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Employee Development Plans Working In Small Business

By Carly MacLennan
Illustration of a shop with a small business sign next to a giant clipboard with a checklist.

No matter how big your business is, employee development matters. It’s absolutely essential that you give your teams the care and attention they deserve, on teams from 6 to 60. Your squad won’t just be better and more productive — they’ll be better people as well!

But starting an employee development plan isn’t necessarily a walk in the park. If you happen to run a small business of your own, you know the struggle better than anyone. Limited resources and tiny budgets, anyone?

Fortunately, creating an out-of-this-world employee development plan is way easier than it sounds. There are loads of successful plans being used these days — and with loads of success, too!

Let’s take a look at some of the most successful plans for small business employee development, including examples you can use to build one of your own!

Why is employee development so important, anyway?

Before we start soap-boxing here, we think you deserve an explanation of why you should bother with employee development in the first place.

In our humble opinion, employee development should be the ultimate goal of any small business. As your team members grow in knowledge, expertise, and experience, so will your business. After all, people are the most valuable resources in your organization! Pouring investment into them will reap serious dividends down the line.

image with text - 93% of employees say they would be more engaged with a company if they were properly trained and developed.

Still don’t believe us? Believe the stats!

  • 93% of employees say they would be more engaged with a company if they were properly trained and developed.
  • Leaders who are properly developed can increase their performance in the workplace by 20%.
  • Research suggests that companies who have comprehensive training and development programs get 218% higher income per employee.

Employee development is everything your small business has been looking for. All you need to do is find a plan that works best for your company!

What small business solutions for employee development will accomplish

There are three major elements that small business development plans should include:

  • Employee motivation — How will you encourage employees to stay involved and interested in their roles (i.e. reward programs)?
  • Training new employees — What will you do to get new employees up to speed as fast as possible?
  • Connecting with employees — Are there ways you can create real relationships with your teams?
image with text - 3 Elements of EDPs: 1. Motivation, 2. Training, 3. Connection.

All three elements need to be present in a successful employee development plan if it’s going to stick. And we don’t mean to spook you, but missing even just one piece could dramatically affect your outcomes. Your employee wellbeing is on the line, folks!

7 types of employee development plans that work for small businesses

If you’re willing to give this whole development thing a shot, good for you! By following in the footsteps of those who came before, you can put together a comprehensive solution based on previously successful tactics.

Put together an out-of-this-world small business employee development plan by evaluating these developmental strategies:

  1. Staff meetings — Rather than just plopping down for the old meet-n-greet, create staff meetings that actually provide authentic employee training.
  2. Department rotations — Give employees a comprehensive view of your company and its inner workings by having them move to different departments.
  3. Mentoring and networking — Assign each employee an internal mentor who can provide support, encouragement and meaningful connections outside of work.
  4. Growth plans — Develop individual employee benchmarks for the month, quarter, or year (depending on your needs).
  5. Training — Incentivize employee training in webinars, conferences, professional development courses, and more.
  6. Trade organizations and government programs — Boost employee satisfaction by partnering with a government employee development program in your area.
  7. Stay and exit interviews — Even when employees leave, keep tabs on their development and ask for clear feedback.
image with text - Feel free to adapt your approach to match specific needs, and drop any tactics that don’t really apply to what you do.

Remember, not all employee development plans look the same from business to business, or even department to department. Feel free to adapt your approach to match specific needs, and drop any tactics that don’t really apply to what you do. It’s about making a difference — not just checking off a box.

Do it all with Motivosity

Employee development is one of the best things you could do for your small business — we can’t stop talking about it! But we get it; all this information at once can be a little (read: a lot) overwhelming. We know you’re just trying to dip your toes in the water rather than drink from the fire hose, which is why we’ve got a simpler solution: automation.

At Motivosity, we’ve been helping small business leaders do more with their employee development plans for nearly a decade. Our comprehensive and adaptable employee recognition software simplifies the way you interact with teams, taking the guesswork out of listening, connecting, and lifting up your employees.

Pumped to learn more? We’ve got your back! Sign up for a demo to see how it works for yourself. Go ahead — it’s free!