Most businesses understand that their employees are their most important assets. For this reason, they make it a point to invest in their staff. The problem is that many stop doing this once the onboarding and training phases are over. However, employees need additional support to advance within their roles and take on new responsibilities as they grow in their careers.
An employee development plan provides employees with an idea on how to gain the skills they need to keep advancing and for businesses to provide the support they need as they do so. A well-crafted employee development plan is carefully considered, and its creation follows a few key steps.
Outline Business Goals
Businesses should align their needs with those of their employees before setting the goals for their employee development plan. Once they have identified their objectives, they can more easily identify the necessary competencies, knowledge, and skills they require from their employees to reach them.
For example, the business might need leaders as it grows. It must ask itself what skills current employees have and what they need to advance into these roles. Answering this and similar questions gives businesses a place to start when creating their employee development plan.
Talk to Individual Employees
You know what you want from your employees and for your business, but do you know what your employees want? The only way to answer these questions is to talk to your employees to understand their career goals. Do not assume that everyone wants to get into a managerial position or any other specific position, but ask them instead.
Most employees will have an idea of where they want their careers to go, but do not know if the business will support them. Other employees may be unsure whether you see their potential, or they may require some encouragement to get to the next level.
Provide the Right Opportunities
Now that you know your business objectives and what your employees want, you need to find the best resources to help them gain the skills and knowledge they need for career growth and to help you meet your objectives. The most important thing here is matching these opportunities to the right employees to ensure they are highly effective.
The opportunities you provide when creating the employee development plan do not have to be expensive and can take different forms. Many businesses have found online and in-person training programmes to be excellent for this purpose. Businesses can arrange for employees to take different courses at a training centre in the City of London to upskill and work towards their development goals.
Other opportunities that work well include special assignments, one-on-one mentoring and coaching, and local networking.
Provide Additional Support Afterward
Once employees have started training and gaining new skills, businesses must provide them with the additional support they need. Some may not know how or where to apply their new skills, while some may need new challenges and opportunities to make the most of their newly acquired skills.
Employee development plans helps businesses help employees gain new skills and knowledge that help them in their current roles and prepare them for future ones. They also help businesses meet their objectives and be more robust by having a more qualified workforce. Developing such plans requires input from both the business and its employees to ensure they are beneficial for all parties.