Employee Development Plans Importance


Staff development supplements a firm’s efforts to enhance performance, remain competitive and meet organizational goals. It entails an ongoing professional and personal development process through on-the-job-training, formal education, job rotation, mentorship, etc. to build competencies anchored in a firm’s mission and goals. Utilizing appraisal/performance data and supervisor observations in a joint process can help identify developmental activities that will enable the employee to achieve career and organizational goals (Hargrove, 2012). A greater managerial focus on information, joint decisions, and readiness to learn would ensure the success of a performance-based leader development plan.

Approach to Key Leader Development

The right approach to employee development depends on the individual’s KSAOs, career goals set out in the individual development plan (IDP), performance, and present role. A multi-faceted approach that includes formal training, experiential learning, assessment (360-degree system), and job experiences is recommended for the organization. The formal training component may involve initiatives that bolster leader performance through training (Aguinis, 2013). Facilitating in-house and off-site programs, executive MBAs, and short management courses can help employees achieve their IDP goals. In this case, training and certification levels would be developmental indicators.

Haven’t Found The Relevant Content? Hire a Subject Expert to Help You With
Employee Development Plans Importance
Post Your Own Question And Get A Custom Answer
Hire Writer

Experiential learning is another method of developing employees with managerial potential. As Hargrove (2012) writes, in experiential learning, “high potential employees” engage in various institutional challenges that require dynamism (p. 41). The leaders must draw on their skills in conflict management, collaboration, and critical thinking to resolve the problems. This type of on-the-job training improves the employee’s conceptualization of diverse scenarios or tasks, and in the process, he/she acquires the knowledge to handle problems efficiently.

Employees with a managerial potential could also be developed through assessment. It entails collecting key performance data and giving feedback on “skills, communication style, and behavior” using a feed-forward interview (Hannah & Avolio, 2010, p. 186). In this regard, a motivated supervisor works jointly with the employee to identify his/her success factors and resource requirements to achieve the IDP developmental goals. Conversely, supervisor performance assessment could be done through the 360-degree feedback system or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Anonymous, job-related, and clear 360-degree systems for feedback from “superiors, peers, customers, and subordinates” would uncover the supervisor’s strengths/weaknesses and rate KSAOs for consideration for an executive management position (Davis, 2015, p. 14).

Development plans based on the 360-degree feedback system involve four main activities. The first activity is the evaluation of strengths and weaknesses through ratings. The self-rated skills/behaviors that match others’ ratings are identified. The second activity entails setting out a clear, specific development goal for the skill/behavior that needs to be developed. The third step is determining the process of achieving the goal. The last step is identifying the strategies for realizing the development goal, i.e., training, job experiences, etc.

360-degree feedback system

Other development options relate to job experiences that stretch employee skills. This approach forces staff to learn new skills and experiences to reinforce their management competencies. Job experiences cover the problems, relationships, and task demands inherent in a position (Aguinis, 2013). The employees could be developed through job rotation, i.e., assigning employee tasks/roles in different functional departments. Job enlargement also falls under this category. It entails expanding an employee’s current roles and responsibilities. Development goals could also be realized through transfers, promotions, and mentorship/coaching.

Development Plan

Types of Development Plans

There three main types of an employee development plan to choose from, namely, performance-based, management by objectives, and succession planning. The right development plan relies on the individual’s position, skills, and IDP goals. The performance-based development plan utilizes an appraisal to evaluate performance and skills and set long-term goals (Davis, 2015). Ideally, the goals should seek to improve the skills and competencies of the appraised employee. Management by objectives (MBOs) sets forth goals and strategies to realize them and evaluate progress (Davis, 2015). MBOs can help measure individual or team performance. In contrast, succession planning is grounded in the upward mobility of employees within the organization. It involves job shadowing and continuous performance metrics to determine employee’s readiness for a greater role.

Since the employee development plan (EDP) is a component of the performance management system, the performance-based type of plan is recommended. The development process could be viewed in the context of the expert performance model, wherein employees develop into experts through practice/experience (Davis, 2015). For instance, conflict management, collaboration, and communication/listening skills are learned through role assignments and experiences that sharpen one’s KSAOs. Collaboration between supervisors and employees is necessary to define personal career goals and organizational goals and mobilize resources.

Key Suggestions

The key consideration in developing a successful performance-based EDP is information. The employee should comprehend individual strengths/weaknesses, career goals, and available development opportunities. Career maps can help show the possible growth options for the employee within the firm. Also, information about the staffing needs of the organization as well as the KSAOs required for the present and future roles are important (McCall, 2010).

A second key consideration is a communication. The employee should inform the supervisors of his/her career/development goals through IDPs. Conversely, the supervisor/leader should communicate the project changes in KSAOs due to industry trends to inform future development decisions. Further, EDPs should involve both the supervisor and the employee in joint decision-making. Important considerations in EDPs include sources of funding, work volumes, and individual needs. Moreover, the supervisor must consider individual development goals and provide the requisite support and resources at the department level (Davis, 2015).

