9 Steps to Create an Employee Development Plan

9 Steps to Create an Employee Development Plan

Most employees quit their jobs due to inadequate career development.

An employee development plan is essential for keeping current employees since it provides an organized framework for improving knowledge, performance, and capacities at the workplace. Employee development is a crucial investment for every successful business!

Supportive work environments and growth opportunities are the top two ways to win employee loyalty.

This blog explores the benefits of employee development plan examples and the key steps for creating a successful plan.

What Is an Employee Development Plan?

An employee’s approach to advancing their career and skill set inside a company is called an employee development plan. It identifies the desired skills and the organization’s needs and includes expert courses.

These employee development plan examples help employees improve their knowledge and skills for their roles, considering both the employee’s and organization’s needs. It ensures accountability and transparency and should be based on measurable goals like certification, skill development, or promotion. A well-planned program provides clear direction and opportunities for employee upskilling.

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Steps To Create an Employee Development Plan

Implementing employee development plans offers numerous benefits, such as attracting new talent, achieving business objectives, and enhancing profitability. Here are some of them in detail:

1. Standardize Structure

Employee development plan template typically involves identifying an employee’s career aspirations, long-term and short-term professional goals, and activities to help achieve these goals.

You should determine if their present responsibilities are aligned with their long-term aspirations. Furthermore, steps should be done to guarantee that they happen more regularly. Assign, reduce, or eliminate tasks that do not contribute to the achievement of long-term goals.

Workers might be asked to indicate any new skills, information, or experience they would like to gain in order to improve in their careers. Regular progress checkpoints are also essential for tracking progress in this process.

2. Conduct Skills Gap Analysis

A skills gap analysis is crucial for organizations to identify the skills needed for their workforce to perform their best. This allows organisations to expand effective employee development solutions while eliminating individual 1:1 meetings.

A collaborative learning platform allows employees to declare and upvote the skills they want to learn, enhancing upskilling and training plans. Employee surveys and 360-degree performance reviews can also be used to assess skills and industry trends.

To attract skilled candidates, employee development should be part of compensation and benefits packages. Offering learning opportunities can boost employee engagement, increase productivity and profitability, and reduce turnover.

3. Engage Employees in Understanding Individual Career Growth

An employee development plan template should be customized to each individual, considering their career goals and personal life.

It’s crucial to involve employees from the start, as they may have different career aspirations. For example, a new employee may need clarification on their career path, while an experienced employee may be seeking promotion. Engaging with employees during this stage involves discussing their career visions for the next 6-24 months.

4. Bridging Skills Gaps

Technology is rapidly changing the workplace, necessitating the upgrading of skills to keep up with job and industry changes. Companies should upskill existing employees to bridge skills gaps, allowing them to work longer and gain a deeper understanding of customers and culture, contributing to their success.

You can arrange workshops and seminars to keep your employees updated on the latest technologies in your industry.

5. Remaining Competitive

Businesses must adopt an agile working environment and learning culture in order to remain competitive in a quickly changing technological landscape and labor trends. A solid staff development plan is necessary to help employees adjust quickly to shifting work settings and market demands.

Hiring and retaining top talent may be challenging for organizations, especially in a competitive labor market. Top talent seeks companies that support skill development and career advancement.

To remain competitive, organizations should assist employees in acquiring the right skills and technical knowledge. Training should focus on improving core worker strengths and addressing flaws, thereby raising a company’s overall performance.

6. Align Employee L&D With Business Goals

Employee understanding of business goals and strategy is crucial for better decision-making and personal development.

In large or siloed companies, HR may struggle to find tangible examples. However, ensuring employees have a clear line between their work and the broader objectives and strategy can lead to better alignment of development with desired outcomes.

7. Create an Action Plan for Career Goal Achievement

Schedule regular meetings between employees and their managers to empower them to take ownership of their professional development plans for employees.

