What is an Employee Development Plan | Benefits and How to Plan

Employee development plans are a well-organised sequence of activities that allow employees to grow in the organisation and contribute to what they are passionate about.

There are lots of benefits of an Employee Development Plan (EDP) in an organisation; these include providing consistent training to employees, identifying strengths and weaknesses of each employee, providing tools for continuous learning, and developing employees for change management roles as well as ensuring that no employees remain static.

Furthermore, it gives a sense of direction and commitment to the employee. An employee development plan also helps the organisation recognise, train, and nurture its leaders. 

This article will discuss the purpose of an employee development plan, and outline some of the steps to thoroughly plan and execute an EDP.

What is an Employee Development Plan?

An employee development plan (EDP) is a program that helps the organisation identify, train, and nurture its leaders. Through training and development in HRM, employees know what they want to become as an individual in the organisation or as an employee.

Employee Development Plans are plans or schemes developed by organisations to support their company’s future by systematically encouraging employees to gain skills and knowledge during their work career.

It also serves as a way for organisations to maintain consistency since it helps them create a standard for employee training, eventually leading them to meet the organisation’s requirements.

Purpose and Importance of Employee Development Plan

An employee development plan (EDP) aims to provide a series of actions, identified by senior management and implemented by the staff, that enable employees to improve their skills and perform better.

Furthermore, the plan should enhance employees’ knowledge and engagement. The EDP must also assist in developing stakeholder relationships and opportunities for employee success.

The importance of an Employee Development Plan is to help organisations determine what their employees want from the workplace and how they can be trained to achieve those development goals for work.

EDPs also help companies identify the strengths, weaknesses, potential for learning, and interests of their workforce to provide a complete picture of their employees’ prospects and strengths.

The Quintessential Elements of EDP

EDP has four main components:

  • Role designation: This element refers to the tasks, procedures, and responsibilities an employee will undertake in their role to accomplish company objectives.
  • Skill requirements: This element reveals the knowledge and experience that an individual will need to stay competitive within their industry.
  • Learning: This element is being updated on changes in job requirements, recent business changes & company direction.
  • Career planning: This element refers to an individual’s ongoing plan and goals for their career.

How to set up an Employee Development Plan?

There are numerous ways in which a company can set up an effective EDP; however, specific steps must be considered before embarking on the development of a plan. Below are some of the factors which can be considered when setting up an EDP.

Step 1: Setting Goals

Setting goals helps define whether the employee wants to advance within the organisation or leave. Goal setting gives employees an indication of what they want to achieve. You should determine the goals of employees that are not aligned with the objectives set by senior management.

If you are planning to provide training for the sake of exercise, then you must set up a specific purpose and make it clear what the employee will be gaining from their learning, and how it will benefit them in the long term.

Step 2: Training Objectives 

These are specific steps that an individual should undertake to acquire new skills and knowledge to help them perform better in their job.

This can include instruction on working more productively, improving communication skills, developing a network of contacts, and identifying future career opportunities.

Step 3: TimeLine

It is essential to have a set time of when the learning should be carried out to achieve maximum effectiveness. It can also be according to the goals set by the organisation and the individual.

Step 4: Tracking and Monitoring 

Tracking an employee’s progress in terms of knowledge, skills, and attitude allows organisations to measure an individual’s performance. This is essential for businesses that need consistency. 

For example, a banking institution might require all employees working with confidential information to achieve regular certifications in confidentiality. All these certifications will give the organisation an idea of the progress and ability to perform better in a position.

Step 5: Management Support 

Management support is vital for an effective EDP since it helps to define whether all training steps have been taken. If they have not, they can use their resources and seek outside assistance that is possible.

Step 6: Communication and Feedback 

This step is crucial to ensure that all employees are adequately informed about the objectives of the EDP and what steps they should undertake to achieve them.

HR departments will also be able to share information on morale and issues within the organisation with other departments.

Step 7: Exit Interviews 

This is a critical step in the EDP. It allows employees to communicate any problems or challenges they might have faced while undergoing training and what they think should be improved.

Two Best Examples of Employee Development Plan Done Right

Employee Development Plan helps an organisation improve its organisational effectiveness through systematic employee planning and development.

It also assists organisations in planning for the future by identifying strong prospects, identifying potential leaders, providing guidance, and coaching them to become leaders who will contribute positively to the organisation’s success.

Below we have two brands that masterfully planned and executed EDPs.

Example 1: Bank of America

Bank of America, one of the largest banks in the world, has established a bank-wide EDP that stresses developing employees to become leaders, managers and owners.

The EDP is focused on providing all employees with opportunities to engage in projects that help them learn and develop new skills that would make them valuable contributors to the organisation.

All employees at Bank of America are trained to be leaders who contribute positively to their customers’ banking experience through their knowledge and skills. Bank of America has a clear understanding of its workforce’s needs, expectations and career goals.

It also continually updates its EDP with changes in both the external environment (i.e., marketplace) and the internal environment (i.e., internal business processes).

Example 2: McKinsey & Company

One of the most established and reputed management consulting firms has also established an EDP.

McKinsey & Company’s goal is to provide innovative leadership training, enrich employee development opportunities and instil a commitment to continuous business knowledge and growth within the organisation.

It also provides mentorship incentives and career progression opportunities. The effectiveness of McKinsey’s EDP was mainly attributed to the achievement of its vision of delivering individual development through engagement, a program which empowers employees with knowledge, skills and confidence that help them make critical contributions in their respective positions.

Employee training and development is critical to the success of an organisation since it helps them identify skills employees need to be competitive in their field of work. It also helps guide employees and makes them aware of their weaknesses and strengths.

Furthermore, through training in HRM, organisations can determine the potential for learning and skills for individual employees and identify strengths that will be beneficial to the development of an organisation.


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