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8 FREE Employee Development Plan Templates – 2024

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Creating an employee development plan template is one of the most important things a leader can do in order to retain their employees. Anyone who has ever led a team or managed an organization can tell you that retaining employees is far cheaper than replacing employees.

If, however, you are aiming to retain an employee, then you better be investing in their growth and there is no better way to map out an employee’s growth and career advancement than a good old-fashioned development plan.

Investing in the growth and development of your team members is a surefire way to increase your retention rates. In fact, employee development and training opportunities can be seen as some of the most important employee retention metrics you can track. Yet as is the case with any aspect of managing performance, you need a plan!

In the same way, you would need a proper employee engagement action plan to boost employee engagement, you will need a development plan for employees if you want to invest in employee growth and development.

We here at Teamflect are massive believers in organizations investing in employee development. That is the exact reason almost all of the performance review templates in our performance review template gallery have career development plans at the end.

While creating your own employee development plan could be fun, we know that the leader on the go might not have the time for that.

So we scoured the world wide web, put on our thinking caps, had long and hard discussions with our team, and not only put together some of the best free employee development plant templates online as well as creating some brand new ones just for you!

Integrate your employee development process into your everyday operations!

Employee development plans can feel a lot like abandoned New Year resolutions after a while. To make sure you don’t run into that issue, you need to use a performance management solution that lets you create development plans inside your main communication platform. For Microsoft Teams users, that option is Teamflect!

You can try Teamflect for absolutely free and without having to sign-up, inside Microsoft Teams. No time or feature limitations whatsoever.

Manage performance inside Microsoft Teams
No sign-up required.
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What is an employee development plan? + How do you write an employee development plan?

If you are here then there is a strong chance that you know what an employee development plan is. Just for the sake of maintaining a coherent article, however, let us discuss the proper definition of an employee development plan, as well as all the different components that go into creating a great sample employee development plan template.

So what exactly is an employee development plan? Well, an employee development plan is like a roadmap for your professional growth within a company.

It’s a strategic plan designed to help you expand your skills, boost your knowledge, and unleash your full potential. If you were a secret agent, your employee development plan would be your “Guy in the chair.”, helping you through your mission.

Now, you may be wondering why you need a plan when you’re already awesome at what you do. First of all, we love your confidence. It is a great look on you.

But there is always room for improvement. James Bond has “Q”, Batman has Alfred, and you have your employee development plan. Now isn’t that an exquisite crowd to be a part of?

How to create an employee development plan template?

The free career development plan examples we have below are perfectly fine but what if you want to create your own sample employee development plan template? You can! All you have to do is to make sure your employee development plan template includes the following:

1. Self-Assessment

You need to start by taking stock of your current skills, knowledge, and abilities. What are you great at? What areas could use a little sprucing up? It’s time for some soul-searching, my friend. Think of it as a quest to unlock your hidden talents.

2. Goal Setting

Once you have a clear picture of where you stand, it’s time to set some goals. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to become a master of spreadsheets? Or perhaps you’re aiming to become the office’s resident coding genius? Dream big, and let your ambitions soar higher than an eagle wearing rocket boots.

3. Action Plan

With your goals in sight, it’s time to plan your attack. Break down your goals into smaller, manageable steps. Do you need to attend workshops, take online courses, or participate in mentoring programs?

Maybe you need to wrangle a wise old sage to teach you the ways of the Jedi. Whatever it takes, outline the actions you’ll take to achieve greatness.

8 Employee Development Plan Templates

1. Employee Development Plan Template 1:

employee development plan template

Not all employee development plans need rigid boxes to be checked and bleak designs. What we adore about this free employee development plan template pdf is the fact that every single section of this template is completely open-ended.

This allows the individual completing the template to have complete freedom in how they wish to map out their development plans.

2. Employee Development Plan Template 2:

employee development plan template

Sampletemplates is an incredible source if you are looking for a free employee development plan template word document. While this particular template might be a bit too complicated, we are impressed by its attention to detail and heavy emphasis on career goals.

3. Employee Development Plan Template 3:

employee development plan template

While not flashy, this free employee development plan template hits all the right notes. It has everything you’re looking for when you look for an employee development plan template free of charge. We particularly like their use of tasks, target ideas, and most importantly, the 90 day check in section.

You might also find this article on a similar topic rather interesting. Click here to learn more about 30-60-90 Day Plans.

4. Employee Development Plan Template 4:

employee development plan template

This particular template by Slideteam is an excellent combination of sleek design and simple directions. While checking boxes may not be the most ideal practice when mapping out employee development plan goals, it is still a simple and effective design to take advantage of.

