Managers Guide to Creating an Employee Career Development Plan - Tips - EmployeeConnect HRIS
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Career Development Plan

Managers Guide to Creating an Employee Career Development Plan – Tips

Studies suggest that there are 18 elements that should be ideally present in the workplace for employees to be fully engaged and productive. When employees were asked to rate their level of satisfaction pertaining to these 18 factors in the workplace, the following factors emerged as the lowest rated – professional growth and development, training, and career development.

Employee career development plan is, in fact, a very crucial aspect not only for employees but also for employers. This plan focuses on the overall need of employees pertaining to their growth and development and the means in which their organisation can provide them with the required assistance so that they get the opportunity to grow in their respective careers.

Employee Career Development Planning Tips

You may want to pay attention to certain issues and statements that you need to avoid while creating the career development plan for your employees:

  • Refrain from making any statements or contracts with your employees by assuring them that the organisation will be providing training or any other promised benefits. A rather better way of putting it across to them is to say that you will try to offer them help, but their career goals or promotions is subject to the company’s growth, priorities, goals, and the overall economic circumstances. In other words, you cannot guarantee them upfront.
  • You need to be aware of your state and international government laws and regulations. Avoid making statements that over-commit thereby landing you in trouble as an organisation.
  • Ensure that your manager does not own the career development plan for any of his employees. The career development plan essentially belongs to your employee. You can act as the facilitator helping him or her in its pursuit by exploring options with the employees. You can also provide opportunities to the employees whenever possible, and encourage them to set goals for their growth and expansion regarding their career and skills. Make it clear to them that they must own their plan.
  • Never over commit either your time to your resources. While you are certainly dedicated to helping your employees to grow, you have a limited amount of time at your disposal considering you have other responsibilities too as part of your job. You may provide the necessary guidance to your employees in certain directions, but you cannot do the work on their behalf. For instance, avoid taking up responsibilities such as finding a great class in listening for a poor communicator. The reason being, if that class turns out to be a poor one, you will be held responsible in the employee’s eyes, and furthermore, if it doesn’t produce the desired results, you will be held accountable. You along with the Human Resources department can certainly help the employee to explore his or her options, but the employee has to be accountable for it.
  • If a certain employee comes up with something that he or she believes to be a great development opportunity, then in such a situation, he or she is responsible for selling the idea to the company and not you.


Steps in Discussing Employee Career Development

Formulate the career development plans with you employees by following these simple steps.

  • Inform the employee that you wish to meet with him or her in person to discuss their career development plans. Ask the employee to come to the meeting prepared with his or her options for growth and development. Ask them to come up with opinions as to how they see their career unfolding in the organisation. At all times turn the table towards them by encouraging them to think about how they would like to see their career shape up and progress.
  • Ask the employee to come prepared to the meeting as to what professional job or career growth goals does he or she wish to achieve in the coming three years.
  • Ask the employee how does he or she plans to ensure the progress that they are making on their career path. You should also ask them what resources and support can the organisation provide so that they can accomplish their career goals.
  • When you have the meeting with the employee, you should direct the conversation towards these questions. However, you should be flexible because the employee may have other options that he or she may want to discuss with you. As a manager, you should be aware of all possible options available to the employee. These may include mentoring, shadowing, and coaching on individual skills.
  • A lot of employees consider development only in terms of training. While this is a limited view of development, ensure that you make them fill out the appropriate forms and then redirect them to Human Resources for their review and additional input in terms of sending such employees for external certification or training if such training is not available within the organisation.


In order for the employee career development plan to work, you need to change and expand your perspective as well as the perspective of your employees in terms of career growth and development. Educate your employees that a training class is not the only means that help in the development of employees. In fact, it has been observed, that the best training has always been on the job hands on training along with any kind of in-house training and they are often more effective.


Byron Conway

Content Coordinator at EmployeeConnect