Findings from a recent Deloitte Global Millennial Survey found that nearly a third of millennials left their current position due to lack of learning and development opportunities. When companies take the time to develop their employees it’s a win for everyone. Employees obtain more skills, the company gets better results and employee engagement improves.
Unfortunately many leaders don’t spend enough time developing employees and those that do, frequently use a popcorn method meaning they pick a few generic topics and then sign employees up for a class. It is much more meaningful to build a development plan in context with the employee’s personal strengths, needs and career aspirations.
To help leaders have meaningful development discussions with their employees, I created the Employee Success Plan (ESP). I’ve used the ESP for the past 10 years to conduct dozens of employee success discussions and it has consistently yielded positive results. A copy of an ESP template can be found online in the Everyday Excellence Toolbox along with a completed ESP example.
The Employee Success Plan (ESP) contains four key sections:
- Basic Info: Information pertaining to the employee’s current and past positions, roles and a summary of education and job goals.
- Strengths/Accomplishments: Summary of employee’s notable accomplishments and strengths. Most employees appreciate their leaders asking about and acknowledging past successes.
- Career Goals: Employee career goals and specific knowledge, skills and abilities the employee needs to achieve them. This info feeds directly into the next step.
- 3-Point Development Plan:
- Skills the employee should develop to add more value in their current job
- Skills that will help the employee be a competitive candidate for future positions they aspire to
- A personal growth skill that can benefit the employee (and company) in any position
The ESP is simple, creates a forum for an effective discussion about employee strengths and opportunities and documents three specific development areas to help employees improve performance, grow skills and achieve their career goals. The leader-employee interaction not only identifies meaningful development areas but enhances communication and strengthens the leader-employee bond.
Developing employees is a key driver of employee satisfaction and for achieving an engaged workforce. It is also a mainstay in improving performance that contributes to a company’s long-term success. You can help your employees Learn, Grow and Succeed by starting a conversation about their career aspirations and creating an Employee Success Plan.
Need help getting started? Workshops are available to coach leaders through the leader-employee interaction needed to create a meaningful Employee Success Plan. More detailed information about how the ESP can improve employee engagement is available in my latest short-book Employee Engagement. If Not Now, When?