10 Best Employee Development Plan Examples

June 26, 2024
Skills Caravan
Learning Experience Platform
June 26, 2024
, updated  
June 26, 2024

10 Best Employee Development Plan Examples

An employee development plan helps your staff grow their talents for new jobs within your organization while also helping them gain new skills for their existing position.

Businesses that put a high priority on employee development through comprehensive learning and development initiatives benefit from higher worker engagement, higher productivity, and a workforce that is more flexible.

This blog post will explain the various kinds of employee development plans and provide you with 10 sample plans that you can utilize as ideas for your own. 

What is an employee development plan?

An employee development plan assists staff members in enhancing their knowledge and abilities for both current and upcoming responsibilities within the company.

HR managers, with the assistance of their line managers, establish employee development plans, which are dynamic documents that provide specific, doable stages for personal development. They make certain that workers are improving their performance at work and have growth and career goals. 

Employee development plans assist in meeting workforce objectives, enhancing vital skills, and retaining employees from an organizational standpoint.

The demands and objectives of the organization as well as the employee must be taken into account when creating an employee development plan. Accountability and openness for the staff member, HR department, and management are guaranteed when a professional development plan is documented.

Personal development plans, which are typically owned by the individual employee and are frequently more focused on personal goals than job ones, should not be mistaken with employee development plans.

Why is an Employee Development Plan important?

Employee development plans are crucial as they empower employees to leverage their strengths and acquire new skills, thereby enhancing their performance and benefiting the business. Such initiatives also attract top talent, boost retention rates, and elevate engagement levels. Here are six key reasons highlighting their importance:

  • Career Advancement: Development plans offer clear pathways for career growth, enabling individuals to acquire new skills and progress to higher roles.
  • Retention Boost: Companies can improve retention rates by demonstrating a commitment to employee growth, encouraging them to stay long-term.
  • Maximized Potential: Well-structured plans help employees realize their full capabilities, maximizing their potential.
  • Investment in Staff: Investing in learning and development signals that employees are valued, leading to longer tenures and reduced turnover.
  • Productivity Enhancement: Training courses enhance productivity by equipping employees with up-to-date skills and knowledge.
  • Increased Profitability: Businesses prioritizing employee growth often experience improved profitability due to a more skilled and engaged workforce contributing to better outcomes.

10 Employee Development Plan Examples 

#1. Employee-Chosen Skill Development Plan

Employees often acknowledge the need for skill enhancement to excel in their roles. Managers can facilitate this process by devising a development plan tailored to the individual's desired skills.

Creating a Development Plan for Employee-Chosen Skills:

  • Use an online or printed worksheet for basic employee details.
  • List required skills and assess proficiency.
  • Select up to three skills for improvement.
  • Develop a training plan, including in-house resources and coaching.
  • Encourage setting target completion dates for each skill.

Considerations for Developing Employee-Chosen Skills:

  • Provide honest feedback while maintaining motivation.
  • Focus on areas with the most potential for improvement.
  • Limit the selection to three skills or fewer to ensure effectiveness.
  • Emphasize the importance of practice through real-life projects or tasks.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Improved proficiency in targeted skills and overall performance.
  • Potential for career advancement or role transition within the organization.
  • Flexibility to adapt development plans based on changing goals or aspirations.

#2. Leadership Skills Development Plan

Despite the importance of leadership training, a significant number of managers lack it. Creating an employee development plan tailored to leadership skills is crucial.

Creating a Leadership Development Plan:

  • Identify essential leadership skills such as performance management, communication, conflict resolution, etc.
  • Encourage employees to select skills to focus on.
  • Utilize various learning methods like coaching, role-playing, and shadowing.

Considerations for Leadership Development Plans:

  • Leadership skills often require practical application rather than traditional learning methods.
  • Shadowing, interviewing, and practicing are crucial for skill development.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Enhanced leadership skills and stronger abilities.
  • Insight into individual strengths and career preferences.

