How to Create a Staff Development Plan

You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company with a big training budget to have a vibrant, energizing staff development plan. You can provide similar professional development benefits to your staff at a fraction of the cost. Here are the steps and resources to help you do just that…

  1. Create a policy that guarantees each staff member a minimum amount of time (e.g. one half-day per month) for off the job training.
  2. Conduct a basic needs analysis of training needs. Make sure there is a balanced mix of technical and non-technical competencies covered in the analysis. It doesn’t have to be complicated…start with something very simple.
  3. Involve your managers and supervisors not just in taking the training but also in delivering the training.  This is a powerful way to have managers and supervisors be more accountable for staff development. Xerox started it and now many Fortune 500 companies take this approach.
  4. Make it a positive experience for people. All too often people are sent on a training course because their manager thinks they are “broken and need to be fixed” – avoid positioning training as a remedial exercise, instead let people know that your intent is to help them grow stronger.
  5. Show support for your training plan by attending sessions yourself…lead by example. Introduce the training sessions and explain why you believe that ongoing training is important to the future of your organization, and to the participants’ careers.
  6. Make sure you have the proper supports in place to make the training stick. For example, have your leaders provide follow-up coaching or mentoring…for more on this, see the 4M Model.
  7. Source proven training materials as opposed to creating them yourself. These materials should be capable of further customization by you if you so desire or should be capable of being deployed as is.

Many small to mid-sized organizations struggle at creating an organization where people learn and grow together. It doesn’t have to be that way.