5 Tips for Writing an Effective Employee Development Program

An employee development program goes beyond helping your employees to become more effective and knowledgeable at work. In fact, its biggest achievement is that it works as an important motivator for your team.

One of the biggest assets a company has is its employees. Therefore, business owners need to offer them clear directions and help them improve their skills. When you invest in your employees’ development, you actually invest in your business. The more they expand their skills, the more your business will benefit. So by creating a development program for your employees, you create a win-win situation. 

What is more, the employee development program is developed by the manager together with the employee. Therefore, this becomes an effective tool to help managers connect with their employees and get to know them better. 

Here are five tips you can use to create an effective development program: 

1. Analyze your business goals.

Before having the talk with your employees and setting their objectives, you need to think about your business’ goals. Once you have determined the route your business is going to have in the following years, you can decide what your employees’ objectives will be. For example, if you want to get ready for your company expansion, then you will need more leaders. Therefore, your goal will be to help employees develop their leadership skills. 

In addition, you should consider your objectives in the short and long-term. There are skills you can develop right away, but for others, you will need to invest time and effort to get the right results. Moreover, when you start drafting the development program objectives and actions, you can discuss them with professional writers to help you stay clear and concise.

2. Talk to your employees.

“Talking to your employees is the best thing you can do before you prepare the development program. Apart from your business strategy and goals, you also should know what their personal priorities are and how they see themselves some years from now working in your company. What is more, during your discussion, you should ask them about any challenges they are facing right now at work,” explains Sylvia Giltner, an HR specialist at Resumes Centre

By talking to your employees, it will become easier for you to identify who fits better in a certain position. You also will help employees understand that they need to develop certain skills if they want to advance. This is a good exercise to foster communication between you and your team and make them understand how important they are for your business.

3. Consider different ways of training.

“In thinking about development programs, most business owners imagine they are extremely expensive. However, this doesn’t mean all development programs are costly. Your training can take several forms. For example, you can go from online training to formal classroom training. Based on the conversation you have at the beginning with your employees, you will be able to determine which is going to be the best form of training they will be mostattracted to,” recommends Amanda Sparks, head of the Marketing department at Essay Supply.

4. Create a clear timeline.

Citatior CEO and content creator Christopher K. Mercer recommends that “when you discuss your development program with your employees, you set clear boundaries and timelines. They need to know that if they become part of this development program, they need to take it seriously.” 

Your investment in their development is very important for your company, and the way they will perform after that will affect both your business and their professional progress. Your employees need to understand that you are offering them a huge opportunity, which can change their life for good. Therefore, they should put all their efforts toward giving the best they can. 

5. Adjust it when necessary.

When you build your employee development program, you have to be prepared for changes along the way. People may become scared about taking on new responsibilities or they simply cannot keep up the pace with all the information they are receiving. This means you should include in your plan several evaluation sessions to check whether everything is going according to the plan. Based on your findings, you should adjust your strategy and think of different methods to help employees reach the final goal you set together. 

Key Motivator

An employee development program goes beyond helping your employees to become more effective and knowledgeable at work. In fact, its biggest achievement is that it works as an important motivator for your team. When you make your employees understand how much you value their efforts and involvement, you make them more loyal to the company. As such, a development program can be an effective retention tool. 

James Scott is a past freelance writer, who has specialized in education, blogging, and digital marketing. Currently, he works as a chief writer at the StudyClerk writing company. Also, as co-founder of various online start-ups, he remains a freelancer of sorts, although he is now far more than a “business of one.” Follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.


Training magazine is the industry standard for professional development and news for training, human resources and business management professionals in all industries.