4 Steps to the Perfect Employee Career Development Plan (With Template!)

3 December 2020

4 Steps to the Perfect Employee Career Development Plan (With Template!)

Creating an employee career development plan is a great way to support each of your employees and their career paths. This guest post from Pierce Boylin shows how it can increase employee retention and leave your employees feeling more engaged in your company.

The easiest way to do this is to create a development plan as a template and encourage all managers and supervisors to complete the plan along with their annual employee performance reviews. The two documents go hand in hand. The development plan will show the goals the employee has, and the performance review will show how successful they’ve been in achieving these goals. An employee career development plan can help your company provide individualized training so your employees can improve their skills, be better at their jobs, and meet their goals.

Before you can fill out the document, meet with the employee to find out what they’re looking to get out of their career. The following steps will help you get started in creating an employee development plan.

Step #1 – Evaluation

The first step in creating an employee career development plan is to evaluate the employee’s credentials. This will include looking at the education the employee has completed, the number of years of work experience the employee has thus far including what type work was involved, and the certifications they’ve earned. You may also wish to examine the professional development, volunteer work, and hobbies that the employee is involved in/has been involved in as well.

Step #2 – Aspirations

The next step is discovering where the employee sees themselves down the road, career-wise. For example, they may be interested in becoming a manager or a vice president of the company, or maybe they may want to start their own company in the future. The mentor or human resources manager may be required to ask some questions to help the employee feel at ease in talking about what they would like to do in the future.

Step #3 – Goals

After the main career goal is identified, try breaking it down into smaller goals, both long term and short term in nature. This makes the main goal seem much easier to attain and helps to inspire the employee to meet their goals. You may also want to organize them by type or function. This will show the employee why each step is needed.

Step #4 – Action

Now we can create a plan of action that will help the employee meet their goals. This step will require brainstorming, but it will also rely heavily on the human resources employee’s understanding of career development, professional education, and the qualifications required for various job positions within the company and the industry. For example, the employee may set a goal to become the marketing manager for the company. The human resources manager will help the employee develop a plan of action that will include earning an advanced degree in finance, gaining five more years of work experience, and participating in the company’s management training program.

Employee Career Development Plan Template

Now that you’ve gotten into what the employee wants, you can fill out or the human resources manager can fill out a template for the employee’s development plan. Use the following steps to create a rough outline. Feel free to elaborate on these steps and create a more detailed document to suit your needs.

  1. Type “Employee Career Development Plan” on the first page of the document. Write the employee’s name on a separate line beneath the title or leave the space blank to be filled in.
  2. Add a section for the employee and his supervisor to sign and date the form, indicating their agreement. Be sure to have the executive heading the employee’s department also sign and date the plan.
  3. Include a separate page containing the employee’s job information. Include places for the employee’s current title and title when hired, current department and department when hired and names of all supervisors since the date of hire.
  4. Insert a simple chart identifying training classes offered both onsite and offsite relating to the employee’s goals. Have the supervisor state whether the employee can begin each class immediately or at some future point. It is advisable to include photocopies of any certificates or diplomas earned in a folder attached to the employee’s development plan. Never include originals, these belong to the employee.
  5. Create a chart for “Employee Continuing Education.” Here the employee and the human resources manager can identify college courses needed for a certificate or degree.
  6. Insert another chart for on-the-job activities designed to help the employee learn additional skills or improve current ones. Identify an informal trainer within the company who will help the employee with these activities. Add an area to identify the specific tasks the employee performed and the job skills required for completing the task. If you like, you may create a chart for Professional Development in lieu of “on-the-job” activities. Here, the employee and the human resources manager would list various out-of-work conferences and seminars to be completed.
  7. Finish the employee career development plan with a short paragraph titled “Statement of Employee Participation or Non-Participation.” Require employees to state whether or not they agree with the plan. Have employees sign and date the statement.
About The Author: Pierce Boylin is an author and blogger who studied Business Administration at the University of Manitoba. He often writes about career development, career management, and human resources. His articles can be read all across the web.
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