March 5, 2022

A development plan for corporate teams is designed to help employees learn and grow into their desired roles. Many companies offer development plans or growth plans with their employees to ensure their personal goals align with those of the business. 

It keeps employment a give-and-take relationship. Employees deliver a satisfactory performance that will help the company grow, while in turn, growing and forging a career path. As a manager or leader, having a professional development plan for each member is a great way to show your team you care and acknowledge and invest in their skills. It also plays a significant part in retaining employees, as it ensures they do not stay stagnant in one position for an unspecified period. 

Here are the steps for creating a development plan for your team. 

Establish Communication

Start by establishing effective communication within the team and hearing your members’ thoughts on where things should be heading. When creating a plan for a team, you’ll want to meet with the team as a whole as well as each team member individually. This will ensure you create a development plan that is feasible and beneficial to them based on their personal, professional goals. 

If meeting each member is too tedious, meet with managers or leaders to get specific feedback. If you have team members all over, consider establishing advanced methods of communication with them for lengthier conversations. 

Having a one-on-one video meeting or call is a good idea to talk to team members. However, if you have a team scattered across the world and will likely struggle with time zone differences, it’s more ideal to give them a single channel where they can leave their opinion and concerns. You can go for emails or even a voicemail app to let them speak their mind. 

Hear the Employee’s Goals

There may be variations in the goals of a team and its members. Hear the goals of each team member and find a place for each team member to grow. This may mean that certain people leave the team eventually as different people will have different hopes for their future. Hence, a development plan must be put in place so the management can also prepare for such instances. Encourage your team members to assess themselves firsthand and come up with an individual development plan they can share with you.  

There also needs to be established goals for the team after hearing individual feedback. Try to come up with a development plan that will encourage people to work with and for the team while they are also gaining additional skills.

Align with Business Goals

Once you have each team member’s professional goals in hand, align them with those of the business. Find ways to capitalize on the ambitions of your team that can be beneficial for both parties. This may involve creating new strategies or programs within the company you hadn’t thought of before based on the goals of the team and its members. 

Making a few adjustments is a part of creating an effective development plan. It can yield positive results if you maintain transparency between the parties involved. Employees must be made aware early on whether their goals are not aligned to that of the organization. If possible, offer them alternatives that can help them reach their individual objectives that are otherwise parallel to the company’s vision. 

Offer Learning Opportunities

The only way for a person or group to develop is through learning and growth opportunities. It is important to keep employees learning to not feel stagnant or burned out too easily. Offering training programs and learning opportunities keeps their minds open and boosts morale. 

This can also help ensure your team has the skills they need to achieve their goals. Once they have the skills needed, offer opportunities to spread their wings and try out their skillset. Provide them with a chance to apply their learnings, like leadership and management opportunities, allowing them to propose and work on innovative projects related to the teams’ work process. This is when your team should come into their fuller potential.

Identify Steps to Reach Goals

Once goals are established, and skills are fostered, create steps that lead to those goals. These steps must be realistic and time-bound. Every step should have expected results to monitor if it is successfully completed. These should also be noted when setting goals for the team and identifying steps to achieve them.

Some goals may be long-term or short-term, so multiple strategies may be involved. 

Ensure these steps are communicated with the team and thoroughly understood, so everyone is on the same page. 

Follow Up and Adjust Regularly

Follow up with the team throughout the process of achieving goals. Understand that goals or the steps to achieving those goals may change, so regularly check in. Encourage team members to track their individual professional goals and, if needed, teach them how to do so effectively. Let your team know they can express if some of their aspirations have changed. 

It is a good idea to schedule periodical check-ins monthly or quarterly. Make time to sit down with the members to discuss where they are with their goal, what steps to take next, and what changes should be applied. Be prepared to make adjustments regularly to keep the team on track to their goals. 

Grow Together as a Team

Each team member’s individual development and growth can lead to the whole team’s growth. If their goal is aligned to that of the company and their department, the development plan can drive success and help the team achieve its collective goals. Encourage team members to seek growth and help them understand and realize their potential to keep them growing professionally. 

 

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