December 12, 2019
Training and Development 21 August 2017
Employee Development Plans
Isabella A
employee development

An employee development plan provides your employees with a clear path on how they can advance in their careers and how to hone certain skills that will drive them towards success. If employees see that career goals are attainable and are provided a vision on how to attain them, they will be more incentivized to stay in the company to pursue those goals. 

By establishing a great employee development plan, you will see increased motivation among your employees, higher employee retention rates, and superior work being accomplished in the workplace. Here are a few steps to establishing a good plan:

Evaluate Your Company

The first thing you should do is evaluate your company needs. Consider what your objectives might be, both long-term and short-term. What direction do you see your company going? What is necessary to meet those objectives?

For example, if you find that your company will need more leaders as your company grows, you can start by evaluating what skills those future leaders will need

Having a clear understanding of current roles in your company and gaps that will need to be filled is an important start in determining the purpose of your employee development plans. Know what is needed for the overall success and goals of the company.

Evaluate Your Employees

Next, you can look at your current employees and see who has the best capability for those particular roles. By understanding your needs and narrowing down candidates, you can begin preparing these employees and molding them into their potential future role. 

Determine what skills they currently have and what skills they need to obtain. Also, be sure to evaluate your employees' potential and readiness for the development process. This ensures that you can focus time and resources in developing employees who are receptive and can fit well in new roles within the company. 

Once you know have evaluated your employees, the next step is to begin creating or searching for proper training programs to help them develop those skillsets and abilities. These training programs will form the core of your employee development plans. Trainings may take various forms ranging from old school classroom instruction to modern digital curriculum. The type of training may differ depending on the nature of skills being imparted.


Before your employee begins these development plans, it's a good idea to sit down and formally communicate to them the purpose and significance of the plan. Help them understand how it will benefit them and the company.

Consistent communication with your employees throughout the course of the development plan is the best way to determine what they need in order to thrive in the workplace. Ask them what direction they would like to see themselves going. Talk to them about their struggles, their strengths, and their performance. This feedback will allow you to build a relationship with your employees and inspire them to produce their best work. 

In addition, communicating with your employees will enable you to determine what certain employees can offer and how they can be most beneficial to the company. You can then create different game plans and tactically develop these employees overtime so that they are able to evolve into future leaders.

Set Realistic and Meaningful Timelines

Provide your employees with milestones within a set timeframe. Having these milestones in a tangible timeline will inspire employees to attain those particular milestones. These milestones should be filled with meaningful goals. There are different types of goals and objectives you should have your employees strive towards, but the overall purpose of these short and long-term goals should ultimately lead to further development of your employees. 

Communicate with your employees and their superiors in order to determine the most effective and feasible milestones for certain employees. These milestones should enable your employee to develop both soft skills and technical skills related to their job. This, in turn, will push these employees to become meaningful contributors and future leaders of your company. Be transparent with these timelines and milestones. Having them visible will motivate employees to track and take control of their individual progress.

Use Prosky

We like to think that ProSky is an awesome resource! Our platform allows you to create action plans with specific milestones for your employees to meet. You can include items such as training programs, team projects, individual challenges, goals, mentoring, and much more.  By using ProSky, you will cut the costs and time spent on recruiting and training externally. 

In addition, having a clear path set in front of your employees will allow you to retain talent. Not only will you see retention rates increase, you will see substantial growth and increased productivity due to the new skills employees will acquire through accomplishing their milestones. Most importantly, by developing employees, enabling them to taste progress within your company, and helping them gain a vision of growth and success, your company will, in turn, flourish from the results. 

Isabella Ang is a content marketing specialist at ProSky, a company that gives you the ability to innovatively evaluate candidates and develop employees through succession pathways, so you can recruit, hire, and retain the best diverse talent & culture fit. When she's not working on her next or ongoing projects for ProSky; she spends her days rock climbing, practicing yoga, completing her degree in Computer Science, and tutoring writing skills.