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5 steps to building a career plan for a new staff member
Once you’ve made a job offer, set a salary and secured a new employee for your business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the onboarding process is finished.
However, no matter how talented or highly sought-after your new hire may be, you need to create a career plan with actionable steps and targets to ensure both you and your staff member are benefitting from your new professional relationship.
Here’s how to put into a place a development plan for new employees.
1. Consider your business objectives
First thing’s first: why did you hire this person? What skills do they bring to the table that are going to help the business achieve its overall objectives? Think about what the short- and long-term goals of the company are, and how your new staff member will fit into the equation.
For example, if your new hire has a sales background and one of your business goals is to diversify your client base, you might include a target of bringing on X number of new clients from X number of industries. Remember, individual KPIs should be achievable and tie back to business objectives.
2. Talk to your new hire
While staff development plans can greatly benefit a business, they should also help employees achieve their own professional goals. Set up a meeting with your new hire to discuss their long-term career plans, any skills they want to improve on or learn, and any areas of interest.
Many of these goals will already align with their job, but some may be a little left of field too, and that’s ok. As long as your employee’s goals will help meet the objectives of your business, it’s worth fostering them wherever possible.
3. Create a plan of action
When you’ve locked down your business objectives and your staff member’s professional goals, it’s time to tie it all together. Identify a list of targets and the timeframes in which you and your employee will work together in achieving those targets.
Keep these goals as specific as possible to avoid vagueness or confusion. For example, rather than having an objective to “develop customer relationships”, the target could instead be to “reduce customer churn by 10% over six months”. The more focused objective is, the more easily measured and achieved it will be.
4. Apply objectives on a day-to-day basis
There’s no use in having a solid list of targets if you don’t know how to put them into practice on a daily basis. For each objective on the career plan, there should be a set of steps outlining how it will be achieved over a certain period.
These steps can be very granular, such as contacting a certain number of new prospects daily, or more broad-based, such as formal training sessions, working directly with mentors or experts, external courses, or opportunities to practise new skills.
5. Review and revise
It’s no secret that company goals and employees’ responsibilities are constantly changing to meet the needs of evolving markets and business demands – so it’s important to continually review career plans to ensure they’re still relevant.
Set up a weekly or monthly meeting with your employee to track their progress, and look at any areas that may need to be revised to fit with your changing work environment.
After you’ve secured a great new hire for your business, you’ll need to put into place an actionable career plan:
- Identify your business objectives and how your new recruit’s skills fit into them
- Discuss career goals and areas of interest with your employee
- Tie business and individual goals together in an action plan
- Determine what steps will be taken to work towards targets on a daily basis
- Track progress and revise targets as needed