17 (yes, 17) topics to consider when creating development plans

If there was ever a time to consider development plans for your employees, now is it.

The reasons for emphasizing employee development are numerous. Examples of the positive change a consistent program can achieve include promoting a culture of learning, adding to your competitive advantages, increasing productivity and reducing turnover.

The first step to implementing a program for employee development is to identify the high potentials in your organization.

A typical development plan then begins with an assessment of a person’s skills and abilities. The plan will center on the results of the assessment process to help the high potentials to accentuate their strengths and work around their weaknesses.

Suggested topics you need to consider in a plan include:

• How to communicate clear expectations, measure performance, provide opportunities for growth through stretch assignments and how to hold people accountable.

• How and when to delegate.

• How to resolve conflict and decide when it’s appropriate for you to weigh in.

• How to prepare for and have difficult conversations.

• How to conduct effective performance reviews.

• How to develop a team.

• How to make thoughtful decisions.

• How to determine leadership style and engage employees.

• How to conduct meetings and provide opportunities for subordinates to help solve problems and have input on opportunities.

• How to get early wins.

• How to go about strategic planning, visioning and establish metrics.

• How to be comfortable with public speaking or group presentations.

• How to balance personal production and managing people.

• How to implement change management.

• How to go about process improvement.

• How to implement professional development for self and a team.

• How to determine when you need assistance from those whom you report to.

While this is not a comprehensive list, it is a base for developing key executive competencies.

If company goals are clearly communicated and employees can see a clear path for advancement, they are more likely to stay engaged with your organization.

A development plan can do just that, it can help an employee learn and develop, aligning with the company’s needs while giving growth opportunities and skills that can benefit them in all aspects of their life.