5 Steps for Creating an Employee Development Plan

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5 Steps for Creating an Employee Development Plan

Posted on December 21, 2018 by Danny Leffel

Career development is one of the most important elements of management; unfortunately, it’s also one of most neglected. Since employees are more likely to quit a job that doesn’t prioritize performance management, companies are struggling to retain a viable workforce. To give your business an edge over the competition, you’ll need to contribute to your employee’s careers. Below are five steps to follow when creating an employee development plan.

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1. Evaluate Company Goals

Before thinking about your employees, determine the direction you want the company to go and set goals for how to achieve that. Once you have a plan in place, you can assess whether you have employees who either possess or can be taught the necessary skills to help your business reach its goals. For example, if you own a restaurant and are considering expanding to a new location, you’ll need more reliable supervisors to help train the new recruits. You should look to your current staff — who already knows how your business is run — to find potential supervisors.

You won’t know how your employees can truly help your business if you don’t know where your business is headed. By hiring within the company for leadership roles, you’ll be sending a message to your other employees that there is room for career growth.

2. Identify Potential and Readiness

Now that you know the type of talent the company will need, begin assessing your employees. Just because someone has the potential to be a fantastic supervisor doesn’t mean they’re ready for that jump yet. If you rush an employee into a role they aren’t prepared for, you run the risk of damaging your business and harming that person’s career.

Management roles are especially important to fill with the right people, so keep in mind that it takes more than just being a good worker to be an effective supervisor. Interpersonal and problem-solving skills are just as necessary to management as a solid understanding of the jobs they’re tasked with overseeing.

3. Consult Your Employees

You won’t learn everything there is to know about your employees’ knowledge and skill sets just by looking at their resumes. Talk to them about their long- and short-term career goals, and find out if they’re interested in taking on a different role or expanding their responsibilities.

Many employees have taken the time to think about possible career paths with their current company, but they don’t always share those thoughts with their managers without being prompted. Be upfront with them about creating a development plan. Playing coy just to see if they’re a good fit for a specific role won’t gain you any trust.

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4. Decide on Training

Now that you have your employees on board, start thinking about what kind of training they’re going to need. Will someone need one-on-one training with another member of the team? Will an employee need specialty training outside of the company? Consider all options and put together a schedule for your employees.

Since some shifts may need to be moved around during the training, you might want to try posting the calendar where it’s easy to access. Try Crew, an online scheduling app that allows you to easily keep track of all your employees’ shifts, make changes to the schedules, and communicate with them directly through their smartphones. Remind your team that they’ll need to be patient during the training period. Let them know that although there may be a few hiccups, it’ll be worth it in the end.

5. Finalize the Plan

Set specific, time-oriented goals for your employees to meet. The time frame will help your employees stay on track and will let them know they’re making progress through the training program. Have a plan for how to transition them to their new roles as soon as possible once their training is complete. Make sure you provide ample resources for your transitioning employees to consult in case they have issues. For the employees that were training on something new, start giving them projects that will allow them to use their new knowledge.

Career development takes effort, but it’s incredibly rewarding. Your business will benefit from having a capable, well-trained workforce that is loyal to the company, and your employees will have the opportunity to better themselves by learning new skills and being promoted. You’ll be much more likely to retain top talent by investing in their careers, which means you can even use your employee development plans as a recruitment strategy. Companies who contribute to their employees’ growth will reap the rewards for years to come.

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