Where do you want to go in the future? What is the position you envision yourself in long-term speaking? If the answer to these questions is still unclear, perhaps you haven't taken some time to organize your thoughts and start making a proper career development plan. With a career plan, you can keep your thought train "wishful," It is also the best way to get started.
What is a career plan?
A career development plan is meant to help you create your professional life. This way, you can customize your strategy so that you can achieve your career goals. However, this concept is also applicable to companies, not only individually.
Let's take it to an organizational context. We can say that a career development plan for employees is meant to "assist" the employees present within a business to achieve their career goals. So, in summary, we can consider it an addition to that specific individual’s career and aspirations. It takes into account short-term and long-range occupational goals.
If you’re already thinking of career development plan ideas, you can start by submitting an employee satisfaction survey at your workplace. This way, you can start by evaluating team performance and employee performance and figuring out what members of the workforce are putting more weight into their career development. Self-assessment is another good tool you can utilize for this purpose.
Furthermore, remember that cultural diversity in the workplace may also have an impact on their mindset, and their needs and goals are likely aligned with their beliefs.
If you’ve decided that the employee satisfaction survey is the best way to go, please consider asking unambiguous questions that can help you figure out what your employees really want for their future.
The reason why you should invest in your employees
According to statistics, at least 26 percent of employees feel underrated in their current roles. Thus, a great part of the workforce feels like their work isn’t being recognized as it should – or even worse, most employees feel like they are not being heard.
When someone doesn't feel valued and respected, it can escalate into bigger problems. For example, it is known that one of the primary reasons why a person renounces their employment is because there is a lack of growth opportunities and professional development.
Investing in your employees is beneficial for both parties as they will be with you for a longer period. In addition, they will acquire better skills, which will help your organization grow even further when you least expect it.
How to write a career development plan: 5 steps
Once you learn why it is important to consider your employees' needs and goals, it is time to start taking action. Unfortunately, many leaders don't know where to start, but there are only five steps you need to follow while you're trying to create a career development plan for employees.
First step: What are your business goals?
Before you officially sit down and start writing down the career development plan, it is necessary to analyze your business goals so that you can align the company’s needs with the necessities of your employees. Here you should take into account both short-term and long-term objectives.
Once you start evaluating the situation, it will become clearer to you what abilities and knowledge you’ll need to make your company achieve the results you want.
It is possible that you have some hidden talent in your business. However, you will never figure out so if you don't put time and effort into employee development. Additionally, writing a career development plan may also help you save time and money while training newcomers, as you may be able to retain top talent in the long term.
In other words, this step will help you figure out what employees are ready to advance in their careers.
Second step: Start communicating with your employees and let them know your expectations.
If you take into account the list written above, it will be time to let them know about your expectations and plans. You can do this by scheduling a meeting or sending them an email based on your preferences. However, during the first meeting, you should not go into detail about everything you want to achieve.
Here you should ask them about where they want to be in the short-term and long-term, what their dream job would be, the areas where they have troubles, and so on. Everything that may be helpful for you to identify what opportunities you can offer them and what role the company will play in those plans.
Third step: Each plan should be based on a specific employee.
Career development plans should be based on a specific person. Thus, you should work on personalizing it for each employee you think is ready for advancing in their careers. Furthermore, you shouldn't mistake potential for readiness. An employee may have the potential for a determining role, but they may not be ready for it yet.
That being said, you should now start thinking about the skills and goals (both professional and personal) that will help each member of the workforce unlock their hidden talent.
Some of the professional objectives you can take into account are, for instance, new projects they can take part in, certifications they may be available to acquire, or a seminar they can assist to. Remember that each person is different, so that the same plan won't work for two individuals.
Fourth step: Take into account different development types.
You've identified what the objectives are. It is time to continue and identify how you can help your employees achieve those goals. At this point, it is hugely recommended to be as flexible as possible, as people have different learning methods and processes.
For instance, this could happen via local networking groups, working together with an expert, or assigning special projects.
Fifth Step: Create a realistic plan and follow it accordingly.
At this point, you and the employee must've already decided to get moving. It is important to leave the door open for the employees to contribute with diverse ideas for their individual plans. It is important for the employee to know your expectations and why this process is beneficial for both parties.
You can start testing out their new skills at the workplace after training. However, as you're spending time on money on them, you need to make sure that you're getting a good return on investment.
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