Over the past few years, HR and business leaders alike have realized the importance of L&D’s evolution to a more ROI-driven department. In other words, there has been a paradigm shift in both L&D’s approach (using analytics to determine ROI) and execution (using technology-enabled solutions) to give employees and organizations a more objective path for success. To do that, companies need to do (D&D) discovery and development. Discovery to identify the relevant gaps and development to make the gaps disappear. Are you ready take your L&D department from a cost-center to one that can justify its ROI? Read on to learn how you can do this by building a well-formulated employee development plan.
A well thought out employee development plan provides a clear direction to your employees on their upskilling and lets them know how they can advance to the next level in their career. What you get in return is a workforce possessing a wider skill set, which are the tools you need to take your business to greater heights. But all of this comes to play when your employee development plan is well thought out of.
As you read further, you’ll find out some basic tips to follow and the logic that governs each one of them to create your perfect employee development plan.
What do you want to achieve for your business?
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, the L&D function has evolved to become ROI-driven rather than a cost center. With business returns in mind, the first step is to look at your business and understand where it is currently and where you want it to be after implementing your employee development plan. Let’s look at some possible business goals that can impact your employee development plan or lead you to create one:
- Expansion: Are you on the verge of a merger or an expansion? You can choose to upskill your existing workforce to be equipped and ready for the new venture as opposed to hiring externally. The cost-saving benefit can be huge and you can save on hiring, training, and probation.
- Market pressures resulting in reducing capacity, resource planning: I know what you’re thinking, “Why would this be a business goal and if so, why would I focus on creating an employee development plan at such a time?” I’m not saying that any business would have an intentional goal to downsize their business but unfortunate situations can happen and you would want your resource to be well-equipped at that point. You might also want to let some of your team members go and retain those that have the skills you need.
- Focus on Efficiency: Looking to increase productivity? Studies linking increased competency proficiencies and productivity are numerous, but more about that later in this article.
Are you or your employees ready?
Before you go ahead and put things on paper, evaluate the readiness and potential of your staff. This is imperative when creating an individual employee development plan. Consider the overall ability of a resource and the desire & personal situation of an employee before asking them to commit to an employee development plan. For example, if an employee’s wedding is planned for the near future, they might not be in the right frame of mind to take on the additional tasks of self-development.
Communication is Key
Every employee has their own career progression plans and they will be motivated most if their development plan is in line with their own career goals.
Hence, it is imperative that you keep your employees in the loop. This will give you a detailed understanding of the skills they want to acquire vs the skills you’re looking for and give you a chance to strike a balance. Another benefit of this step is that many employees today are focused on building their own skills set and have may have already identified certain goals they want to achieve. These can be included and in-tune with your employee development plan. It might also provide insight on which areas they struggle with so these can be addressed in their development plans.
Enlist some basic & necessary competencies
As I said in the last point, every employee’s development path can be different. However, it is beneficial to establish certain basic competencies that each employee would have to work on. These should impact the majority of the employees and should apply to all functions in your business.
So, what are some of these key competencies every employee must possess?
- Emotional Intelligence: It can provide you with acute self-awareness, impact your interpretation of situations and people and build helpful humor. Emotional intelligence makes it easier for you to listen to what other people are saying clearly and without judgment, ensuring clear communication.
- Relationship Building: An important yet underrated and overlooked competency which helps build strong teamwork and camaraderie at your workplace. This is especially critical in times of change, downsizing or even expansion. employee development plan.
- Ability to handle conflicts: Every employee in your company should be a manager in some way. This is necessary especially when there are conflicts among team members or between two managers. Help your team embrace the right way to handle different situations of conflict as this will lead to greater productivity and engagement at the workplace.
- Communication: Have you heard the phrase, “Every employee should be a good salesperson in order for the business to do well”? Well, your employees need to develop good communication skills, to begin with. Sales skills are great, but this skill is nothing if you cannot effectively articulate your thoughts both internally and externally. Communication is essential in all activities, offline and online, over social media, through email and, in-person communication. It’s more than networking. It’s more than customer service.
Set a starting point (Baselining)
To create a future looking employee development plan, you need to evaluate and understand the current of the employees with regards to their skillset. I’m assuming you already carry out a baselining process for your organization, but you haven’t done so, here are some tools to help you identify the strengths and development areas of your employees:
Sproutlogix also has employee baselining capabilities which is conducted through a series of behavioral and technical assessments tailored to the role of each employee. To find out more about the features and the rich analytics that goes behind the platform, get in touch with us by clicking here – https://www.sproutlogix.com/request-demo
Finding the right method to develop your employees
This is the most crucial step of the entire process of formulating an employee development plan. There are various methods to develop your employees but to keep up with advancements in technology, you need to ensure that your company is equipped with the right tools. So, what you need to look for in any software/platform that you buy for your company? As per Josh Bersin, the best learning software for today’s scenario should:
- Present content in a “Netflix-like” interface, with recommendations, panels, mobile interfaces, and AI-driven recommendations
- Accommodate any form of content, including articles, podcasts, blogs, micro-learning, videos, and courses
- Have paths or learning track or trails so you can follow content to a logical learning outcome
- Have some form of assessment
- Be mobile, fun to use, fast and easy to traverse and have great search and embedded learning features
- Incorporate learning to your day-to-day tasks
DeveLoop, the intelligent learning platform by Sproutlogix (Link to the main page for video) offers all of the above to create an Adaptive Learning Experience for your employees using AI, Behavioral Science, and Data Analytics. The platform provides measured results and insights which allows you to align business objectives to your employees’ development while increasing ROI by up to 60% over traditional LMS and any other Learning software. To learn more about, book your personalized demo by clicking here – https://www.sproutlogix.com/request-demo .
Let’s Summarize with Some Final Thoughts
Creating the perfect employee plan is of utmost importance in 2019 to stay relevant. You and your business can reap an immense benefit by incorporating employee development as part of your goals for the year.
Before we finish off, I wanted to give you one last tip which you might already know. Everything you’ve read above is dynamic and is bound to change with situational, structural and other changes in an organization. Continuously updating your employee development plan is vital for sustainability.
Let me know what you thought of the article. Do you have any more tips to add? Comment below. If you found this blog useful, please share it on social media.