#3. Career Development Plan

Employees aiming for new roles within the organization often require skill development assistance. Managers can aid them by crafting tailored career development plans aligned with their ambitions.

Creating a Career Development Plan:

  • Identify core skills for the target position.
  • Assess team members' proficiencies.
  • Focus on up to three key skills.
  • Develop action steps for skill acquisition.
  • Facilitate indirect role experience (e.g., job shadowing, informational interviews).

Considerations in Career Development Plans

  • Assess both skill requirements and job fit.
  • Provide opportunities for role exploration.
  • Address both hard and soft skill development.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Successful skill acquisition and role transition.
  • Informed career redirection if necessary for employee fulfillment.

#4. Employee development based plan on team objectives

Employee development aligned with team objectives focuses on team-specific goals within the broader organizational framework. It resembles skill gap development on a smaller scale, overseen by the team or department manager.

Creating an Employee Development Plan Based on Team Objectives

  • Team managers understand team goals and performance expectations.
  • Identify areas where the team needs improvement.
  • Assess team members' skills related to these objectives.
  • Develop tailored employee development plans to enhance skills and team performance.

Considerations for Team Objective Skill Development Plans

  • Effective communication with team members is crucial.
  • Foster a culture of continuous learning and growth.
  • Ensure each team member understands the significance of their skills in contributing to team success.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Improvement in crucial areas of team performance.
  • Enhanced overall team performance contributing to organizational success.

#5. Skill Gap-Focused Development Plan

These plans target specific skills required by the organization, rather than those chosen by employees. With 87% of companies acknowledging skill gaps, it's crucial to address these deficiencies through focused employee development plans.

Creating a Skill Gap Employee Development Plan:

  • Identify organizational skill gaps by assessing current and future needs.
  • Evaluate departments to pinpoint areas lacking necessary skills.
  • Managers develop tailored plans to enhance team skills in identified areas.

Factors to Consider:

  • Align skill development with organizational needs.
  • Educate employees on the importance of targeted skills.
  • Increase buy-in by explaining the benefits of skill development.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Ensure teams possess the requisite skills for addressing market changes.
  • Foster agility, innovation, and profitability.
  • Maintain ongoing skill development to keep pace with evolving demands and foster a culture of learning.

#6. Leadership Skills Development Plan

Employee development plans are crucial for leaders, yet surprisingly, many have not received leadership training.

Creating a Leadership Development Plan

Leadership roles emphasize soft skills like communication and motivation, making their development more complex.

  • Identify key leadership skills.
  • Assess proficiency levels.
  • Focus on vital skills like performance management, coaching, conflict resolution, and teamwork.
  • Utilize various learning methods such as coaching and role-playing.

Considerations for Leadership Development Plans:

Leadership development differs from traditional learning methods as it requires practical application and relational skills development.

  • Incorporate shadowing, interviews, and practice scenarios.
  • Emphasize hands-on experience alongside reading and eLearning.

Expected Outcomes:

The goal is to enhance leadership skills and capabilities. Alternatively, employees may realize their strengths lie elsewhere, leading to role adjustments based on skills and interests.

#7. Succession Planning Development Plan

Succession planning is crucial for organizations, with many struggling to cultivate effective leaders. A succession planning development plan identifies high-potential leaders and prepares them for higher roles.

Creating a Succession Plan Development Plan:

Focus on teaching leadership skills and preparing employees for elevated roles. Assess potential leaders on key skills like communication and conflict resolution. Expose them to various projects and departments for a holistic understanding of the organization.

Considerations for Succession Development Plans:

Address biases in promotion decisions. Provide specific and actionable feedback.

Expected Outcomes:

Empower mid-level leaders to transition to higher roles. Foster career growth and retention of top talent.

#8. Cross-functional employee development plan

Cross-functional employee development exposes employees to various departments and roles, fostering a comprehensive understanding of the organization.

