How to create a skill development plan?

According to a study from the work institute, 66% of employees cited lack of career development as a primary reason for quitting their jobs​.

Poor skill development leads to bad quality at all levels in the organization. Therefore, the norm ISO 9001 for quality management incentives organizations to regularly assess skill gaps and develop training programs.

An employee development plan is a structured framework designed to help employees enhance their skills and advance their careers. It typically includes a combination of training programs, mentorship, and practical experiences tailored to meet both the individual’s career goals and the organization’s objectives.

We look in this article at the key components of an employee development plan.

Making an individual skill profile

Self-assessment of skills

Assessing skills and competencies is a crucial first step in creating an effective employee development plan. This process involves evaluating both the current capabilities of employees and identifying the required skills needed to meet future organizational goals.

First, encourage employees to reflect on their own skills and career aspirations. Self-assessments can provide valuable insights into employees’ perceptions of their strengths and areas for improvement. This will make the employee feel responsible for his development.

Employees should take responsibility for their own careers and development. In today’s fast-changing work environment, the most successful employees are those who are proactive about their own learning and growth.

Herminia Ibarra, Professor of Organizational Behavior at London Business School

The skill profile should contain the skills and the skills the employee has and the ones he wants to develop. Assessing a current skill level may be difficult as it depends on a combination of ability, knowledge and experience. With Teammeter, you can define a competency models where you can describe clear expectations for each skill level using individual skill scales. By doing this, you can avoid the Dunning-Kruger effect, the tendency of individuals with low competency to overestimate themselves or by opposite the tendency for individuals with high competency to underestimate themselves.

Setting development goals

Should employees define their own development goals, or should the manager do it for them?

Setting goals which are not inline with the employee’s aspiration leads to waste of time and money. When employees set their own development goals, they are two times more likely to be engaged and motivated. This ownership increases the probability of the realization of the development plan.

Managers, on the other hand, have a better understanding of the skills and competencies needed within the organization. They can help the employee understand his potential, show the possible development options out of his comfort zone, and consequently, help to make a successful career within the organization.

Encourage a dialogue where both the employee and the manager discuss and agree on the development goals. This process ensures that the goals are realistic, relevant, and motivating.

In Teammeter, you each employee can define a target level for each skill and compare his skills with the ones required for the different roles in the organization.

Getting feedback from the team

As work becomes more and more complex, a manager may not be able to provide qualitative feedback on all employee’s skills.

In Teammeter, you can use a skill matrix to make skill assessments transparent within the team. You can use the matrix as the basis for a workshop, where each employee gets feedback from their peers and adjusts the skill levels.

It is also the opportunity to check that the individual development goals are matching with the goals of the team. If it is not the case, a discussion has to be started, which may result in a hiring decision to fulfill the team requirements.

Defining the skill development actions

Now that the skill gaps are visible, you can have a better understanding of the needs for the employee and can start planning development activities for each skill level.

The employee development plan in Teammeter
The employee development plan in Teammeter

On-the-Job training

On the Job training is a very effective method to acquire skills effectively because it does not require any investment in additional training. However, it requires a minimum of organization.

First discuss with experts what would be an adequate task for the trainee to realize according to his skill level. If the existing open tasks are too complex for the trainee, consider splitting the task into less complex ones.

These activities be challenging and go beyond the traditional scope of the position to put the employee out of their comfort zone. This could be, for instance, the presentation in front of a large audience.

The activity can be supervised by a competent colleague who provides help and guidance, for instance in peer working.


Microlearning is an educational approach that involves delivering learning content in small, focused chunks, typically lasting between a few seconds to 45 minutes. It can be delivered through various formats such as videos, quizzes, infographics, podcasts, and short articles.

Learners can access relevant information when they need it, which is particularly useful in dynamic work environments where quick access to specific knowledge is crucial​.

In Teammeter you can add easily microlearning activities with a URL pointing with the resource. Activities can be then easily shared within the team.


The traditional way to learn is through training courses. Teammeter can be integrated with any learning management system (LMS) to deliver course information. The training can then be added to the development plan of the employee.

The training matrix of Teammeter displays an overview of all training activities in the team and helps you track the completion of mandatory trainings.

Mentorship and Coaching

Pairing employees with experienced mentors to provide guidance and support is a great method to develop competencies, in particular soft skills.

Having a skill management tool like Teammeter helps to you to find the potential mentors or coach matching the needs of the employee.

Job Rotation and Shadowing

Job shadowing is a hands-on learning experience where an individual, often a new or prospective employee, observes a more experienced worker as they perform their job. This practice allows the observer (the “shadower”) to gain a more in-depth understanding of the job’s tasks, responsibilities, and work environment without the immediate pressure of performing the job themselves.

It is a common practice for the onboarding in leadership positions, as it is crucial to have an in-depth understanding of the company culture.

Validating the skill development activities

Generally, a training completion is validated by a certificate that you can add to the development plan of the employee. In Teammeter you can an overview of validated trainings with a dedicated view for training certificates.

Certificates can be added by supervisors directly in the matrix to confirm that the employee has acquired the required skills.

Teammeter can also be integrated with a Learning Management System to import automatically the training certificates.

Reviewing the skill development plan

The skill development plan is a framework which is used for the continuous improvement of the workforce.
As the employee is primarily owner of it, it should be regularly updated by him autonomously.

Teammeter offers with the training matrix an overview of all development actions within a team and helps to coordinate them and use synergies.

The employee appraisal meeting is a privileged moment to review the progress of the employee during the last months and define the next objectives. Making clear what has been achieved, it helps to justify the request for a salary raise.

The employee development plan is a great framework fostering continuous improvement and providing clarity to the employee, the manager and HR about career progression.