Have you ever wondered if it is worthwhile to establish professional development plans for your employees? Based on my experience, it is well worth the time and effort to create an across-the-board development plan for several reasons. It shows your team that you are invested in each and every staff member’s success, it increases your retention rate, it improves your company culture, it strengthens your team and it reduces your recruiting and hiring expenses.
Having a professional development plan of action for each of your staff members also confirms you care enough to make their career path with your company a top priority. In fact, a recent Glassdoor survey showed that over 77% of the 5,000 adults surveyed, across four countries (United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany) would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job there, and more than half said company culture is more important than the salary.
A good way to grow a great company culture is by offering employees a say in their future at your company. Here are five ways to grow your team through a professional development planning process:
1. Obtain a Professional Development template that your business can use or tweak for each employee. A template usually looks a little like an employee evaluation sheet, but it’s more focused on employee input regarding their current role and where they see themselves in the future. This serves as a balanced guideline for your feedback, so that every employee is given the same document to start from and no one feels left out. Together you can develop a plan that is truly collaborative nd customized with each employee for best results.
2. Develop a fair process that treats all employees as valued team members. When you craft an employee professional development plan, make sure you follow the same process with each employee. This way, if they share information, each employee will have a similar three- or five-year plan for their career development. Make sure milestones are also set at the same intervals.
3. Create an action plan that your business and each employee will follow. Some businesses call the development plan a blueprint, with defined points every quarter or six months, for review and revision as needed. The plan isn’t just for employees though as it is also vital for each manager to lead this process with their respective department members, and requires the company and the employee to review their progress together as collaborators.
4. Use your professional development plans as a recruiting tool. A great way to attract employees is through current employee testimonials. When existing employees reap the benefits of a development plan in boosting their own careers, they’ll be happy to tout the success of the program.
Be the company that has a culture that’s envied by other businesses and desired by top potential employees. If you don’t, your business could suffer high rates of turnover, low morale and escalating employee costs. Don’t drop the ball and watch as employees use your company as a stepping stone to join a competitor that has a stellar company culture and an incredible professional development plan for each of its employees.