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Help Center

12+ Employee Development Plan Examples (Free Templates)

Written by: Jessie Strongitharm

Aug 31, 2022

employee development plan examples

Everybody loves a two-birds, one-stone situation, right? That’s why investing in employee development is a no-brainer. 

By creating a plan for their professional growth, not only do you affirm your employees’ value — but you prime your organization for success while minimizing turnover to boot. After all, one of the leading reasons people leave their jobs is to pursue career development.

So today, we’ll look at several employee development plan templates and examples to encourage the growth of both your staff and your business. But first, let’s dig a little deeper into the what and why…


Click to jump ahead 

What is an employee development plan?

An employee development plan is a document that describes the process needed to help an employee achieve their professional goals. Sometimes called an employee growth plan or career development plan, it outlines the actions, or steps, an employee will take to improve their knowledge, skills and competencies in the workforce. 

Here’s an employee development program example detailing a step-by-step plan for professional growth over the course of a year. 

Healthcare Individual Development Plan Process Infographic

This infographic encourages employees to seek continuous learning and development in a way that aligns with company goals. And that’s because these documents are created as part of a joint initiative: employees actively seek personal and professional development, while their organization’s leadership/HR provides strategic opportunities and resources to help them achieve that growth. 

This means an effective professional growth plan fits the unique needs, interests and abilities of an employee while also keeping in line with company objectives. 

For example, those in client-facing positions who wish to improve their presentation skills will benefit from having resources provided on the topic (like the infographic shown here).

Improve Presentation Skills List Infographic

In turn, the business also benefits from having employees deliver more persuasive presentations and closing more deals.


12 employee development plan examples

Ready to supercharge your employees’ aptitude and your organization’s performance? Check out the 12+ employee development plan examples below for inspiration. 

(And remember: with Venngage, creating actionable, comprehensive employee development plans is a breeze. Simply choose any of these 100% customizable employee development plan templates, swap in your text and any visual assets from our extensive library, and you’re good to go).

1. Individual employee development plan worksheet 

This first option offers a comprehensive format paired with a minimalist design. 

Since employee training and development plans are most effective when they address the unique skills and goals of an individual, this template is perfect for gaining that crucial feedback.

Healthcare Individual Development Plan Worksheet

Though you will need to supplement this worksheet with more detailed documents, it’s great to keep this template on-hand when an employee embarks on their skill development journey. Based on their answers, you’ll be able to create employee development programs that truly work for them — and you. 

Related: Individual Development Plans: 14 IDP Templates & Examples that Motivate

2. Multipurpose employee development plan template

Below is an expanded version of the previous template. Businesses can use this option to create an actionable plan for employees during various stages of their career and career development.

Healthcare Individual Development Plan

Along with the aforementioned details, this career development plan features dedicated sections for new employees, employees currently undergoing employee development or a change of role, as well as employees looking to explore new roles. 

In other words, this template has all the bases covered. 

3. Employee development plan checklist for managers

Remember how I said employee development plans are a joint initiative? This one pager template is made for just that — outlining the steps managers or department heads will need to follow to facilitate the process successfully.

Healthcare Manager and Employee Development Checklist

Though the previous three employee progress plan examples reference the healthcare industry, don’t mind the label! These free templates are fully editable and customizable, so you can easily tailor them and download in PDF to suit your specific industry or area of expertise. 

Plus, with Team Collaboration in Venngage, you can edit your design together, all in real-time. This is a great feature for jointly-created documents like these.

4. Leadership training for employee development

Here is a checklist of leadership competencies that supervisors can refer to when overseeing career development programs for those transitioning to management. 

Leadership Readiness Checklist

Feel free to replace the symbols in this template by choosing new icons and illustrations from Venngage’s library. 

Hoping for something a little more on-brand? Venngage’s automated My Brand Kit keeps color schemes consistent with your organization’s guidelines in just a few clicks. 

Related: 11 (Non-Boring) Training Checklist Templates to Keep Employees on Track

5. Nursing development plan

Complete with directives for goals, strategies, evaluations and reassessments, this employee development program is made for healthcare institutions who want to ensure nurses’ professional competencies are up to par. 

Nursing Development Plan

Having a system in place to evaluate the outcome of any development opportunities is vital for optimal, “scaleable” results. That way, you can iterate on any successes and rethink initiatives that were less helpful for other employee development instances.

6. Self-assessment for employee development

When looking for employee development ideas, you’ll want to make sure your proposals are not only helpful, but relevant to employees’ unique standing. To do so, you’ll want to provide some avenue for self-assessment. 

Annual Employee Self-Evaluation

Here is an employee self-evaluation questionnaire that managers can use as a guide for reviewing an employee’s performance, skills, knowledge and role at an organization. Feel free to add a plain or patterned background, or change the fonts, colors and shapes too.

7. Competency assessment for employee development

This five-page competency assessment document covers three core competencies, which can then be used as part of your employees’ professional development plans. 

Health Employee Competency Assessment Questionnaire

With Venngage’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, it’s easy to resize any area or add more fields to your human resource communications. Simply select the shape and drag to resize it to your desired specifications. 