Creating a Cross-functional Employee Development Plan:

  • Coordinate with other departments and leaders.
  • Arrange opportunities like short-term rotations, project participation, brainstorming sessions, job shadowing, and mentorship.
  • Utilize assessments or reports to gauge learning and application.

Considerations for Cross-functional Development Plans:

  • Challenge in evaluating progress.
  • Ensure specific and actionable feedback.
  • Incorporate employee feedback for improvement.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Enhanced organizational perspective and skill set.
  • Preparation for leadership roles.
  • Exploration of diverse career paths within the company.

#9. Development plan to discover a career goal

Managers often encounter team members who require clarity on their career aspirations. However, this doesn't hinder the creation of employee development plans; it merely shifts the focus to exploration.

Creating a Career Goal Discovery Plan:

This type of growth plan aims to guide employees in understanding their career options and uncovering their strengths. Start with self-discovery assessments like Clifton StrengthsFinder and emotional intelligence tests. Then, facilitate actions such as meetings with managers in other departments and job shadowing.

Considerations for Creating a Career Direction Plan:

Maintain focus on the end goal of choosing a career path within the organization. Set specific deadlines for assessments and conduct follow-up meetings to assess fit.

Expected Outcome:

The desired outcome is for team members to select a career path within the organization and work towards it. Once a goal is chosen, the appropriate development plan can be implemented to support their journey.

#10. Job Enrichment Development Plan

This plan aims to re-energize and inspire employees seeking greater involvement in their roles. By adding depth and significance to existing positions, job enrichment enhances employee retention and commitment.

Creating an Enrichment Plan:

  • Understand employees' preferences and pain points.
  • Align team objectives with organizational goals.
  • Collaborate on changes to enhance motivation and purpose.

Considerations for Development Plan:

  • Outline steps for job enrichment.
  • Ensure enrichment is intentional and purposeful.
  • Focus on motivating employees and improving job satisfaction.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Increased employee engagement and morale.
  • Reduced turnover rates.
  • Enhanced job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Employee development plan templates

#1. Basic Template

Employee development plan template
Employee development plan template

#2. Skills Gap Template

Skills Gap Template
Skills Gap Template

#3. Time Based Template

Time Based Template
Time Based Template

#4. Performance based template

Performance based template
Performance based template

Employee development plans play a critical role in developing talent and promoting organizational progress. These programs help employees develop their abilities for both present and future positions, and they also raise employee engagement, boost productivity, and create a more flexible workforce. Businesses show their dedication to developing talent by placing a high priority on staff development. This attracts top performers and increases retention rates. 

Employee Development Plan FAQs

A: An employee development plan is a dynamic document designed to help staff members enhance their skills and knowledge for both current and future roles within the organization.

A: Employee development plans are crucial as they empower employees to leverage their strengths, acquire new skills, enhance performance, boost engagement, and contribute to organizational success.

A: Employee development plans are typically established by HR managers in collaboration with line managers. These plans provide clear, achievable stages for personal growth and career advancement.

A: Employee development plans assist in meeting workforce objectives, enhancing vital skills, retaining talent, and fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth within the organization.

A: Employee-chosen skill development plans involve employees selecting desired skills for improvement. Managers then devise tailored plans, including training and coaching, to help employees acquire those skills.

A: A leadership skills development plan typically includes identifying essential leadership skills, assessing proficiency levels, and utilizing various learning methods such as coaching, role-playing, and shadowing.

A: A career development plan helps employees aiming for new roles by identifying core skills required for the target position, developing action steps for skill acquisition, and providing opportunities for role exploration.

A: A succession planning development plan focuses on identifying high-potential leaders within the organization and preparing them for elevated roles through leadership training, exposure to various projects, and feedback mechanisms.

A: A cross-functional employee development plan exposes employees to various departments and roles within the organization, fostering a comprehensive understanding and skill set.

A: A job enrichment development plan aims to re-energize and inspire employees by adding depth and significance to their existing roles, leading to increased engagement, reduced turnover, and enhanced job satisfaction.