Creating Employee Development Plans that Work
Updated: Oct 10
Employee development plans & career paths are a great way to develop and retain employees.
Here are three key things to consider to create effective employee development plans.
Currently, employee retention is one of the greatest challenges for organizations. With expenditures to replace staff averaging between six and nine months' income and the average employee changing positions every four years, it is more important than ever for your organization to provide employees with areas for growth and advancement chances. A development plan for employees assists them in acquiring new skills for their current position and increasing their abilities for future positions. When executed well, career development plans can help create happier employees who stay with your organization longer.
What is an Employee Development Plan?
An employee development plan is a road map designed to assist employees in enhancing their skills in their present position and acquiring new competencies in order to increase their existing duties and maybe take on new ones in a role advancement.
Each development plan should be prepared and adapted to the individual's abilities, interests, and needs; no two employee development plans should be identical.
This individual development plan is primarily intended to foster personal development. This does not necessarily entail moving up in the business or assuming a leadership position (although this is conceivable) but can also be measured laterally, where skills are diversified and improved, resulting in improved work quality and productivity.
Employee Development Plan Advantages
Here are the most important advantages of employee development plans:
• Identifying and recruiting new talent
You may be aware of the catch-22 that accompanies entering a new field. Experience is required for job qualification, but you must have a job to gain experience. Companies' reluctance to teach entry-level employees makes it difficult for talented individuals with great potential to gain employment. This enables you to recruit and train promising new candidates.
• Increased retention of employees
According to the Pew Research Center, 63 percent of workers who leave their jobs mentioned a lack of promotion chances as a contributing factor. It is compatible with the widespread belief that job-hopping is the only way to advance one's career. It can do wonders for employee retention if you make it clear to your employees that they do not need to switch jobs to acquire new skills, receive salary hikes, and advance in their careers.
• Improve employee engagement
According to Gallup, only 36 percent of American workers are engaged in their jobs. There is also a new movement known as 'quiet quitting,' in which individuals adopt the notion of performing the bare minimum necessary to maintain employment. Employee engagement can be increased by investing in employee development. Continuously gaining new abilities and overcoming new obstacles enhances the enjoyment experience.
• Achieving company goals
The ultimate purpose of employee development is to assist your firm in achieving its objectives. The benefits above enable this.
How to Create an Employee Development Plan
Here are three steps for developing an individual employee development plan.
1. Figure out what your business goals are
Get clear on your company's long-term business goals. Some examples of long-term business goals:
• A sustainable lifestyle business: Some business owners want to build a business that lets them and their employees make a living doing something they enjoy and gives them a good work-life balance.
• A profitable way out: Some business owners want to create a company they can sell.
• Going public: Some people want the company to eventually go public with an IPO.
The important thing is to know what you want. Then you can start to think about what you'll need to do to get there.
For example, let's say all you want is a business that fits your way of life. In that case, you might consider giving your employees opportunities to grow professionally in their current jobs. In the meantime, growth will mean needing to hire more managers, so if that's what you want, you should find employees interested in becoming managers and help them learn the skills they need.
2. Discuss Career Objectives with Employees
Avoid making assumptions about the objectives of your personnel. Discuss with them their aspirations for their professions.
Leaders frequently think everyone desires leadership positions or to move up the ladder in their current departments. However, many individuals are uninterested in assuming administrative responsibilities and prefer to excel in their existing roles or transition to an entirely new role within the company.
It is equally crucial to evaluate your employees' professional goals within the context of their lives. For instance, someone may aspire to assume a leadership position one day, but if they are expecting a child, now may not be the best moment. People react differently to identical situations. Therefore assumptions should be avoided.
To continue the baby-on-the-way example, one individual may want to slow down to spend more time with their family, while another may want to accelerate their work to offer a better life for their family. Again, communicate with your employees to determine their desires.
Also, it is acceptable for someone just beginning their profession to need still to discover what they desire. You may assist them in realizing their desires by allowing them to explore new roles and responsibilities at your organization. Once they understand their goals, you may construct an employee development plan to support their newfound aspirations.
3. Develop an Individual Employee Development Plan in Collaboration With Your Employees
Once you know your employees' objectives, you should collaborate to design personalized employee development plans. There is a chance that the employee understands their needs better than you do.
For instance, if you are the founder of a tech business but are not technically savvy, you can probably presume that software developers have a better understanding of what they need to improve and how to do so. Naturally, if you are not just a founder but also the chief technology officer (CTO), you may be able to provide significant counsel to less-experienced software engineers.
The same applies to all other roles, including marketers, journalists, and social media managers. Be receptive and attentive to your staff. They likely already know how to improve their performance and require your assistance to develop a plan to get to the required performance levels. Also, when an employee is moving career paths, requesting mentorship from individuals already employed in a comparable position seems sensible.
Career Development Plans Start with Understanding
Career paths and plans need to address what skills the business needs from employees. Still, the most effective plans engage employees, consider their goals & aspirations, and are tailored to the employee. By understanding your employees' desires and dreams and then implementing a strategy to help them achieve those goals, you will create a development plan employees are invested in & boost employee retention at your organization.
When someone has a stake in their career path, they feel like they own it, and the company is interested in their personal and professional development.
Excellent career paths and plans start with clear job descriptions. Sign up for MOSH JD today to easily create, maintain, and collaborate on job descriptions.