The employee development plan is referred to the action plan that is used by an organization to ensure that the employees are on the right path and able to develop their abilities and skills to meet organizational goals and objectives.
It is also considered a joint venture where both the employer and employee work together to upgrade and improvise the existing skills and know-how of the employees in the company.
Meaning of Employee Development Plan
One of the essential pillars of a business entity is its employees, who work hard for the growth and success of an organization. It becomes imperative to recognize this fact and ensure that the workforce is given ample opportunities for career growth.
The career development plan for employees is a step in the right direction. It makes sure that a mutually beneficial and meaningful relationship is created between the employee and employer. It addresses the future needs of the firm as well as issues like succession planning and ultimately minimizes the cost of hiring and training new employees.
Steps in Creating an Employee Development Plan
1. Business Goals
Identify your business goals and assess the strategy of your business if you are looking for how to write an employee development plan. The objective should be clear as you want to align business goals and strategies perfectly so that they can facilitate the growth of employees’ side-by-side.
Think deep and long-term. Where do you see your business in the years to come, is it possible to expand your business, are there plans in place for business expansion and are there ample opportunities for gaining a competitive advantage in the market are some queries that you will have to answer before developing a plan. Once you know what you are seeking,
It becomes easier to see what is working for your business and what is not. Take the help of feedbacks, surveys, and interviews to review every aspect. Lastly, make a list that will put the onus on the things that should be done to move in the right direction.
2. Open Communication with Employees
If you are looking for an individual development plan for employees, make sure to keep your communication channel open. The plan is being created for the employees, and it is essential to keep them informed about business goals so that they can relate to it.
It is a proven fact that when the employees feel that their opinion matters, it boosts engagement and, subsequently, loyalty towards the organization.
This will have a direct impact on their efficiency levels, which will further increase productivity. Hold one-on-one sessions, meetings, and interviews where you can know about the feelings, needs, and requirements of the workforce and discuss employee development plans. Look at reviews, feedback, and assessment to know about their career growth related plans.
Company bulletin boards, internal newsletters, social media, and emails are essential tools that can help in your endeavors. Encourage high-level executives and managers to share plans with the employees and involve them in the processes.
Aligning the interest of the organization with those of the employees is not an easy feat. It is possible only through proper and open communication channels.
3. Work-Life Balance
The goal of every business is to increase its profitability, but it is a fact that you cannot do so without your workforce. It is in the interest of the company to create an employee development plan that will provide work-life balance to the employees.
Remember, it is now easy for the employees to make comparisons based on salary, benefits, and work hours, so it is better to give them the flexibility that will help to achieve work-life balance in their lives.
4. Review the Workforce
If you are looking for ways to create an effective employee development plan, then this is the time to review your organizational workforce. This will help in understanding what the employees are capable of doing and the things that they cannot achieve by themselves.
Ask the employees about their accomplishments. Learn about their skills and knowledge. Take into account the current requirements of the business and determine whether the employees need further training to fulfill the business goals.
Arrange coaching, mentorship, job shadowing, and professional networking to create competent and capable employees that will work for the welfare of the business. When the business organization arranges training for its employees, it shows that they are concerned for their workforce and are doing everything to boost their skills and know-how.
5. Identify Opportunities in the Workplace
Identify realistic opportunities in the workplace where the employees can use their skills for maximum advantage.
6. Review and Monitor Results
Setting employee development goals is not an easy process. Still, the main part is to review and monitor results to see whether the plan has proved effective.
Has the organization met its development targets, has the performance of employees improved because of the employee development plan, has the plan delivered all that it promised, has the organization been able to resolve current issues are some critical questions that will help to understand whether the plan has been a successful endeavour or not.
7. Go Back to the Beginning
If there is a shortcoming, do not ignore it as it might prove harmful later on. Try to find the issues and resolve them at the earliest. Remember, an employee development plan is an important feat for any organization, and if you are not satisfied with the result, go back to the beginning and think things through.
Revise the plan thoroughly, fine-tune all the elements, hold assessment, ask employees to give their input to address any inadequacies. This will help in resolving all the problems and creating an employee development plan that will focus on the welfare and growth of the workforce.
Things to Avoid when Creating an Employee Development Plan
Creating an employee development plan is a huge responsibility, and it becomes essential to avoid certain things so that the plan does not fail at any moment.
1. Do not guarantee anything
Yes, the employee development plan is being created for the welfare of the employees, but nothing is sure and simple in this world. There may be innumerable reasons for things going south; for instance, sudden change or economic fluctuation can happen.
If you guarantee certain things and it does not occur accordingly, it can hurt the employees. This is the reason why one should refrain from making promises at the onset.
2. Do not over-commit
The business is committed to its task to improve the skills and know-how of the employees so that they can grow. Still, it is essential to remember that resources, as well as time, are limited, and growth and development can occur at a certain pace only.
Do not over-commit in your zeal to create an effective employee development plan as it will not be feasible.
3. Do not ask for too much
The responsibility of implementing an effective employee development plan rests with the manager. He is the one who is in direct contact with the employees, interacts with them, and ultimately guides them to achieve desirable goals.
Do not put too much of a responsibility on the manager if you want to avoid any mishaps later on. In his zeal to do too much in too little a time, the manager might start making mistakes that will ultimately have repercussions on everyone attached to the process.
Benefits of the Employee Development Plan
The benefits of an employee development plan are as follows-
1. Employee empowerment
The employee development plan acts as a useful tool that empowers managers in the workplace so that they can influence the employees to a higher degree.
Consequently, the employees gain confidence in their abilities, and this leads to employee empowerment. There is a deep sense of autonomy in making decisions that will prove viable for the company.
2. Creates a learning culture
The employee development plan extracts the best out of the employee. It creates a learning culture where the employees are motivated to acquire new and the latest skills and knowledge.
It also provides opportunities for the employees so that they can take part in seminars, events, conferences, and training programs and become reliable resources.
3. Employee retention
The employee development plan has a provision of providing training and development opportunities to all the new employees during the hiring process. This is beneficial as it fosters a sense of loyalty and value in the employees towards their company. They become motivated, and this leads to employee retention.
4. Future leaders
An employee development plan helps in training talented employees so that they can take on more responsibilities and even become future leaders after some time.
5. Workplace engagement
An employee development plan is beneficial for an organization as it boosts workplace engagement. Regular initiatives encourage frequent revaluation of the processes and skills of the employees. It also prevents a feeling of compliancy and boredom.
6. Assessing current skills
An employee development plan is beneficial as it helps to evaluate the current abilities of the employees. After a full review, it encourages training and development programs for the workforce who needs it.
7. Know about the latest developments
Employee development plan helps the employee in becoming aware of the latest developments that are occurring around him
An employee development plan is beneficial for an employee as it helps him to know where he is floundering and which skill set can help him to perform productively.
9. Increase interaction
Employees are given opportunities to take part in several events, and this boosts the level of their interaction. They can share information in an ethical and positive environment. The employee development plan has proven beneficial as it helps to strengthen the bond between the employees.
An employee development plan is quite valuable for the organization as it provides clear direction to everyone concerned. It is a tool to take ahead your business and improve employee performance along the way.
The employee development plan is a driving force that tries to create a competitive and efficient workforce that is dedicated, engaged, and motivated.