Once you’ve made a job offer, agreed on a salary and hired a new employee, it’s easy to assume the initial onboarding process is finished.

However, no matter how talented 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 professional relationship.

Here’s how to create and implement 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 the short- and long-term goals of the company, and how your new staff member’s objectives can help contribute to the bottom line. This is a great starting point for your staff member’s career plan.

RELATED: Aligning people with business objectives

2. Discuss your employee’s professional goals

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 okay. As long as your employee’s goals will help meet the objectives of your business, it’s worth fostering them wherever possible.

3. Set KPIs

Individual KPIs should be challenging but achievable, and align to both your business objectives and your staff member’s professional goals.

For example, if your new hire has a sales background, two relevant KPIs might include bringing on X number of new clients over a 12-month period (business objective), and to complete an advanced business development training course (professional goal).

RELATED: Upskilling your team

4. Agree on a career development timeframe

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.

5. Put the development plan into action

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, such as formal training sessions, working directly with mentors or experts, external courses, or opportunities to practise new skills.

6. 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.

Are you in the process of recruiting new staff? Get in touch with Page Personnel’s recruitment consultants to discuss your hiring needs.

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