How To Create a Development Plan for Employees with Examples

Create An Employee Development Plan with These Examples & Templates

Employee Development Plans (EDPs) are more than just an HR buzzword; they are strategic roadmaps for personal growth and career advancement. These plans, which encompass training, mentorship, and clear goals, are crucial for building a workforce of motivated and skilled employees. They align individual career aspirations with company objectives, fostering a culture of continuous learning and adaptability.

With companies reporting a 24% higher profit margin and improved employee retention due to these plans, EDPs are critical drivers of personal and organizational success. Let’s delve into how to develop EDPs and how they benefit the professional landscape.

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Types of Employee Development Plans

Let’s next look at the diverse types of Employee Development Plans, each uniquely crafted to cater to different facets of professional advancement. Each type of plan is a distinct journey, yet they all share a common goal: propelling professionals toward their peak potential.

Professional Development Plans: These are the power tools for skill sharpening. Tailored to boost professional efficiency, they focus on enhancing specific competencies. Imagine a plan transforming an average coder into a programming wizard or an everyday salesperson into a persuasive communicator. These plans are about acquiring and refining skills that make you great.

Career Development Plans: Here’s where the horizon broadens. Think of these as your GPS, guiding you through various pathways, from promotions within your current organization to exciting opportunities elsewhere. It’s all about carving out a path to your ultimate career destination.

Leadership Development Plans: These are the crucibles for employees poised to take on managerial roles by cultivating leadership qualities. From decision-making prowess to inspiring teams, these plans mold professionals into leaders who don’t just manage teams but empower them.

Who Should Be Involved in Creating Employee Development Plans?

In the intricate process of crafting Employee Development Plans, the roles of managers are indispensable. Managers act as insightful guides in this journey. With their close understanding of team dynamics and individual performances, managers can pinpoint specific development needs and skills gaps. Their insights ensure that EDPs enhance employees’ unique skill sets and potential.

Managers ensure these development plans align with the organization’s broader strategic objectives and culture. They make sure that while EDPs concentrate on individual growth, they also play a significant role in fulfilling the company’s overall goals. This alignment between strategy and employee development is crucial, transforming personal growth into an essential element of the organization’s success.

Creating an Effective Employee Development Plan

Crafting an effective Employee Development Plan involves aligning an employee’s career goals with the company’s strategic objectives. It starts with thoroughly understanding business goals and identifying the essential skills required for its progress.

However, an EDP is more than just fulfilling business requirements; it’s about aligning the company’s vision with the personal career ambitions of its employees. It involves creating a plan that finds a middle ground between the company’s needs and the employee’s goals, forming a mutually beneficial partnership. This alignment isn’t just practical; it’s also motivational, linking the individual’s development directly to the company’s success.

Identifying the right resources for the employee’s development is a crucial component of a plan, pinpointing specific training, tools, and experiences that connect current skills with future aspirations. Whether through online courses or hands-on training, each resource must meet the outlined goals effectively.

Central to the EDP is a clear and detailed action plan. This plan is a roadmap outlining the journey towards achieving these goals. It includes specific timelines, milestones, and expected results, presented in a way that is both clear and measurable. This plan guides the employee, showing a clear route to personal achievement while contributing to the company’s broader objectives.

Steps to Create and Implement an Employee Development Plan

Step 1: Analyzing Employee Skills and Setting Goals

The first step involves thoroughly analyzing the employee’s current skill set. This assessment helps set specific, achievable goals that form the core of the development plan.

Step 2: Sourcing Experts and Involving Managers

It’s vital to involve experts in specialized training and incorporate managers’ insights. This collaboration ensures that the EDP covers all necessary areas for comprehensive employee development.

Step 3. Evaluating Employee Progress and Development Opportunities

Regularly assessing the employee’s progress against the set goals is crucial. This ongoing evaluation allows for timely adjustments to the plan, ensuring it remains relevant and effective in meeting the employee’s and the organization’s evolving needs.

Step 4. Utilizing Employee Development Platforms

In today’s digital age, leveraging technology and online platforms can significantly enhance the learning experience. These tools offer structured and efficient learning pathways and enable effective employee progress tracking.

Benefits of Employee Development Plans

Increasing Organizational Flexibility:

Employee Development Plans are vital in boosting an organization’s agility. Arming employees with various skills is crucial in a rapidly shifting business environment. This flexibility is essential for managing market shifts and seizing new chances. EDPs ensure employees are equipped and adaptable, poised to tackle the challenges of a constantly changing landscape.

Fostering a Learning Culture

EDPs are crucial in fostering a workplace culture that values continuous learning and development. This environment not only elevates employee morale but also fuels innovation and creative approaches to problem-solving. Microlearning, a component of modern Employee Development Plans, has been shown to improve long-term retention by up to 80%, making it a valuable tool in nurturing a culture deeply committed to learning.

Improving Performance and Output

When you invest in your employees’ development, it results in improved performance and higher-quality output. A study has shown that companies investing in development witnessed a 24% increase in productivity, a testament to the value of EDPs in improving organizational output.​

Retaining Current Employees and Attracting New Talent

EDPs play a vital role in keeping and attracting employees. A staggering 94% of employees would stay longer at a company that invests in their development, underlining the importance of Employee Development Plans in retaining talent. Additionally, offering development opportunities makes an organization more attractive to prospective employees, aiding in talent acquisition.

Nurturing Potential Leaders:

Employee Development Plans also focus on preparing future leaders. Organizations can cultivate a pipeline of skilled individuals ready for managerial and executive roles by providing opportunities for leadership development. This aspect of EDPs is crucial for long-term organizational stability and growth.

