A Road Map to Creating an Employee Development Plan

An employee development plan can hold different meanings within various companies and organizations. Unfortunately, in many cases, employee development plans are reserved for times when an employee is struggling or is not performing at anticipated levels. By only utilizing an employee development plan as a response to a negative situation, employers are missing out on an underutilized and unleveraged strategic advantage. An effective EDP (employee development plan) can increase engagement, skill building, and performance within an existing or growing workforce.

Every employee should be equipped with an employee development plan with the purpose of empowering, strengthening, and engaging all employees in an organization. By including the employee’s ambitions and competencies in the initial conversation, creating an effective EDP is feasible, creating increased opportunities to improve trust and engagement.

During an employee development meeting, consider the following items to be discussed and included when creating an individualized EDP:

  1. Know going into employee meetings what your intended outcomes are. By being organized and prepared, you show the employee you take their development and goals seriously. You should also know beforehand what competencies need to be developed for the specified position. By preparing effectively, you will be able to collect the information necessary to create an effective plan if you know what you need to find out and relay ahead of time.

  2. Have a clear description and explanation of what the current expectations and role are for the employee in their position. By creating the framework of the position with a clear understanding, it is easier to see what competencies need to be developed for optimal performance. This way, expectations, and communications can achieve greater transparency and understanding.

  3. After establishing the position duties and expectations clearly, elaborate on what employee strengths have been observed and show appreciation for positive efforts. Also, address competencies that may be lacking to complete the position duties appropriately if need be. Your company may consider professional assessments to accurately pinpoint strengths and areas for development to aid and progress the conversations and development points in a more productive and structured way.

  4. Customize the communication to that particular employee. Not all employees react and process information in the same way, and by assessing the communication style and preferences of the employee ahead of time, conversations can show substantial increases in effectiveness and trust-building.

  5. With the employee’s help and input, use the information gathered to create a performance path for the employee. Creating a mobility lattice customized for the employee can show advancement opportunities within the department or company that they may be well suited for. Many high-performing employees value growth and advancement. By creating this lattice with possible opportunities, employees can find more fulfillment and encourage higher levels of involvement and performance. If the employee is experiencing roadblocks in their performance or future plans, create action items together to help them navigate these items as well.

  6. Prepare to understand the career objectives of the employee. It is easy to look to your own department ambitions when assessing an employee’s competencies and ambitions. However, sometimes an employee can be most fulfilled and best utilized elsewhere in the company. While it may be hard to help a good employee move to a different department, it may jointly elevate the company and the employee.

  7. Following the meeting, document employee ambitions and other information to create a talent profile. Also, don’t forget to schedule regular meetings to discuss progress, goals, and growth to encourage the employee to continue to progress. This step is important for the growth and efficacy of the development plan.

Creating and utilizing employee specific development plans can fuel:

  • Innovation

  • Growth

  • Engagement

  • Employee fulfillment

When employees experience these sentiments, the company also benefits through:

  • increased performance

  • increased retention rates

  • lower recruitment and training costs

  • elevated reputation

These meetings don’t need to take long. The investment in your employees and their future can have lasting effects on them personally as well as the company as a whole.

About the Author

Char Miller – is a HR Consultant for CompTeam as well as the founder of “HR with a Heart.” She has advised organizations such as Kaiser Permanente, Banner, Vail Resorts and many others achieve solutions attract retain and develop employees. More Importantly, she has a talent for being able to work closely with C-level executive teams to define performance goals and organizational objectives, and then design strategies that align culture with a roadmap to achieve the company’s vision and business goals. If you are looking to develop a high performing and impactful workplace, contact CompTeam to discuss how we can help implement innovative solutions that are custom fit to your culture and people.

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