An employee development plan refers to the entire sequence of concurrent activities, initiatives and programs that an organization is involved with to maintain, improve and enhance the skills, capabilities and performance levels of its workforce and other staff members. An employee development plan has to be fluid enough to adapt to changing business scenarios, crisis situations and overall growth plans. The human resources (HR) department or team is responsible for developing an employee development plan and executing all the tasks and responsibilities related to its implementation and success.
HR-Defined Road Map
The HR department devises the strategic blueprint and workable road map of an employee development plan. The plan comprises all the training programs, workforce development initiatives, other HR-centric processes needed to ensure seamless alignment with well-defined corporate strategic objectives and long-term goals. Top management executives also provide much-needed key inputs about organizational vision, growth projection, budget allocation and employee requirements.
The HR team members collaborate and co-ordinate with functional and other business unit heads to devise specific training programs, discuss the modalities about schedules, choice of trainers and educators to ensure seamless functioning and roll out of any employee development plan. They decide on the delivery methods of training, use of relevant technologies and tools and account for the special needs of remote location employees.
The key to the success of any employee development plan is to ensure a continuous process of skills' development of employees and ensure enthusiastic employee buy-in into the plan. HR plays a key role in motivating employees about the need to acquire a sharp learning temperament, stay competitive, develop teamwork and sound work ethics, and help meet organizational targets. Feedback forms and mechanisms are set in place to encourage a bi-directional flow of information between the employees and HR teams and keep employees involved at all times.
An organization has to be flexible enough to acknowledge that tapping into industry best practices and an external knowledge pool can help in raising the bar of its in-house employee development plan. HR has to be cued into industry-leading cutting-edge training and development methodologies and frameworks that can supplement its core employee development initiatives. Whenever needed, the HR team should seek the services of management consultants, reputed training managers and leadership coaches to give holistic organizational perspectives and marketplace insights to employees.
All organizations have to weave measurable goals into their employee development plans. Metrics are established to track the success parameters of all programs and initiatives. The endeavor is to ensure quick adoption of new technology skills, fast-track induction of new employees and trainees, and significant improvement in performance of experienced employees. Sustained employee performance and organizational productivity are the main goals of employee development plans.
Based out of the metropolitan Washington D.C. area, Pallab Dutta has written on business, technology and management issues since 1994. He has freelanced for “The Wall Street Journal," “The Economic Times” and “The Times of India." Dutta holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from Bombay University and a Diploma in modern information systems from IIT Bombay.