8. Skill-based employee development plan

This development plan measures and evaluates an employee’s competencies based on a set of skills and criteria. 

Leadership Skills Inventory and Self-Assessment Checklist

By quantifying any skills requirements and assigning corresponding action steps based on esults, you’ll be able to create a more coherent development plan backed by concrete goals and initiatives.

Related: 20+ Training Plan Templates for Every Business Need

9. Skills training matrix roadmap 

To identify top areas for development, it’s important to know how employees’ technical skills stack up. That’s where a skills gap analysis comes into play!

One such way to observe skill gaps is to compare an employee against a skills matrix. Below is an example that describes the skills needed for different marketing roles, along with the team members who have those abilities. 

Marketing Skills Training Matrix Roadmap

Customize this template to help employees examine their skill gaps, or look for internal recruitment opportunities. Any department can benefit from trying this exercise! 

10. Training assessment checklist 

Looking for another way to assess where an employee’s at, so you can figure out the best learning solutions to offer? Then this two-page assessment checklist may do just the trick. 

Healthcare Assessment Training Material Checklist

Download this template in PDF to let employees grade an aspect of their current performance, compared with its relative importance to their overall role. This will illuminate the strengths and weaknesses an employee may have, and their understanding of how the position best operates. Based on this, you can identify skill gaps and potential better fits. 

Related: Creating an Effective Performance Management System with Visual Communication

11. Career development and transition plan

As stated, career development plans are particularly important for internal promotions — a major opportunity for career growth. 

Plan to Career Change Process Infographic

The above infographic outlines a 10-step process for setting career goals and transitioning roles that you can easily customize. Swap in the steps you and your employee identify to personalize their journey from start to finish. 

12. Employee checklist 

Going deeper into the details is always a smart move when it comes to employee development programs. That’s why your documents do well to reflect this approach. 

New Employee Training Checklist Template

Though this checklist is geared towards onboarding new employees, why not repurpose it for developing new skills or learning the ropes of a new role? Use this template to get granular about the steps involved, and the distinct areas they’ll fall under. 

What are the benefits of an employee development plan?

Two birds, one stone? 

Correction: many benefits, one plan — because an employee development plan can help your organization…

  • Attract and nurture talent 
  • Improve employee performance and efficiency (boosting customer satisfaction in the process)
  • Keep employees’ technical knowledge and skills sharp and up-to-date
  • Prepare employees for bigger roles in the company ( internal recruitment) 
  • Make employees feel more motivated and productive
  • Increase employee retention
High Performance Model Cycle Infographic

Above offers a visual representation of this cyclical influence. 

Related: How to Create Engaging Training Materials with Visuals (+ 20 Templates & Examples)

Employee development plan FAQs

What should I write in my employee development plan?

There is no universal format for an employee development plan. Since employee development programs are made with an individual employee in mind, the employee plan should contain key elements that are specific and unique to both the individual employee and the organization’s approach to employee development. 

That being said, a typical professional development plan usually includes:

  • Information regarding the employee’s current role, responsibilities and interests (i.e. the conditions that create the cause for development)
  • Specific, measurable, relevant, and attainable goals for their professional development and career growth opportunities 
  • Details of the employee’s current strengths, skills, knowledge and capacity to achieve those goals
  • Actionable steps and development initiatives that will lead to the accomplishment of those goals
  • A time frame for completing the steps
  • A brief overview of how the development plan will fit with business goals 

How do you write a good development plan?

Here are some tips on how you can create a good development plan for employees:

  • Identify the needs of both the employee and the organization. If the needs of the employee and the organization are crystal clear, you’ll be able to determine the right opportunities and goals for their development.
  • Make sure development goals are realistic. Consider your organization’s budgets and resources, as well as the time and effort employees will need to dedicate to development activities. This guarantees that any goals set are practical and viable.
  • Ask for employee input. The key to an effective development plan is creating one that’s personalized. To do so, you’ll need to collaborate with your employee! The employee development plan’s main focus should be on the staff member.

What is a development goal example?

An employee development goal example would be learning leadership skills. Since development goals are specific, relevant and attainable goals that an employee needs to fulfill in order for the plan to be successful, outlining the concrete steps an employee will take in the learning process is key. 

For example, enrolling in leadership training or courses on project management, coaching and mentoring, or delegation and supervision all represent actionable steps one could take. 

Create an effective employee development plan

There you have it! I hope this article provided you with professional development plan examples that’ll help you get multiple birds stoned in no time. (Just no actual avian harm, please!) 

It’s true; with a great system for creating employee development plans in place, the sky’s the limit on what your staff — and your organization — will achieve.

Psst! Don’t forget to enhance your development planning processes, and any other business communications you need, using Venngage’s easy-to-edit templates and intuitive visual editor. Sign up for free, and get started today. 

About Jessie Strongitharm

Jessie Strongitharm is a Content Marketer & Writer at Venngage. A quick-witted wordsmith whose passions lie in strategic storytelling (see also: excessive alliteration), Jessie's background in psychology, new media communications and B2B SaaS marketing informs the copy she crafts for Venngage's audience.