June 22, 2022

The Essentials of Employee Development Plans 

Sam Caucci

Behind every successful business is a successful employee development plan. When was the last time you gave your own employee development program a serious assessment or considered updating it? Are you confident your employee development program is comprehensive, efficient, and ready for the future of work? 

If you’re wondering if your employee development program has all the right components (or are just looking for how to increase productivity in the workplace), we’ll give you the essential list of business goals to get you started. 

#1 Have Clear Goals

An employee development plan is only as good as its goal-making process. Obviously, this partially means the goals for your company. What do you need employees to be or do better for your future success? Without a clear set of development goals, training will feel like a chore. However, these goals also need to be personally tailored to the employee in question. They should view your program as a set of development opportunities to improve their skill set. Does your employee development plan offer real tangible chances for career development? 

Clear goals also help you become more efficient and waste less time. For example, there’s no point in developing managerial skills for an employee who has no chance or intention to move into a managerial position. Set clear goals, and stick with them.

#2 Measurement

Tracking, tracking, tracking. Employee training and development always need some way to properly be measured, tracked, and quantified. Vague goals are useless. “Becoming better at soft skills” is, at best, a hopeful suggestion. Why does this employee need better soft skills? Is it to close more sales? To excel in a managerial position? How will you measure success? By how their sales figures look, or by peer review? 

It’s always a good idea to pair goal-making with measurement taking. Remember to design goals that are SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. 

#3 Personal Input

Obviously, the final say in any employee development plan is going to be in the hands of the managers. However, when formulating goals and metrics, allowing input from employees will be critical as well. As we mentioned, employees should feel that they should be getting something out of development plans. 

More importantly, the person who knows the strengths and weaknesses of an individual employee best will be… that employee. Shocking, we know. Getting input from an employee isn’t just about taking their own goals into account. It’s about building the most efficient employee development program possible.

#4 Offer Opportunities

Of course, you can’t just say you’re going to implement an employee development plan and leave it at that. By the same token, a good employee development program shouldn’t involve a lot of overbearing, mandatory training sessions. It’s up to you to provide opportunities, not force them.

What does this mean? Think of coaching sessions and assigned mentors, on top of things like regular training sessions. Everyone is going to learn and improve in different ways. You need to provide opportunities that can be accessed by as many people as possible. 

#5 Make Opportunities Accessible

To be blunt, you need to get with the times. The future of work will be digital, online, and on-demand. Make training material and information for employee development plans easily accessible to any employee, at any time. This makes training for development not only faster but more equitable. Every employee can access what they need when they need it. 

Thankfully, this is the essential element of an employee development plan that is easiest to manage. With 1Huddle, you can put all your training in one easy-to-access place. 

Sam Caucci, Founder & CEO at 1Huddle

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