Employee Development Plan Templates and Examples

A diverse range of templates and development plans for employees examples are available, each uniquely tailored to meet various needs and goals. Let’s examine a few:


Basic Employee Development Template

This template from Indeed is a straightforward and versatile choice, ideal for various roles and industries. It offers a customizable, general framework to suit the specific development needs of any employee.

Employee Development Plan Template for Company Growth

Tailored to align employee growth with organizational expansion, this template from Slideteam is perfect for those looking to integrate individual development with broader company objectives.

Career Development Plan Template with Comments

Featuring guidance and manager notes, this template from Lumenlearning is designed for personalized growth, providing a comprehensive approach to individual career development.

Skill-Based Development Plan Template

Focused on enhancing specific job-related skills, this template from Devskiller is ideal for employees looking to develop particular competencies, technical skills, or expertise in their field.

Side-by-Side Development Plan Template

This unique template from Smartinsights allows for a balanced view, comparing and aligning individual goals with the company’s objectives, fostering a harmonious approach to development.

Professional Development Plan Template

Structured for professional growth and skill advancement, this template from the University of Wisconsin is suitable for those seeking to deepen their professional competencies and expertise.

Employee Development Plan Example Based on Skill Gaps

This plan organizes the employee development process by identifying skill gaps and aligning them with targeted actions. Here’s an example:

Identified Skill GapLack of advanced technical skills in software development.
ActionsEnroll in an advanced software development course that specializes in specific technology within the next 2 months.Complete a hands-on project as part of the course to apply new skills in a practical context.
ResourcesEnrollment in a relevant course. Access to online resources and forums for additional learning and community support.
Review and FeedbackMonthly check-ins with a technical mentor to discuss progress, challenges, and application of new skills.Mid-course assessment to evaluate understanding and practical application of the learned material.Final evaluation at the end of 6 months, including a review of the hands-on project, to assess overall enhancement of technical skills and readiness to apply them in the workplace.

Employee Development Plan Example Based on Time Frame

When based on a time frame, an Employee Development Plan sets certain goals to achieve within a specific period. Here’s an example:

Short-Term Objective (6 months)Improve client relationship management skills.
Medium-Term Objective (1 year)Lead a medium-scale project successfully.
ActionsAttend a workshop on advanced client communication within the next 3 months.Shadow a project manager on a current project to gain insights.
ResourcesEnrollment in a relevant workshop. Assignment to an ongoing project under a senior manager.
Review and FeedbackBi-monthly review meetings with a mentor to discuss progress. Evaluation at the end of 6 months and 1 year to assess skill application and project leadership success.

Employee Development Plan Example Based on Objectives

An Employee Development Plan based on objectives focuses on achieving specific, predetermined goals, such as increased sales. This plan might look like this:

Goal/ObjectiveIncrease sales by 20% in the next fiscal year.
ActionsAttend advanced sales training workshops. Participate in weekly mentoring sessions with a top sales performer.
ResourcesBudget allocation for external training programs. Access to sales performance analytics tools for skill application.
TimelineComplete training in 4 months. Achieve incremental sales targets quarterly.
Review and FeedbackMonthly sales performance reviews. Quarterly assessment with the sales manager to discuss progress and strategy adjustments.

Employee Development Plan Example Based on Performance

An Employee Development Plan based on performance typically focuses on enhancing an employee’s strengths and addressing areas of improvement. The plan may look like this:

Areas of ImprovementEnhance public speaking skills. Maintain excellence in project management.
ActionsEnroll in a public speaking workshop. Lead a small team project to continue honing project management skills.
ResourcesAccess to a public speaking course. Mentorship from a senior project manager.
TimelineComplete public speaking course in 3 months. Lead a project in the next 6 months.
Review and FeedbackMonthly check-ins with the supervisor. After-course presentation to evaluate public speaking skills.

Employee Development Plan FAQs

Q: What Should I Write in My Employee Development Plan?

  • Specific Career Goals: Outline clear, achievable career objectives you want to reach.
  • Skills to Develop: Identify the skills you need to achieve these goals, whether technical, leadership, or soft skills.
  • Required Resources: Detail what you need, such as training programs, mentorship, or time for self-study.
  • Action Plan: Develop a step-by-step plan with specific actions, timelines, and milestones.

Q: How Do You Write a Good Development Plan?

To write an effective development plan for specific industries or career paths, begin by understanding the unique requirements of the target industry or career path and integrate specific knowledge, tools, and methodologies into the plan. Encourage participation in industry events and networks for better networking opportunities. Include mentorship with industry experts for guidance. Offer cross-training in various departments to align with career goals. Ensure access to specialized resources like journals and courses. Lastly, set relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) aligned with industry benchmarks to measure progress effectively.

Q: What Is a Development Goal Example?

An example goal might be acquiring proficiency in new software that’s becoming standard in your industry, aiming to achieve this within six months. This goal is specific, measurable, and time-bound.

Q: Tips for Creating an Effective Employee Development Plan

In implementing employee development plans, remember to:

  • Be flexible and adaptable.
  • Foster collaboration between employees and supervisors.
  • Take a holistic approach, covering technical, soft skills, and personal growth.
  • Ensure regular follow-up and feedback.
  • Allocate the necessary resources for support.
  • Recognize achievements to motivate.
  • Emphasize a culture of continuous learning.


Employee Development Plans are crucial for today’s businesses, serving as a strategic tool to enhance employee skills and align them with organizational goals. They reflect a company’s commitment to its workforce, promoting a culture of continuous improvement and a positive work environment. EDPs are investments in a company’s most valuable asset—its people—fueling innovation, productivity, and overall success. Their significance in the modern business world is paramount.

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