Specific Employee Development Plan Templates

While the free employee development plan templates we listed above are all very effective and well-designed, they all bring a more generalist approach to employee growth and development.

That is why we wanted to create some templates/roadmaps of our own for more particular and specific situations that may arise in your workplace. So when it comes to specific situations, let’s answer the question of: What are examples of development plans?

5. Individual Development Plan

An IDP is more than just an employee development plan. It is a collaborative effort between an employee and their manager in order to improve the skillset, knowledge, and performance of a particular employee. Below you will find a simple roadmap to follow when creating an individual development plan for an employee.

Employee Name:

Position:

Department:

Date:

Current Skills and Competencies Assessment:

  • Where does the employee stand currently? Conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the employee’s current skills, knowledge, and competencies.
  • Review performance evaluations, feedback, and any available data. This is a great time to check the data your performance review software has stored for you.
  • Identify strengths and areas for improvement.

Development Goals:

  • Collaborate with the employee to define specific, achievable, and most importantly, time-bound development goals. (You might want to take a look at our goal setting templates as well).
  • Align goals with the employee’s career aspirations, departmental objectives, and organizational needs.
  • Ensure that goals are challenging yet realistic.

Development Strategies:

  • Consider various learning methods. Remember, everyone learns at their own pace. Each employee responds better to different methods such as training programs, workshops, mentoring, job shadowing, online courses, or conferences.
  • Nothing helps growth like a good hard challenge. Make sure you include a stretch assignment in this section.

Progress Tracking and Evaluation:

Set regular checkpoints to monitor the employee’s progress toward their development goals.

  • Provide constructive feedback and recognition to motivate the employee and ensure continuous improvement.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the development plan periodically and make necessary adjustments as needed.

6. Leadership Development Plan

Great leaders don’t feel threatened by the emergence of upcoming potential leaders within the organization. They cherish it. That is why a leadership-focused professional development plan template is a must-have in the arsenal of any leader.

What this plan does best is help managers identify key areas of improvement in their direct reports leadership skills and build on them!

Employee Name:

Position:

Department:

Date:

Assessing Current Leadership Skills:

Self-assessment: Self-reviews are a key part of any leadership skills template.

360 Degree Feedback Data: Include the data you receive from your feedback software here.

Other Possible Assessments: This section depends on your organization’s culture and established leadership practices.

Defining Leadership Goals:

  • Long-term Vision: Define your long-term leadership aspirations and where you see yourself as a leader in the future.
  • Short-term Objectives: Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals related to leadership development.

Targeted Leadership Competencies:

  • Identify Key Competencies: What are the key leadership competencies you want your employee to have at the end of this?
  • Competency Gap Analysis: Which competencies do they already possess? Which ones do they need?

Development Strategies:

  • Training and Workshops: These may include activities such as leadership development programs, seminars, workshops, or conferences.
  • Coaching/Mentoring: Will you be implementing a buddy or mentorship program to assist your employee on their journey?
  • Reading and Self-Study: Some employees grow better when they are learning at their own pace.

Action Plan:

  • Set Specific Actions: Identify specific actions and steps you will take to develop each targeted leadership competency.
  • Timeline: Establish a timeline for each action item to ensure progress and accountability.

7. Career Development Plan

Not all development plan templates are for managers in charge of teams. Some development plans can be utilized by the individual to map out the next steps in their careers. The free career development plan template below is aimed to help you do just that

Name:

Current Position:

Date:

Self-Assessment:

Skills and Strengths: Templates may change but self-assessments are still extremely important. Identify existing skills and strengths as well as gaps in them.

Interests and Passions: Reflect on your interests, passions, and what motivates you in your career. What makes you get out of bed with a smile?

Career Exploration:

This section is rather self-explanatory. Explore the directions you may wish to take your career in. Two of the best ways to do that are:

  • Research and Information Gathering
  • Networking:

Setting Career Goals:

Long-Term Vision: Dare we say, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”

Short-Term Objectives: Don’t lose sight of the present when mapping out the future. Make sure you focus on short term goals and objectives as well.

Skill Development:

Identify Key Skills: What are the skills you will be needing now that you’ve set goals for yourself?

Skill Gap Analysis: Compare the skillset highlighted in the first section with the skills identified above.

Training and Development: Find and enroll in training programs, workshops, online courses, or certifications to acquire new skills or enhance existing ones.

