move their careers forward. This represents a move from training to active learning.
Nevertheless, it is important that the career development plan is not viewed as a succession plan or a talent management plan as the difference between them is quite considerable. The career development plan (CDP) is owned by the process or function owner and is monitored by the organization's support functions (such as HR or corporate university). The CDP is reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that its structure and content meet the development needs of the employees. On the other hand, the succession plan is owned by the CEO(s), the president, and/or the executive team. The succession plan for each functional area is developed by the functional executive team member, in coordination with an HR business partner. The succession plan is usually monitored and reviewed on a quarterly basis by the president and/or the CEO with continuous updates being made to ensure that the plan is effective.
At Aramex, with the start of the corporate university function, one of the issues was the need to develop a career development plan to act as a guide to learning. CDP has now been developed. For a given function, the plan links the training needs in terms of technical competencies and soft skills with the position of the employee. The plan is being used to set structured training needs analysis. Based on the analysis, a training plan is put to bridge the knowledge gap and ensure that employees are able to perform their jobs and achieve their performance targets. The CDP is not static and is reviewed annually to see if the structure applies to our target competencies and contributes to the growth of our culture.