Create an Employee Development Program That Works

Providing opportunities and clear directions to your employees to increase their skill sets are one of the best investment a business can make. A  well-thought-out employee development plan provides  them with the opportunities to advance their careers. An expanded skill set helps the business forge ahead.

Making the investment in employee development program has always been a challenge for business leaders. Employees of the organization offering employee development program feel appreciated and valued producing more quality work.  Employees’ growth  – professionally and personally contribute to organizations growth in the long run.

Align with business goals

Before the objectives of employee development program is set, it is imperative to understand business goals. Align employee’s objectives with companies need through employee development program. Failing to do so, leads to failing of efforts.

Long-term and short-term goals are the starting point. This would help in identifying the required skills, knowledge, and competencies required by an employee to play a part in achieving these goals.

Start by considering what your long and short-term business objectives are. Then identify the necessary skills, knowledge and competencies that support those objectives. Developing an employee development plan to bridge the gap between current and needed skill sets is of great value to the business.

To start with, gauges if  internal candidates can be developed or not which can save time and money. This can also help in retaining the top talent.

An open conversation with employees

It is not only about business goals. Everyone has their personal goals and ambitions. Have an open conversation with your employees to understand their goals.

Stop assuming their desired skill sets and career aspirations. A conversation can help in understanding how they think they can contribute to the larger picture. Knowing their challenges and struggles will play an important role in designing a right employee development program.

What skills your employees need

Once employees’ needs and aspirations are in sync with company’s goals, it isn’t the time to develops employee development program. This program should include all the skills required and an approach to measure the performance in timely and specific manner.

Work on an action plan

It is said ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail.’. Hence, it is important for any business to make an action plan for its employee development program to work.

A right program consists of formal training, reading, working directly with subject matter experts, one-on-one coaching and mentoring, and visits to institutions that offer specific development opportunities.

No action can be taken if there is no schedule with the plan. This would enable employees to move forward and achieve the goals.

Application of new skills to work

As soon as employees acquire new skill set, put it in use. This would help them in applying their knowledge and sharpen their skills. If they fail to implement it when the knowledge is freshly acquired, then they are most likely to lose it. This is the most important and often neglected part of an employee development program.


An employee development program will help you make your workforce more effective, efficient, and knowledgeable. With increase satisfaction, employees will be more engaged. And happy employees make happy workplaces.