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Do you conduct regular staff development programs and interviews? If so, then you're in the minority, as a surprising number of employees don't get this kind of personal development plan  support. Studies show that just 29% of organisations have a defined learning & development plan in place, and it’s something that can adversely impact your business financially. 

Is It Really Essential To Have A Clear Development Plan For Employees? 

Yes, it is. When clear expectations are set for your employees, both staff and the company that pays them benefits. A natural consequence of helping your staff develop their knowledge and interpersonal skills  is that they become more proficient in their work. It's also something that makes workers feel more valued and motivated as a result.

What Are The Steps In Creating A Development Plan? 

The good news is that development plans aren’t complicated but require a particular approach to cover everything necessary. Run alongside standard performance reviews, they offer structure and accountability that ensures that the plan is adhered to.

Here are three simple steps to follow to create yours…

Step #1 - The Self-Assessment Stage

The first part of the process involves the staff member in question conducting a self-assessment - something that provides a reference point for later. You'll ask them to detail their personality, values and primary skills in it. There are no hard and fast rules regarding how it's structured, and many free templates are available to download online.

That said, certain elements should be included in all assessments of this kind, such as how they rate their skills in specific areas and where they feel they could improve. If you find they're struggling with the task, have some questions ready for them, like: 

  • What hobbies do you have?
  • What skills do you think you need to be promoted?
  • Is anything holding your progression back?

Step 2: Assessment of Team Member's Skills 

The next step is to conduct an analysis of the team member from your point of view. Objectively, your job is to look at what skills the employee in question ACTUALLY has in terms of personality and hard skills. By examining their work history, you can get a good idea of the following components: 

  • Hard (a.k.a. technical) skills
  • Communication capability (interpersonal skills)
  • Development capability (what's possible with in-person & online training)
  • Do they have the right attitude (commitment, enthusiasm & dedication)?

In an ideal world, you'll find that the employee is self-aware enough to know exactly their capabilities and long-term goals. If not, it’s down to you as their manager to guide them and provide an idea of their potential. 

Step 3: Assessment of Your Business Needs  

Naturally, any online developmental courses that are taken should be aligned with your company objectives - which brings us rather neatly to step three. You should be looking to develop skills in the individual that benefit your business, so you should take a moment to sit down and ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Which precise skills is your business most short of?
  • What kind of in-person instruction or short online courses can provide those skills?
  • Do we have the resource to provide the required support? 

Of course, the long-term aspirations of the employee are going to have to be factored in, too - something that you'll discover during step 1. Tie them together, and you'll get a team member who's committed and working hard to get the skills your business needs. 

Now, Development Can Start In Earnest!

With a clearly laid-out development plan put together, your employees can thrive, and as we’ve seen, it doesn't have to involve too much work. You see, it's all about creating the conditions that make your staff feel valued and supported in their question to become better professionals.

Boost Your Leadership Skills With OCA Short Courses Online 

It's never been easier to develop your leadership skills thanks to our CPD-Endorsed, video-based management courses online from OCA. The experience you get when taking our Leadership Skills course is a world away from boring text-based options that make your eyes glaze over - in fact, it's what our students call the most immersive and engaging online education Australia  can offer!

As well as giving every student 1-to-1 mentoring, those who take our courses enjoy super-relevant content that's created in collaboration with top industry experts. Upon completion, your staff get micro-credentials they can put on their CV - further reinforcing their employability and your reputation as an employer. Want to know what it's like being an OCA student? Check out our Student Study Demo.

We offer a training library covering more than 20 different industries - you can see us today at There you'll also find our flexible payment options that make our already cost-effective learning even easier to manage.

If, however, you'd prefer to speak to us directly about your needs, just give us a call at 1300 611 404, where our friendly team is waiting to assist. Alternatively, email us at [email protected], and we'll get back to you without delay.

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