by Jocelyn Kung 

Stellar employees may languish if they lack the incentive to perform. With theWork Satisfaction and Renewal Personal Development Planner, individuals take charge of their own professional development and set goals to achieve greater competence and motivation at work. The Planner offers a self-assessment as well as reflection questions to consider in creating an action plan. A companion tool, the Employee Development Planner, gives managers a guideline to support, motivate, and ultimately retain employees through feedback, coaching, and on-the-job development.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discover the dimensions of work satisfaction
  • Gauge employee competence and motivation
  • Uncover a snapshot of an individual's current stage of professional growth
  • Create a customized development action plan
  • Prepare for a career-development meeting


The Work Satisfaction and Renewal Series was developed by integrating classic research on social cognition with more recent theories of situational leadership, career counseling, and adult development. Heider (1958) put forth the theory that success is the result of ability and motivation. One without the other is insufficient. The Competence-Motivation Grid illustrates this concept by combining an individualโ€™s competence and motivation to perform his/her work. The intersection of these two dimensions results in four possible phases or โ€œprofilesโ€ of personal development. Each profile is a discrete phase with particular needs and corresponding development actions that best address those needs.

The 4 Development Profiles

Learning Profile: Individual is probably an enthusiastic learner who is highly motivated to perform and hungry for any type of development opportunity.

Performing Profile: Individual probably has a need to be recognized appropriately for his or her expertise and contribution.

Holding Profile: Individual may feel that his or her true destination is elsewhere but he or she continues in a position because he or she has attained a comfort zone of sorts.

Struggling Profile: Individual may have performance problems that have already been addressed by a manager or supervisor. He or she may be in the wrong place at the wrong time and need to make an immediate decision to improve or leave.

How It Works

Individuals first identify 4 job skills needed for them to perform well in their work. Using pressure-sensitive forms, employees then respond to statements relating to job-specific skills, interpersonal skills, and motivators. After learning which statements relate to the areas within the Competence and Motivation dimensions, individuals score their assessments and create a profile. Worksheets then provide the means for reflection on strengths, needs, and future opportunities. The process culminates with an action plan, created in collaboration with a manager, to establish goals that meet the needs of the individual and the organization. 

An optional exercise in the Personal Development Planner is a preparation worksheet for meeting with a manager to discuss results and an action plan. 

The Employee Development Planner for Managers contains important background information and similar components to those in the employee Personal Development Planner. Features include worksheets to conduct a reflection process and action planning with the employee in mind and a meeting planner. 

The Facilitator Guide includes separate workshop designs to train employees and managers.

Uses for the Work Satisfaction and Renewal Series

The Work Satisfaction and Renewal Series works well as a stand-alone toolset or as a component of a larger training initiative. It is flexible enough to be used at various stages of management and employee development programs.

Use the series to:

  • Establish an employee retention program to support key talent
  • Provide employees with a self-empowering process to manage their own careers
  • Impart employee-development management skills training
  • Establish a complementary approach to an existing employee/career development program

What to Order/Product Contents

Order one Facilitator Guide per trainer, one Personal Development Planner per employee, and one Employee Development Planner per manager. 

   Facilitator Guide includes:

  • Administrative guidelines
  • Background information
  • The Competence-Motivation Grid
  • Descriptions of the 4 development profiles
  • Workshop designs (Employee and Manager)
  • Technical development
  • Transparency masters

   Personal Development Planner includes:

  • Self-assessment
  • Instructions
  • Pressure-sensitive response forms
  • Dimensions of Work Satisfaction
  • The Competence-Motivation Grid
  • Descriptions of the 4 development profiles
  • Interpretive information
  • Reflection questions
  • Action planning
  • Preparing to Meet with Your Manager worksheet

   Employee Development Planner includes:

  • The Competence-Motivation Grid
  • Descriptions of the 4 development profiles
  • Interpretive information
  • Employee Development Planner (including reflection questions and action planning)
  • Preparing to Meet with Your Employee worksheet
  • Dimensions of Work Satisfaction