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April 6th, 2021 · 4 min read

How to upgrade your employee development plan

how to create an employee development plan

What is an employee development plan?

What are the benefits of an employee development plan?

  1. Talent acquisition. The opportunity for growth is extremely important to many job seekers, and having a structured employee development plan can attract motivated talent to apply with your company.
  2. Engagement. EDPs increase worker engagement and motivation by providing employees with tangible steps to take towards career advancement within the organization.
  3. Skill-building. Improve employee performance by providing your people with the tools and skills they need to be confident and knowledgeable in their roles.
  4. Company performance. Improved employee performance, expertise and confidence — bolstered by employee development plans — increases your organization’s efficiency and boosts your bottom line.
  5. Employee performance. Help to cultivate high-performance employees by giving them goals to work towards and continued methods to improve even more. Having a plan in place also encourages them to grow and advance by showing that their hard work will be acknowledged and rewarded.
  6. Retention. Improve retention and job satisfaction by giving your employees the support they need to be their best at your company.
  7. Aligned goals. An employee development plan allows your organization to plan for the future by setting specific and actionable personnel goals that align with your long-term business objectives. 

How to create an effective employee development plan

  • If you already have a plan in place, have you asked for employee feedback? What is the general sentiment surrounding your existing efforts?
  • How do you train an employee to fit a need which is currently not being met? 
  • What new roles can/should you create, and how do you fill those roles?
  • Does the training you currently provide lead to results that align with company goals?
  • What do your exit interviews look like, and what do they tell you about the talent left in the company?
  • Are the needs of your employees being overwhelmed by the needs of your company? If so, how can you better harmonize those needs for the benefit of both parties?

Think organizationally, but act individually

  • What are your ultimate career goals?
  • Do you feel you are able to do your best work at this company?
  • What are some things the company could do or give you which would help you do your job with more confidence and efficiency?
  • What skills are you confident that you have, and what skills do you want to improve upon or gain?
  • Where do you see yourself fitting in the company?
  • What are some goals you have/want to make while you’re here?

Providing opportunities for growth

  • Mentorships allow junior and senior employees to work collaboratively, develop skills and learn from one another. 
  • Departmental cross-training enables employees to expand their knowledge of the company and identify potential areas of interest for themselves. 
  • Stretch assignments are tasks that go beyond an employee’s current skill set or scope of responsibility. The goal is to give them a challenge to complete that aligns with their learning interests and fosters growth.
  • Workforce education programs allow your employees to earn career-boosting credentials, such as an advanced degree or short-term certificate while continuing to contribute to your organization. 

Track the results of your employee development plan

  • Turnover: How frequently are employees leaving your company?
  • Employee engagement: How engaged are your team members? The meaning of “engaged” can vary from one business to the next, so be sure to define what it means for your organization.
  • Talent mobility: Are employees moving within your organization? Or are they leaving your company for external opportunities?
  • Individual goal completion: Did the employee set out to achieve the individual goals they set for themselves? This could include taking a skill-building course, earning a certificate, or taking part in a stretch project. 

The importance of having an employee development plan

You can address talent development challenges