Supporting employee development is a key priority in most organizations. By developing a highly-skilled workforce, you ensure that employees are trained and ready to help achieve the organization's mission and strategy. Just as importantly, it helps to drive employee engagement and retention.
But to do that effectively, you need to start by diagnosing development needs so you can identify appropriate learning activities. Next, you need to create individualized career development plans for each employee. And finally, you need to take steps to ensure employees and the organization actually benefit from the development opportunities offered.
Motivate and inspire employees with a career development plan
"Millennials are perceived to be the highest flight risk in any organization. Many businesses have tried to combat this by juicing up their culture with foosball tables and all-you-can-eat sushi lunches. But, as the 2017 State of Employee Engagement Survey found, the solution has been right in front of them the whole time. Indeed, 86 percent of millennials are more inclined to stay at their current company if they're given access to quality training and development. That's higher than Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers (62 percent), who are less likely to stick around even when they are given quality development."
From the Saba's 2017 State of Employee Engagement Report
Career development plans are an important step in this process. When you help shape employees' careers for the future, employees become more dedicated to the company, more engaged and contributors to business success. Additionally, employees who are on a career development path develop positive feelings about their brand and company, which in turn helps with future recruitment.
Free resources to help with employee development
Below, we've offered a template and two checklists to help with your employees' on-the-job development and career development. Use these three resources to discover tips for:
- Creating development plans that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound)
- Making wise goal choices so you and your employee can focus on two to three critical development needs/goals at a time
- Identifying an employee's learning style
- Celebrating progress-even small steps!
- Helping shift to a mindset that employee development activities are valuable (not punishment)
- Having employees share key learning highlights with peers
- And more!
Employee development plans: it's worth it!
Employee development plans take time and effort but the results lead to more engaged and productive workers who are more loyal to the organization. Partnering with employees in their career development plan is a win-win for both parties: the employee is given opportunities to learn new skills, refine existing skills and build knowledge and experience. In return, the organization can leverage those new skills and knowledge and hopefully enjoy many more years of the employee's innovative and skilled contributions.
Learn more about best practices for employee development from our Employee development center of excellence.