Ways to Effectively Create Employee Development Plans

An employee development plan will give your workers opportunities and a roadmap on how to strengthen their skills and advance their careers. And those newly strengthened skills will give them the tools to help your business move ahead. Everyone benefits!

However, an employee development program should not be created haphazardly. Its success depends on careful planning and implementation. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Developmental needs should be aligned with business needs.

Before setting objectives for your employees, be sure to consider the company’s long-term and short-term needs. Does one of your machine operators need to be moved into the role of shop manager? Is someone in the warehouse a good fit for the open outside sales position?

By coordinating your employee development plans with your business goals and needs, you are closing the gap between present employee skill sets and what will be required in the future. Once you have identified those goals, you can work on developing the skills internally and save the cost and time it takes to recruit, onboard, and train someone from outside the company.

Collect input from your workers.

You can’t presume to know what’s best for your workers until you talk to them. Find out what skills they already have and the developmental goals they have set for themselves. Are they currently struggling in areas that additional training could be provided to help them? Are they missing just one skill that’s keeping them from moving up in the company?

Once you talk to them, you can begin working together to determine how the business can help them reach their goals and what opportunities you will be able to offer them moving forward.

Consider a variety of developmental programs.

After you know the objectives, you need to decide how your employee will acquire their new skills. Keep in mind that online courses and classroom training work well, but they are not the only way to help your team develop.

In many cases, having workers engaged while learning a new skill can be preferable to passive learning in a classroom. Here are a few developmental methods that work well:

  • temporary assignments and special projects;
  • working one-on-one with a mentor or an expert on the job; and
  • local networking groups.

Learning the next job in small increments is an excellent way to prepare an employee to take on the entire job in the future.

Create a plan for the entire process.

Before the training starts, make sure your workers understand why you’re asking them to learn this new skill, what they are expected to learn, and how this will benefit them and the company. Come up with a plan that has specific and timely goals.

After the training is completed, quickly find opportunities for them to apply their newly acquired skills before the knowledge fades away.

You won’t be able to fill all of your needs internally!

United Personnel has been providing staffing solutions to Western Massachusetts and beyond for over 30 years. We will use our experience and expertise to help you get a strong team on board. Contact us today, and we’ll get started!