Progress Check-ins

The most important part of a development plan is checking in every once in a while to make sure you are on track. Some ways to do that in this scenario are:

  • Performance Metrics: Establish key performance metrics in order to measure the success of your ongoing career development process.
  • Feedback: Seek feedback from supervisors, peers, and mentors to gain insights into your strengths and areas for improvement.

8. Succession Planning Template

Succession planning is where we might be moving away from our initial starting point but never forget that employee development is a critical part of succession planning. If you are curious about the topic, we’ve also discussed 9-box grid succession planning at length in previous entries to our blog.

Identify Key Positions:

  • List critical positions within the organization that require succession planning.
  • Determine the importance of each position in terms of organizational strategy and impact.

Succession Candidates:

  • Identify potential successors for each key position.
  • Consider current employees with relevant skills, experience, and potential for growth.
  • Assess their readiness for advancement and ability to assume higher-level responsibilities.

Development Needs:

  • Conduct a gap analysis for each potential successor.
  • Identify the skills, knowledge, and competencies required to excel in the targeted positions.
  • Determine the areas where each individual requires development and improvement.

Development Strategies:

  • Create Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for each potential successor.
  • Outline specific development objectives and actions to address skill gaps.
  • Align development opportunities with the needs of the targeted positions.

On-the-Job Development:

  • Assign challenging projects or special assignments to develop critical skills.
  • Provide opportunities for cross-functional teams to form in order to help succession candidates gain exposure to different areas of the organization.
  • Pair potential successors with mentors or senior leaders.

Succession Plan Review:

  • Conduct periodic reviews to evaluate the progress of each potential successor.
  • Assess their development against the identified objectives and performance expectations.
  • Revise the succession plan as needed based on individual growth.

Using the right tools

While Templates really are important, let’s address another key issue in employee development plans. Employee growth and development isn’t an event. It isn’t an occasion. It is an ongoing process that always has to be on the agenda.

That is why you need to implement a performance management tool that has a tight focus on employee development. While there are many great performance management applications out there, the best option for Microsoft Teams users is…

Teamflect

Teamflect performance reviews example with questions in microsoft teams

Teamflect is an all-in-one performance management system designed with complete Microsoft Teams integration in mind. Teamflect isn’t just a platform for project management in Microsoft Teams. It doesn’t just let its users set goals, assign tasks, and exchange recognition inside Microsoft Teams.

It is also one of the best performance review and feedback tools available on the platform. Teamflect’s feedback templates alongside its performance review templates all come with employee development plans attached to them, helping users build their employees up for success!

Stay on top of everything inside Microsoft Teams!

Closing Words

Creating an employee development plan template is an important responsibility for leaders who seek to retain their employees effectively. As with any aspect of performance management, a well-defined employee development plan template is essential.

As Teamflect, we are passionate advocates for organizations that prioritize employee development, which is evident in our incorporation of performance development plan templates. We recognize the time constraints faced by leaders, so we have curated a collection of employee development plan templates.

Crafting effective employee development plan examples involves self-assessment, goal setting, and a detailed action plan to navigate the path to success.

Our collection of employee development plan templates offers flexibility and structure. From individual development plan templates on Word to leadership-focused templates, these resources provide a framework for growth.

We acknowledge that employee development is a continuous process and as Teamflect we offer a comprehensive solution. Integrated with Microsoft Teams, Teamflect goes beyond project management, and provides a platform for goal setting, task assignment, recognition exchange, and performance reviews, all with built-in development plans.

Embrace the growth journey, and with Teamflect, make employee development an integral part of your organizational agenda!

Freequently Asked Questions

What is an employee development plan?

An employee development plan is like a roadmap for your professional growth within a company. It’s a strategic plan designed to help you expand your skills, boost your knowledge, and unleash your full potential.

How to create an employee development plan template?

1. Self-Assessment

You need to start by taking stock of your current skills, knowledge, and abilities. What are you great at? What areas could use a little sprucing up? It’s time for some soul-searching, my friend. Think of it as a quest to unlock your hidden talents.

2. Goal Setting

Once you have a clear picture of where you stand, it’s time to set some goals. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to become a master of spreadsheets? Or perhaps you’re aiming to become the office’s resident coding genius? Dream big, and let your ambitions soar higher than an eagle wearing rocket boots.

3. Action Plan

With your goals in sight, it’s time to plan your attack. Break down your goals into smaller, manageable steps. Do you need to attend workshops, take online courses, or participate in mentoring programs?

Maybe you need to wrangle a wise old sage to teach you the ways of the Jedi. Whatever it takes, outline the actions you’ll take to achieve greatness.

Written by Emre Ok

Emre is a content writer at Teamflect who aims to share fun and unique insight into the world of performance management.

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