Establishing an employee development strategy is crucial for company direct reports because it provides them with a technique and vision to work toward their objectives. Creating an employee development plan boosts team productivity by motivating employees to study and gain new skills and competencies. Employee engagement will improve due to these learning opportunities, highlighting the opportunity to learn and grow with the company. It’s a win scenario: the employees learn new abilities, and their enlarged skill set gives them additional tools and better equips them to help achieve the business objectives.

Employee retention is one of the most challenging tasks for organizations and businesses. The key to retaining the workforce is to sort out the correct technique to provide the staff with new growth opportunities. An employee development plan assists them in mastering new skills for their existing positions while also improving their skills for new roles. Doing it correctly can make them work much longer with the company.

Create a Development Plan for Employees: 10 Steps to Empower and Grow the People in Your Organization

Here are some guidelines for designing a development plan for employees:

1. Begin With a Gap Analysis of the Skills

Two colleagues using a whiteboard

The first step in crafting an efficient development plan for employees is to figure out the areas where the staff needs to be upskilled. A training requirements analysis can help determine skills that need improvement and personnel requiring the most training. This training requirements analysis puts the objectives of the business at the top of everything else. All the efforts can be directed towards achieving the best results by evaluating what one is doing already well. The motives for each individual’s career pathways must be considered while creating a worker development plan. For example, one should promote and expect their staff to take charge of their professional growth by investigating tools, resources, and training opportunities. A manager’s job is to provide direction, resources, feedback, and support. Finally, meet individually with each staff member to develop a strategy that includes short-, mid-, and long-term objectives.

2. Identify Individuals Who Can Take on Leadership Roles

Identify staff members open to learning new things and seeking growth opportunities. Begin by focusing on those individuals in the early efforts of the development plan to improve their skills while also investing in management and leadership training at the right time. Employees unsure about continuing with the company may be motivated to stay if they learn that the company aims to assist them in achieving their professional goals. This helps the business to retain its capable human resource.

3. Bring the Company and Employee Objectives in Sync

Group of employees going over data in a meeting

Once you determine the areas of need for staff members who want to advance, ensure the goals for both are synchronized. Any development strategy can’t go far if it doesn’t involve the employee’s interests. To develop career succession plans, don’t only focus on the employees’ career aspirations but also those specific to the firm. Conducting discussions works best for measuring employee job satisfaction. This is also the greatest way to determine the training your employees require, what they want to acquire, & the methods they need.

4. Assist Them in the Development

The right employee development plan takes much more into consideration than just the immediate growing edges within the firm. It should also study how the business and the industry are evolving on a more significant level.

Make a start with the finish in mind

The goal must be stated clearly from the start. This entails figuring out:

  • What exactly is it that the business hopes to achieve?
  • The desired completion timeline, or goal date
  • What does success look like, and how is it measured?
  • The priority of the goal
  • The possible benefits of achieving a goal

Employees should know exactly what they need and when to complete it if they’ve set a smart goal.

Provide them with “the why”

Reinforcing the big picture is key to keeping everybody – from executives to entry-level staff – inspired and motivated on their goals year-round. Influential leaders stress the importance of a goal to the firm. People, after all, are motivated by a greater reason and purpose.


What role does each aim play in the organization?
In the grand scheme of things, how is a specific objective important?
How would achieving this goal help everybody on the team throughout the company?

5. To Assist Them, Use Employee Development Strategy Templates

Employee development program templates are divided into two categories:

Consider using an employee personal development plan template in the early phases of the company’s development. This encourages employees to consider their personal and professional goals and what they might connect with those of the company.

A succession template might assist the company in determining where it needs to employ or grow in the future. It also specifies what assets are already available. Use them as a starting point for customizing the employee’s personal growth and company growth strategies.

6. Keep Track of the Progress and Make Decisions Based on the Information Gathered

Group of employees in a meeting

Take the time to thoroughly assess the success and devise a strategy for finding the right solutions to any issues. Meet with staff regularly to check how things are doing and obtain their input on what they want to see more of (or less of). Determine what barriers are making things difficult, including a lack of hours for a workday or unwanted interruptions. Determine how the training time for the employees can be made more accessible, convenient, and successful.

7. Make a List of Essential Resources

After defining the firm and employees’ objectives, create a list of services to help them achieve their personal and professional objectives.

For example, if one has several employees who want to learn a new skill, one might develop a new training program. Cross-training or introducing employees to various divisions within the company can also be beneficial, develop new abilities, and discover new professional interests. Even putting together a collection of educational films, podcasts, webinars, and workshops can help employees achieve their objectives. Giving staff unique projects relevant to their desired abilities and responsibilities, or pushing them to contribute to their community, are two other approaches to fostering professional development. Employees can even get paid time off to engage in community service activities.

Don’t forget about offering more resources to support wellbeing and mental health in the workplace, too. We recommend bringing meditation to your workplace with Declutter The Mind, a guided meditation app for teams. The benefits of meditation at work are numerous but one of the most important ones is making folks on your team healthier and more productive.

Bring meditation to your workplace

Declutter The Mind is a meditation app for your workplace to help make your team happier and culture healthier. In an average 9-to-5 work day, just 5 minutes of mindfulness meditation can release stress, improve focus, and boost creativity. For your company, a more mindful team means better workplace culture and teamwork.

8. Make the Objectives Interesting

Coaching people to achieve their objectives is neither stiff nor official nor has to be a chore. Team activities that are more casual and relaxed can help create favorable feelings and intense levels of involvement and maintain momentum.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Goals can be tracked using pictures, charts, or diagrams illustrating progress. (A common illustration is a huge cardboard thermometer that players fill in from the bottom to the top as they achieve small targets on their route to a larger goal.)
  • When a specific milestone is attained, ring a bell in the office.
  • When a specific milestone is attained, distribute a prize.
  • Order breakfast or lunch or organize a happy hour to commemorate attaining particular milestones. It can be done either in person or online.

Following employee preferences, create an appreciation moment for online or video meetings.

9. Along the Road, Remember to Rejoice

Two colleagues high-fiving and celebrating

People require reassurance that they are on the right track and progressing in the correct direction; this can enhance their confidence, interest, and engagement. And most people enjoy having their efforts and accomplishments recognized. Support and positive reinforcement should be given at each step toward a goal, rather than waiting until the end to celebrate accomplishments.

10. Goals Should be Linked to Financial Incentives

Money has always been a strong motivation. Consider rewarding employees for meeting monthly, quarterly, or annual targets if your budget allows it. Encourage the employees to evaluate their monthly or weekly objectives, not annual ones. Furthermore, goals must be interwoven into everyday routines and a component of everything a worker does to be met.

Development Plan for Employees Example

Executives can utilize this example development plan with their staff. In this example, we have set a plan for a real estate company.

Short-Term Goal

Expand real estate knowledge, gain more experience inside the real estate industry assistant role, and develop relationships.

  • Actions: Develop a network.
  • Objectives: Establish contacts in the property sector.
  • Measurements: Go to two networking events. By the end of the quarter, you should have 500 professional relationships on social media.

Long-Term Ambition

To obtain a license as a real estate agent.

  • Actions: Obtain your real estate license.
  • Objectives: Before 2023, get your license.
  • Measurements: Getting a passing grade.


Employees often neglect or ignore goals due to irritation, busyness, a loss of enthusiasm or connection, or emotions of intimidation or overload. This, however, does not have to be the case as the proper development plan for employees can come to the rescue. Instead, the staff will be equipped with knowledge and skills, and the firm will prosper if one encourages them to achieve their goals and provides the necessary coaching, support, and inspiration along the way.