ongoing employee development

Employee development plans help staff to acquire new skills for their current job while also developing their abilities for other roles that might arise within your company, such as more senior positions. It can also boost employee retention, something many companies face issues with. 

With the cost to replace employees anywhere from six to nine months’ salary, in addition to the costs to advertise for new staff, it’s important for businesses to invest in ongoing employee development. With these tips, you can build an effective training plan that will benefit your staff and your business for the long-term. 

Carry out a skills gap analysis

Before you can create an employee development plan, you need to assess where employees need to upskill. This will help you determine the skills that are missing and also which members of the team need training first, such as digital training for people who struggle with digital literacy. If there’s a direction you want your business to move into but you don’t have the team to scale up, assessing the skills necessary to do so is vital. Make sure that you put the organisational goals of the business at the heart of this analysis, as well as the goals and ambitions of your staff, so that both the company and employees benefit from the training that you provide. 

Match the method to the topic

Once you’ve worked out the employees who need training first and which skills they require, you can start looking at the delivery method of the materials. This is a crucial step in designing an effective training plan, as sometimes a digital approach is best while other types of training are best delivered in-person for a more hands-on approach. 

For example, business mentoring can be advantageous for staff members keen to develop leadership or management skills, helping them to develop their personal career goals by learning from someone with first-hand experience. Problem-solving skills or team-based training, on the other hand, can be more effective as instructor-led training, while remote employees will benefit from eLearning to enable them to learn at their own pace and from any location.

Note feedback for informed decisions

Having a training plan in place is one thing, but how do you progress if you don’t know how well it’s working? A key step in ongoing employee development is taking stock of how the training is going so you can remedy any issues or difficulties you or your team come up against. Schedule in regular meetings with your staff to get their feedback on their training, what they think is working and what they think could be improved upon so you can highlight any obstacles that employees are facing. 

Perhaps the individual can’t find enough time in the week to make sufficient progress or maybe they’re finding interruptions from projects or colleagues are slowing up their learning. In this situation, scheduling in time for training that gives them the opportunity to focus can help. This type of information and feedback is crucial in making sure employees get the most out of their training plan, both in the present but also for future team members too. 

Reassess and improve over time

Employee training and development plans aren’t static – they will undoubtedly need to be improved and adjusted over time, to meet new business objectives or individual staff needs. 

Many companies may start out with productivity-based goals or finding ways to improve on company efficiency or engagement, but as time goes on, you may find that more specific, tailored training is needed to scale your company. Make time to regularly reassess the training plans you have in place so that you can ensure they’re consistently aligned with the organisational targets and the existing team you have. 

Final thoughts

Engaged employees are far more likely to be happy in their job and stay working for your company for longer, which is great news for businesses. They’ll be motivated to reach their own career goals, as well as helping the company grow too. So, it stands to reason that an effective employee development plan will produce positive results for all involved. 

The training you provide as a business needs to meet their needs as well as the company’s, as people are less likely to fully invest in something that they don’t feel is helping them build their career. By assessing the skills needed, noting which employees are best suited to which type of training and taking note of feedback and criticism, you can ensure that the training plans you deliver are as effective as possible. 

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