Development Planning

Administrative Setup and User Dashboard Overview

Product Guides » Development Planning

Development Planning
Administrative Setup and User Dashboard Overview

EchoSpan’s Development Planning Module helps to close the loop on your 360-degree feedback process by enabling employees to create and manage professional development plans based on their review results. Plans can be created by employees and/or their managers and can be accessed throughout the year. Historical plans remain accessible indefinitely for comparison reporting.

Development areas are aligned with the employee's most recent 360-degree feedback review, ensuring that they focus development efforts on areas important to the company's goals. A coach or observer can be selected for each development objective on an employee's plan. Admins get real-time information on where their employees are focusing their development plans, which employees are participating and which plans are leading to developmental improvement.

Below, we’ve outlined common FAQs related to this portion of our tool.

Note: This section applies to the Unlimited and Enterprise editions of EchoSpan

1. How do I activate the Development Planning Tool for my account?

2. How do I configure the settings for each project?

3. Does the Manager have access to their Employees’ plans?

4. What is a Manager’s role in the Development Planning Tool?

5. When is the Development Planning Tool available for users to populate and manage?

6. How do Employees develop their plans?

7. What type of Development Areas can be created?

8. How do Employees edit their plans?

9. Can employees delete their development plan items after they’ve been added automatically or manually?

10. What level of detail can the employee see for each item they choose to develop?

11. Are there reading suggestions that can be turned on for the items employees select?

12. Who are observers and how does an Employee add an observer to their plan?

13. How does an Employee delete an observer from their plan?

14. Can Employees and Managers export the plans to excel or download the report in a PDF format?

15. Where can I view the items for which my Employees are focusing their plans?

16. How can I view which Employees have created development plans?

 

1. How do I activate the Development Planning Tool for my account?

  • The Development Planning Tool is available by default for all Unlimited and Enterprise accounts. If you would like the feature activated for use or testing with your professional account, please reach out to support@echospan.com.
  • Once the tool is activated it can be turned ON for any project. To do so, follow the steps below.
    • Login to the project, navigate to the Dev. Plans menu option >> Feature Settings.
    • Open the Permissions and Operations section.
    • Turn ON the Development Plan Master Switch.
    • Users will be able to create development plans AFTER their PDF feedback report has been generated.
2. How do I configure the settings for each project?

  • Open the project for which the settings should be configured.
  • Go to the Dev. Plans menu option >> Feature Settings.
  • Expand the Permissions and Operations section.
  • Each Setting has a detailed overview on the right side of the page.
  • Please keep in mind that once the “Key Strengths” and “Development Need” Score Ranges have been set, and Targets have started their plans, the setting will be locked.

3. Does the Manager have access to their Employees’ plans?

  • By default the manager can access their employees’ plans from their dashboard.
  • You can change the managers’ permissions from the Dev. Plans menu option >> Feature Settings page. Expand the Permissions and Automations section to see the Manager Access Level options.

4. What is a Manager’s role in the Development Planning Tool?

Managers (with read-only access enabled)

  • Can view a summary screen of the development plan.
  • Can export development plans to Excel or PDF.

Managers (with read-write access enabled)

  • Can create development plan items for their employees.
  • Can view a summary screen of the development plan.
  • Can export development plans to Excel or PDF.
  • Can comment on the employee's progress on any development plan item the manager creates.
  • Can select or deselect reminder options for any plan item he or she creates.

5. When is the Development Planning Tool available for users to populate and manage?

  • Users will be able to create and manage their development plans once their PDF feedback report has been generated.

6. How do Employees develop their plans?

Development plans consist of one or more "development areas" in which employees are seeking to improve skill, abilities, frequency of behavior or performance. Development areas are tied to their most recent multi-rater feedback review's competency and behavior scores. Within the development planning tool, development areas can be identified in one or more of the following ways:

1. Automatically selected by the tool based on highest- and lowest-rated items from their review (the thresholds for highest- and lowest-rated items may be modified under the Dev. Plan menu option >> Feature Settings)

2. Manually identified by the employee.

3. Manually identified by the employee’s manager (must be configured by administrators).

7. What type of Development Areas can be created?

  • Key Strengths: Areas associated with the highest scoring items on the employees most recent feedback review. These are automatically selected by the development planning tool when they request the system auto-populate their plan.
  • Development Needs: Areas associated with the lowest scoring items on the employee’s most recent feedback review. These are automatically selected by the development planning tool when they request the system auto-populate their plan.
  • Personal Objectives: Any development areas the employee manually creates in the tool.
  • Objectives Set By Manager: Any development areas identified by the employee’s manager.

8. How do Employees edit their plans?

Employees have:

  • Read/write access to all plan item fields except manager/observer comments.
  • The ability to set the observer for a plan item that they create.
  • Do not have the ability to set the observer for a plan item created by the manager (the manager is the observer by default).
  • Can select reminder options for any plan item.
  • Can set due dates for any plan item.
  • Once they have identified development areas, they can enter additional details about each to assist them in tracking progress.