The bandwidth of the workforce and the plan’s pace should be considered while determining the frequency. Define clear expectations for managers and staff and assign responsibilities accordingly. The manager should also offer individualized assistance and a tailored action plan.

The employee development plan template should cover short-term goals, attainable goals within two weeks to six months, and long-term goals, focusing on the employee’s vision for the company in the next year. During one-on-one meetings, employees can better understand their current career path and how their manager can support them in achieving both short- and long-term goals by consulting the action plan.

8. Provide Necessary Learning Experiences

Providing customized training programs and accessible knowledge resources is crucial for employees to succeed in their roles and achieve their career goals.

To effectively address learning needs, identify the best learning opportunities and methods. Collaborative learning, mentoring, webinars, and eLearning can help employees reach their goals.

L&D teams may work with internal subject-matter experts to generate relevant and interesting training material by utilizing a collaborative learning platform. Tracking employee progress through their development plan is also essential for ensuring a smoother internal movement.

9. Track Performance Results and Adjust the Plan Accordingly

Tracking employees’ progress in their growth plans helps measure their performance and the effectiveness of talent development initiatives.

Regular monthly check-ins can assess the need for upgrades to the action plan, recognize achievements, and incentivize them. These meetings also allow for discussions on future plans and growth opportunities.

You can create employee development plan examples in PDF that relate to your industry and revisit them when required.

Key Benefits of an Employee Development Plan

Here are some of the top benefits of a well-curated professional development plan for your organization:

1. Attracts Talented Applicants

Implementing staff development initiatives demonstrates a company’s commitment to career progression, making it more appealing to potential hires, particularly those with a strong career drive.

2. Increases Worker Engagement and Motivation

Engaged employees lead to business growth, higher productivity, profitability, and employee retention.

Disengaged employees experience higher absenteeism and errors, more absenteeism, and more errors.
Therefore, a staff development strategy that is built on teams has the ability to boost sales, treble earnings, and produce happy consumers.

3. Improves Employee Performance

If employees get help developing their skills and finding development opportunities, they may perform better in their present positions and be more equipped for responsibilities in the future.

With a proper employee development program, you can help your employees perform better over time.

4. Enhances the Company’s Efficiency and Profitability

Creating an employee development plan simplifies prioritization and development sprints, preventing any minor issues from causing chaos. It also increases employee satisfaction and leadership skills, helping employees focus on the business overall.

Employee development programs will eventually lead to a smoother business environment, enhancing overall productivity.

5. Improves Employee Retention and Satisfaction

An employee development plan signifies an organization’s commitment to professional growth and skill acquisition. It prevents employees from switching companies and saves companies time and money by eliminating the need to hire and train new employees.

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Examples of Successful Employee Development Plans

Development plans for employees can vary in structure, focusing on skill gaps, equal responsibility for managers, goal lists, or action items. The choice of plan type is influenced by the employee’s status, goals, schedule, and other characteristics.

Here are the ones used commonly:

1. Employee Development Plan Based on Time Frame

Within the employee development plan, the milestones and training requirements are arranged into discrete time periods.

2. Employee Development Plan Based on Skill Gaps

A successful employee development plan should be structured based on skill gaps, ensuring that these gaps are addressed through specific actions.

3. Employee Development Plan Based on Objectives

A structured employee development plan is often beneficial as it is tailored to professional areas, outcomes, action items, and associated costs.

4. Employee Development Plan Based on Performance

A successful staff development strategy should prioritize overall performance. Focus on the overall picture rather than particular skills to create an aesthetically pleasing presentation.


Creating personalized, well-structured plans that align employee aspirations with company objectives is key to success. Employee development programs are a critical investment for the success of the individual and the company.

Tracking employee development results is crucial for ensuring successful implementation. It’s essential to measure the impact of these plans on organizational productivity, work processes, and employee engagement.

Moon HRM offers customizable tools for managing goals, conducting regular performance conversations, and analyzing company performance, ensuring a more efficient and effective approach to employee management.