Constructing a development plan for employees

Monday August 14, 2023

An employee development plan is an essential tool for boosting employee engagement, maximising the performance of your workforce, and aligning the core values of your business with the internal team. If you want to reap all the benefits of long-term success planning and demonstrate your commitment to the growth of both your employees and your company, utilising the help of a structured development plan is the way to go.

What Is An Employee Development Plan?

An employee development plan is simply a means to assess and support the progression of a team member at work. Managed by the employee and their employer or line manager, an employee development plan focuses on the employee’s training and development, achievements and goals, and learning aims and objectives.

A good plan will focus on KPIs in relation to both the company’s and employee’s goals – personal and professional – and work to set out a clear pathway with measurable objectives to help the employee reach those goals and allow their skills to evolve.

Why Do You Need An Employee Development Plan?

Skill Enhancement

A good employee development plan actively targets specific skills and learning objectives, helping to identify the knowledge gaps of both an individual and an organisation and working to fill them in with specific training and resources. Through a structured plan, employees will benefit from skill enhancement and learning development, improving their expertise and giving their output a boost.

Employee Satisfaction

It goes without saying that investing time and effort into your employees is going to result in far greater levels of employee satisfaction, and in turn, staff retention. If you are actively focusing on honing your employees’ skills and encouraging them to be better, you are automatically creating a more positive working environment, which will be reflected back through your employee’s work. Their performance will improve, as supportive development will allow them to perform their roles more efficiently.

Talent Retention

On a similar note, when employees feel that they are being valued and supported within a company, they are far less likely to seek a better opportunity elsewhere. Investing in your team’s growth and development will lead to greater employee retention, and reduced turnover rates.

Succession Planning

With all this employee development, retention, and satisfaction, you’re paving the way for a successful future for your business when the time comes for leadership transitions. The importance of a career development plan for employees can’t be understated; by continuously investing in your team, you are able to nurture your employees to the point where they are fully prepared to take on higher level roles in the future, guaranteeing success for your organisation down the line.

Grow & Adapt

Especially in today’s climate, businesses have to be quick to adapt to the ever-evolving landscape. Continuous development planning allows companies to stay on top of trends and ensure their employees are consistently up-to-date with the freshest information available in their given sector, which has a positive effect not just on the individual team member, but the company as a whole.

How to Create an Employee Development Plan

Ultimately, a skill development plan for employees is an invaluable tool for the growth of your team and the success of your business. If you want to hone the skills of your employees and enable them to reach their full potential, these five simple steps will help you get started.

Establish Personal & Professional Goals

To start off on an engaging, positive note, open up the conversation to your employee by asking them what their own personal and professional development goals are. Ask them what it is they want to get out of this role. You can have fun exploring their present goals, objectives for the coming months, and future targets – where do they want to be a year from now, or even 10 years? What do they want to have achieved, and what role do they want to be working in? Although, of course, your more immediate focus will be what they are currently hoping to achieve, opening up a conversation about their targets down the line will help to engage your employees and make these visions more of a palpable reality, especially in terms of mapping out their career progression.

Establish Development Needs

In a similar vein, what are your employee’s development needs? This is anything that either of you might feel your employee requires in order to do their job more effectively, or enhance their career progression.

Establish Steps to Success

With the learning objectives and work goals outlined in front of you, you can then outline a clear step-by-step plan for how your employee is going to reach those goals.

For example, if a team member has expressed gaps in their knowledge of a particular area, how can you take action to plug those gaps? Do they need to take a course in that subject, or have allocated time to study some helpful resources? Communicate with your employee, and see what sits well with both of you. Everyone has different learning styles, so it’s also important to take this into consideration when establishing your training methods.

Implement Changes

Once everything is in place, it’s time to set your plan into motion. Make sure both of you know exactly where you stand with each goal, need, and objective, and allow your employee some time to get going with any necessary changes in their approach to work.

At The HR Dept, we have a wide range of training programmes available that support employees with their development through a tailored approach that takes into account your employees’ unique learning requirements. From classroom-based courses to online e-learning sessions, each course is designed to engage your team and improve their performance, with positive workplace culture at the heart of everything we do.

Reflect and Reassess

The great thing about an employee development plan is there is limitless opportunity for reflection and evaluation. You have the freedom to continuously monitor your employee’s performance against their objectives, and hopefully create a space where they feel welcome to approach you with any concerns or ideas they have along the way that might enhance their plan further.

For a more structured approach, you can schedule in a regular one-to-one with your employee for the chance to actively discuss how their plan is going, and open up the conversation to any suggestions either of you might have.

Looking to upskill your team and maximise your employees’ full potential? We have a whole host of training programmes, learning and development initiatives, and expert guidance available, both in-person and online. Get in touch today to hear more about how we can help you and your team grow.

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