These include:

  • Objectives: A statement of what the employee plans to improve.
  • Measurements: How progress against the objective will be measured.
  • Actions: What activities will be performed in order to achieve the objective.
  • Outcome: What was the result of the development process.
  • Due date: When the development process is expected to be complete.
  • Development Plan Observer: An individual selected to provide ongoing feedback on the employee’s progress in the development area.

9. Can employees delete their development plan items after they’ve been added automatically or manually?

Yes. Employees can choose to delete one or all of their development plan items by clicking the checkbox next to the item and then clicking “Delete Selected.” This will also delete any objectives, measurements, actions or outcomes that the employee has added to the plan for that specific item. If the employee deletes all of the items from their development plan, the options to automatically populate the plan or identify development areas manually will become available again.

10. What level of detail can the employee see for each item they choose to develop?

You have the option of allowing employees to see their Overall Scores from the review or Detailed Scores. This can be configured from the Dev.Plan menu option >> Feature Settings page. When set to "Overall Scores Only," users will only see the combined 360 review score from all rater groups for each development area on the plan. When set to "Detailed Scores," the user has the option of seeing how each 360 feedback rater group rated him or her on each development area item. Detailed score display is automatically disabled when rater pooling is turned on (see advanced settings page) to protect rater anonymity.

11. Are there reading suggestions that can be turned on for the items employees select?

Yes. If you used EchoSpan’s competencies and items to build your review content you have the option to suggest readings from our developmental reading library or our action planning guides. This can be done from the Dev. Plan menu option >> Feature Settings in the Resources and Tips section.

The Dynamic Reading Suggestions display developmental reading suggestions on the employee's development plan dashboard. The Dynamic Action Tips display developmental action suggestions on the employee's development plan dashboard.

If you created your review using custom content, you can build your own reading library and action guides from the Project menu option >> Widgets page using the Developmental Resource Editor.

12. Who are observers and how does an Employee add an observer to their plan?

Observers:

  • Are selected from the Employee's most recent 360 feedback rater list.
  • Can view specifics of any development plan item he or she is assigned to observe.
  • Can comment on the employee's progress on any development plan item they are assigned to observe.
  • Each development plan item can have its own observer.

Users can add observers for an item once they open the item for editing. They simply click the Tracking tab and select who they would like to observe their plan. One observer can be selected per development item.

13. How does an Employee delete an observer from their plan?

  • The employee will log into their dashboard and click “Manage Current Development Plan”.
  • Then, open an item for editing.
  • Select the Tracking tab and select “None” under the observer options.
  • Click “Save” at the bottom of the page.

14. Can Employees and Managers export the plans to excel or download the report in a PDF format?

Yes. Instructions for Employees and Administrators are below.

Employees:

  • Login to the Review Dashboard.
  • Click “Manage Current Development Plan”.
  • Click the Export to PDF or Export to Excel buttons at the top of the page.

Administrators:

Option 1 (Excel):

  • Go to the Reports menu option >> Export Data Files page.
  • Find the export titled “Development Plan Export.”
  • Select the Target whose plan should be exported.
  • Check the radio button next to the export name.
  • Scroll back up to the top of the page and click “Create Export File”.

Option 2 (PDF):

  • Go to the Home page of your project.
  • Click on the PDF link to the right of any Target’s name.
  • Select the report template you have created to use for the development plans. Create the report.

Option 3 (Excel and/or PDF): Login as the employee and generate their report per the steps above.

15. Where can I view the items for which my Employees are focusing their plans?

You can view this information from the Dev. Plans menu option >> Overall Status page. The status report shows you, in aggregate, where employees in this project are focusing their development plans. This report counts only current and closed objectives associated with competencies and items in this project.

Column definitions:

  • Category/Competency : The review category or competency associated with a development plan objective.
  • Review Question/Behavior : The review question or behavior associated with a development plan objective.
  • Overall Score : The aggregate score for all targets in this project on a particular review question/behavior.
  • Total Plan Items : The number of development plan items associated with a particular question/behavior.
  • Pct of All Plan Items : The percentage of all plan items associated with a particular question/behavior.
  • Key Strength Items: The total number of development plan items identified as Key Strength (building existing strengths) objectives.
  • Development Area Items: The total number of development plan items identified as "Development Area" (improving weakness) objectives.
  • Personal Objective Items: The total number of development plan items set by the employee him or herself.
  • Managerial Objective Items: The total number of development plan items set by the employee's manager.

16. How can I view which Employees have created development plans?

You can view this information from the Dev. Plans menu option >> Employee Status page. The status report shows you where employees in this project are in the process of executing their development plans. This report counts only current and closed objectives associated with competencies and items in this project.

Column definitions:

  • Target Name: The owner of the development plan. All targets from this project are listed here.
  • Total Plan Items: The number of development plan items associated with a particular target.
  • Key Strength Items: The total number of development plan items identified as Key Strength (building existing strengths) objectives.
  • Development Area Items: The total number of development plan items identified as "Development Area" (improving weakness) objectives.
  • Personal Objective Items: The total number of development plan items set by the employee him or herself.
  • Managerial Objective Items: The total number of development plan items set by the employee's manager.