How to Create Employee Development Plans That Work

Employees change jobs on average every four years. Some employees are unhappy about their work environment. Some feel they have reached their full potential within the company. However, some feel overwhelmed by the repetitive tasks and want a change. There are many ways you can help your employees thrive at work. A personal development plans can be a great place to start.

You might wonder why this is happening.

Companies face one of their most complex and costly problems: team member retention. A team member who leaves unhappy is costing a company six to nine months of salary. Yet, few companies take any action to prevent these unwelcome events.

Implementing a personal development program has many benefits

It is Perkbox’s first brilliant idea for team engagement. This source says that growth and development are the foundation of all careers. So you can identify their strengths and weaknesses, determine what training they require, and make sure that they feel valued within your company.

Employees will be more engaged in their jobs if they are encouraged to learn and prioritize personal growth. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, there are three critical factors that employees need to be engaged in their jobs. These factors include career and professional development, training, and career development.

They stress the importance of training and how it affects their productivity and engagement. According to this source: “Lack of growth and improvement in the workplace leads to a lack of engagement and a lower-qualified workforce.”

It is not what you want for your company. Here are some ways you can make your employees more engaged and better-trained.

1. Assess the readiness and potential of your employees

Before you can start to consider skill gaps, you must understand what your employees can do at this moment. Each member of the team should create a list that identifies their abilities. Remember that potential and readiness are two different things. The first is their current skills and how they impact their near-future and recent work. The second refers to your belief that the team member can do better in the future.

Some tools make it much easier, which is a good thing. For example, AssessTeam and Lattice can be great tools to help you get through this process. These software products can provide engagement and productivity reports, evaluations of individual employees, and continuous feedback that encourages career growth.

They can also be used to receive real-time feedback from members of your team.

2. Do a skills gap analysis

A lousy way to run a business is to think that everyone in your team must do it all perfectly. While people have their strengths and know-how, they also have gaps. So it’s crucial to discover their potential and to find out where they need to be trained.

Also, it is necessary to conduct a training need analysis.

This analysis is based on the company’s goals and determines what each team member needs to do to reach them.

Your focus should now be on employees who are capable of learning and growing. You should help them to improve their skills and invest in training when they are ready.

3. Create a “before, during, after” plan

It is the right time to evaluate your goals. Are you aware of where you are? Are you sure where you stand? Do you know how to get there? It would help if you started to create a “before, during, and afterward” plan as soon as you can. So let’s take a closer look at it.


Now is the time to implement team member development plans. It is when you should set clear goals about what you hope to accomplish by doing this. Personal development plans take a lot of planning, time, investment, and continuous measuring. It is not an easy task, and it will not produce accurate results.


It is when your plans are being implemented before they are complete. It is where you’ll do your testing and your training and help your team grow and develop. You will need to consider the following:

  • Who will cover the shifts of your employees while they are training?
  • Are they able to switch, or do you require more people?
  • What training is required for a particular team member? What is the cost of this training?
  • Is it possible to train multiple employees simultaneously using the same methods?

Although you might not have all the answers right away, it is a good idea to start with a basic outline. It will allow you to build your plan and then enter the data later.


These are the times when your development plans are in place, and you can see the results. After training is over, it’s time to assess the team member’s growth and development. Then, give them space and time to use the new skills in the workplace.

It would help if you planned to offer employees the possibilities to put those newly acquired skills to good use. It is also essential to determine the methods you will use to monitor their performance and reward them for success.

4. Consider your business goals

While you may have many goals and dreams for your company, how realistic is it? Again, this should be based on the knowledge you have about your employees’ abilities and their potential.

Take some time to brainstorm. Then, consider these things when you think about each goal that you have.

  • Is your team capable of making it happen?
  • What can you offer them or give to make this possible?
  • Is your team capable of achieving that goal?
  • How long will it take to get there?

After you have answered these questions, think about possible actions to help you create personal development plans to achieve your desired results. Finally, you are achieving your goals.

5. Align the plans with employees’ goals

When you are leading employees, transparency is essential. You can give your employees context by sharing your goals and the benefits of training and development. You can communicate better with your employees and allow them to share their ideas and thoughts.

Personal development plans are just that, personal. They should not be solely based on your company goals. They won’t be able to work with all employees if they do.

Personal development plans are designed to encourage people to grow according to their potential and skills. You can make connections once you have identified their needs and ensure that they are motivated to develop and grow.

Many plans fall because employees don’t feel motivated or aren’t involved enough in the process. Therefore, it is essential to find ways to motivate employees to learn and to work hard. It is up to you whether you will use rewards such as higher salaries, praise, and tips or make it compulsory.

6. To speed up the process, use plan templates

It will likely be challenging to create team member development plans for each team member if you have not done so already. To speed up the process, you can find many templates online.

You can use the Indeed template to create an individual development plan. Or, you can plan for the succession of your organization by using a Smartsheet template.

7. Ensure that the training is appropriate for the potential and the employees

Once you have decided what your employees want and how you will handle their development, you can now determine which methods to implement them.

The type of training that you want to use should be your first step. Many delivery methods can be used, but they should all be tailored to your goals and those of your employees. Coaching, mentoring, job shadowing, and microlearning are all options.

It is when you decide the form of training that will be provided to different employees. You can make it easier and more efficient by using various tools:

Learning management systems (LMS)

LMS software allows you to create a workshop that will enable you to combine data and organize it into a logical learning plan. It is a place where your team can work together, learn and test their skills.

Learning experience platforms (LXP)

Although they look similar to LMSs, they have one difference: LMSs are for advanced managers and employees, while LMSs are intended for learners. For example, YouTube can provide videos, while Netflix can be used for movies related to work. You can also look for LXP pioneers such as Pathgather and EdCast to make training fun and engaging.

Live training online

We should not forget the modern training method, especially when dealing with limited contact (due to the pandemic). Video training is top-rated today. To train employees, companies around the globe use tools such as Zoom and JoinMe.

Collaborate to create personal development plans

A well-planned and executed personal development plan can make a big difference in your business’s future and success. They will not only help to reduce turnover but also create a healthier workplace culture. These personal development plans can identify opportunities and then tie them back into the core business drivers. Would you please make sure they are part of your monthly review?

Disclaimer. The opinions and views expressed in this article are the authors Shalom Lamm.

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