Sarah Thomas

To effectively grow and build your business, you must invest in your employees’ growth and development. Investing in employee development helps with employee retention (SHRM), employee engagement and creates opportunities for internal mobility.  Valuing your current employees also makes you an attractive employer to potential candidates during the recruitment process.

Creating a defined plan for employee development gives your employees concrete goals to strive towards. You can use the tips below to create a generalized employee development plan that can be used for every employee within your organization. Each employee can then customize the plan to their own preferences. Or, you can create an individualized plan with each employee.

Who should create an employee development plan? This task can be completed by human resources, management, or team leaders. Plans should be revised annually or bi-annually to ensure that business and employee goals haven’t changed and that each employee is making progress in their development.

Step 1: Review Goals

To begin an employee development plan, review your business goals and the individual employee goals. Determine the long and short-term goals of your business, broken down by each department within your business. Indeed recommends determining the business goals first so that you can accurately match business goals to each employee’s individual strengths.

Next, review the employee’s goals.  To determine the employee’s goals, you can ask them with a survey, reviews, or one-on-one conversations. Ask them about their long-term professional goals, what skills they’d like to learn, and if they’re interested in leadership or management.

Step 2: Find the Fit

You likely already know what strengths and challenges your employee presents as part of their day-to-day job. However, do you know what their strengths would be as a leader or manager? Or, perhaps they work in accounting but have a creative mind that would be adept in marketing. To fully develop each employee to their highest potential, you need to discover their aptitude.

Instruct your employee to take our assessment and then review their PIC report. The PIC report is a comprehensive overview of the performance style, interpersonal style, and challenges in the work environment. You’ll gain insight into their cognitive and behavioral orientation, as well as what roles and jobs are best suited to their strengths. The PIC report is the ultimate tool for personal and professional development.

Step 3: Make an Action Plan

Now that you’re armed with business goals, employee goals, and employee aptitude, see where all three of those align. Here’s an example:

  • Business goal: to increase sales of a product and open a new division
  • Employee goal: to grow into leadership and a management position
  • Employee aptitude: High aptitude scores for management and sales
  • Action Plan: create actionable steps to give employee additional responsibilities, transition job duties to sales

Create small, realistic steps in the action plan that will be stepping stones to the ultimate goal for both the business and employee. These steps should be measurable and attainable.

Step 4: Use Your Resources

Make a full list of the resources available for employees that can be used to further their development. Bamboo HR recommends coaching, mentoring, formal training, off-site training programs, group training, enrichment classes, and a wide variety of online content like workbooks, videos, and ebooks.

Use our platform SUM for team development during your employee development.  Each team member takes the assessment, and then you can view the entire team as one in our Team Room. Discover how to best communicate as a team and what challenges you face as a unit.

Step 4: Execute and Assess Your Plan

Meet regularly to discuss the development plan with your employee and check-in with the actionable steps. Make any adjustments as needed to the steps of the plan, and check in to ensure that the goals remain the same. Ask for feedback from employees to determine if their employee development plan is.


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