Components of Development Plans

The checklist for creating an IDP includes identifying personal goals, organizational goals, objectives, and developmental activities. A sample performance-based developmental plan form is shown in the Appendix. Employee development planning is a joint process/model that involves the following steps:

  1. Create the IDP as a follow-up to an employee performance appraisal.
  2. Jointly design the IDP – identify development needs/goals and allow the employee to suggest methods of achieving them. Alternatively, allow the employee to create his/her IDP and then review it jointly to align it with organizational goals.
  3. Determine the performance areas that need to be developed. These may be employee strengths that need to be enhanced, new skills required, or performance/skills that should be developed. Other considerations may be changes in technology, future staffing need, and new roles, among others (McCall, 2010).
  4. Identify the learning/development methods and resources required – formal training, assessment, job experiences, etc.
  5. Upon determining the development methods, evaluation criteria are formulated to measure progress.
  6. The agreement between the supervisor and employee is signed before implementing the IDP according to a development timetable.
  7. A reporting system is put in place to monitor progress and adapt the IDP to any changes.

Developmental Activities

Every EDP is unique in the sense that development needs and career goals vary between employees. The following are some of the developmental activities that the organization could use to achieve the stated objectives (performance-based).

  1. On-the-job training – involves formal mini-training programs aimed at improving competencies for a particular position (Kraiger, 2012).
  2. In-house courses – the courses could be offered in partnership with partner universities and provide for tuition reimbursement.
  3. Mentoring – involves mentorship programs to socialize the mentee and allow him/her to acquire certain skills.
  4. Conferences, workshops, or seminars – attendees acquire new skills that they can apply in their roles.
  5. Formal education – includes degrees (executive MBA) and other certifications.
  6. Job rotation – involves temporary assignments/roles to acquire new skills and experiences.
  7. Membership/leadership in a professional body – the members learn best practices and acquire communication/presentation skills.

The implementation of a leadership development plan should start with formulating a leadership competency framework defining the KSAOs relevant to the firm (Summers, Williamson, & Read, 2014). Given the multi-faceted nature of leadership/management, a performance-based approach is important to identify effective development needs and activities and align IDP goals with organizational needs. Therefore, the development pipeline should entail identifying employees with leadership potential and developing them through training and job experiences (Carter, Ulrich, & Goldsmith, 2015). The formal training aims at skill development in line with the current or future organizational needs. The assessment of the individual’s skills, values, and behaviors through the 360-degree system informs an effective development plan (McCall, 2010). The evaluation helps reveal the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Subsequently, a development plan is designed to reinforce the leader’s strengths in line with the IDP goals.


Employee development plans contain formal training and experiential learning methods to build the required KSAOs in line with individual and organizational goals. The choice of the method should be informed by the employee appraisal system, e.g., the 360-degree assessment. Further, adequate resources and support are required to enable high potential employees to engage in developmental activities included in the EDPs.


Aguinis, H. (2013). Performance management. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Inc.

Carter, L., Ulrich, D., & Goldsmith, M. (2015). Best practices in leadership development and organization change. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.

Davis, R. (2015). Choosing performance management: A holistic approach. CUPA Journal, 46(2), 13-18.

Hannah, T., & Avolio, J. (2010). Ready or not: How do we accelerate the developmental readiness of leaders? Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31, 181-187.

Hargrove, R. (2012). Masterful coaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Kraiger, K. (2012). Creating, implementing, and managing effective training and development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

McCall, M. (2010). Recasting leadership development. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 3, 3-19.

Summers, B., Williamson, T., & Read, D. (2014). Does method of acquisition affect the quality of expert judgment? A comparison of education with on-the-job learning. Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, 7(3), 237-258.


Developmental Plan Form

List of Developmental Activities

  1. On-the-job training
  2. In-house courses
  3. Mentoring
  4. Conferences/seminars
  5. Job rotations
  6. Formal education
  7. Membership in a professional body

Developmental Plan Form

Calculate the price of your paper
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Hire a Professional Essay Writer from MyHomeworkGeeks

Quality Urgent Essays

Domyhomeworkk online platform provides the best essay writing service ever received elsewhere, thanks to our professional essay writers. Experience gained in the 10+ years of being in the assignment writing industry is also an added advantage.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

A lot is done to maintain us as the best essay writing service provider. Besides owning a degree from a recognized university, a writer must pass the rigorous tests we take them through before they are considered eligible to offer urgent essay help on our website.

Affordable Urgent Assignment Help

Who said a reliable website should not be cheap also? While it is human nature to associate prices with quality, that does not always work. At domyhomeworkk.com, we guarantee you cheap and urgent essay help without compromising the quality.

24/7 Available Urgent Essay Writing Service

Whether it is a ‘write my essay for me cheap’ or ‘edit my essay’ order you want to request, always feel free to reach us at any time of the day. Our experts work in shifts to ensure that you access urgent essay writing services at any time of the day.

Plagiarism Free Essays Online

The punitive measures that come with plagiarized content are so harsh, and we understand that. We consequently ensure to write each client’s papers from scratch no matter how urgent the essay is. To acknowledge borrowed content, our quick writer references and cites the work.

Wow Customer Support 24/7

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

So much stress and so little time? Take care of yourself: let us help you with your tasks. We offer all kinds of writing services.


Custom Essay Writing Services

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.


Admission and Business Papers

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.


Editing and Proofreading

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.


Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.

Have a homework question? Get help from verified tutors now!