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Ways to Effectively Create Employee Development Plans

Good managers and good companies create development plans for promising employees. Development plans benefit the company by placing people seasoned in the company in roles throughout the company.

There are also tangible benefits in employee morale and engagement. Employees who know they are working toward a plan for their development are more likely to demonstrate good morale than those who don’t. Having to master new skills and tasks promotes engagement as well. 

Development plans also promote company loyalty and loyalty to you as a manager. 

Here are some tips on ways to create employee development plans effectively. 

1. Brainstorm development plans that align with company goals

Any development plan you come up with needs to be aligned with your and the company’s goals. This might seem obvious, but it’s good to have front and center in your mind as you think through possible development plans. 

Does your department need more automated shipping processes, for example? More effective project management?  

2. Discuss your employees’ goals with them

All the development plans in the world won’t be effective if the employees are not on board with them. You need to discuss the business goals your employees have with them.  

You may be thinking of developing your assistant into a project manager, for example, since she shows aptitude for planning and it aligns with your goals. But if she would rather become a website developer, you may be setting both of you up for unhappiness in the long term. You need to know that employee’s goals.  

Some employees are amenable to changes in goals. After all, most like the increased salary and respect that come along with a promotion! That’s why you strategize some development plans first. But for some employees, you may need to revise the development plan. 

3. Provide clear direction

Once you’ve identified a development plan for an employee and had the discussion to make sure they are on board with it, develop a plan that provides clear direction. 

The plan should have SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based.  

Do they need more training? Set up mentorship or specific training forums. Would stretch assignments be a good idea for the developing position? Do they need to join networking groups? 

Make sure the goals are attainable and can be done over a specific time period.  

4. Follow Up

It’s important to put a plan in writing. Follow up with the employee’s progress toward each measurable goal. Touch base every month or every quarter. Update the goals of the development plan as necessary. 

Employee development plans increase morale and engagement in the company, and promote loyalty to the company. Long term, they result in seasoned employees promoted throughout the organization. These four tips can help you create effective development plans. 

For more information on how we can help you with your staffing needs, contact Nesco Resource today!  

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