Onboarding and beyond: Set your new hires up for success with an employee development plan

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2 mins, 32 secs read time

You’ve got a new laptop and flashy monitor, a fresh company branded hoodie, and a full day of activities planned. So you’re all set to welcome your new hire to your team…right? Well, those things will keep your new employee occupied for their first day, but what comes next, like on day 2?

When you have a new hire starting, the temptation can be to get them working as soon as possible. Many companies offer a day or two of company orientation and then expect new employees to get down to business. But this strategy can be a little short-sighted.

How can employees truly “get down to business” if they don’t fully understand their role and what’s expected of them? In fact, 21% of employees who left a job in the first six months said “more effective training” would have convinced them to stay.

That’s why taking the time to create an employee development plan is so useful. Not only can it help your employees visualize their future at your company, but it’s also a great way to demonstrate that you’re committed to helping them master their role and be successful in the long-term.

Want to learn how to build an employee development plan for your new hires? Read on!

Don’t be afraid to start simply

Your employee development plan doesn’t need to be overly complicated. In fact, it can be as simple as a list of goals that demand increasing levels of responsibility during a new hire’s first 90 days with your company. For example:

Month 1 goal: Research industry and present findings to manager.

Month 1 goal: Develop competence in specific software.

Month 1 goal: Participate in a project with members from at least two departments.

A more elaborate approach

Or, if you prefer, you can be a little more elaborate and design a plan that incorporates a few different types of goals. Some things to consider are goals which relate to the new hire’s role, a particular project they’ll be working on, professional development, and performance.

Here’s what an employee development plan might look like for a sales development representative (SDR):


If you have many people in the same role at your company, it’ll be easier to create a template to work off of. And if you’re a smaller company with only a few roles, it may take a little more thought to come up with the concepts. But if you’ve been using a structured approach to hiring, you’ll have already given quite a lot of thought to what the new hire should be achieving in their first 90 days, so this shouldn’t be too much extra work.

Overall, remember that Employee Development Plans should be as personalized as possible. You can provide the framework and guidance, but allow your new hire to lead the conversation and create a plan that they feel excited to follow.

Want to build an even more comprehensive onboarding program? Download the New Hire Onboarding Guide for practical tips and industry best practices you can start putting in place today.

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Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno

is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.