5 Best Employee Development Plan Templates
Talent Development

5 Best Employee Development Plan Templates

8 mins read

by Pete Ford

Updated On Nov 07, 2023

Table of Content

Creating an employee development plan template is one of the most important things for a senior executive to retain employees. Anyone with more experience managing a team can tell that retaining employees is far cheaper than replacing employees. 

If your organization aims to retain skilled and talented employees, it is better to find out how to create or map employment growth and career advancement using the planned templates. To do this, you should have a few free employee development plan templates to understand better and create one of your own.

We got this covered for you!

But before getting started with the free templates, it is better to inform you of the meaning, importance, benefits, and essential elements of a plan template and a few others. 

So, what are employee development plan templates?

They are strategy cards that include each employee's short- and long-term goals. This includes learning new skills, gaining certifications, or getting a promotion.   

Importance of Employee Development Plan Templates

The value of Employee Development Plan Templates in an organization cannot be understated, and their significance is threefold.

  • Providing a clear pathway for professional growth ensures professional development is a priority. These templates help maintain focus on career advancement alongside daily tasks, aligning individual goals with the company's strategic vision.
  • They create a culture of structured progression and mutual accountability. Employees and employers can track progress using these templates and set clear expectations for skill acquisition and personal development.
  • They enhance employee morale and retention. A company's development plans make employees feel valued, leading to improved job satisfaction and loyalty, essential for retaining top talent.

Employee Development Plan Templates are a strategic investment in a company’s workforce, aligning employee aspirations with organizational growth and fostering a culture of development and retention.

Now, let's understand a few benefits of using employee development plan templates. 

Benefits of Using Templates for Development Plans

Utilizing templates for employee development plans offers various benefits that can significantly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of nurturing a company’s talent pool. Here are some key advantages:

  • Consistency and Clarity: Templates standardize the development process across the organization. This means that all employees are evaluated and developed according to the same criteria, which promotes fairness and transparency in managing career progression.
  • Time and Resource Efficiency: Providing a restructured format saves managers and HR professionals time. This allows for more time to be dedicated to the actual development of employees rather than administrative tasks.
  • Facilitated Goal Alignment: Organizational and departmental goals can be aligned through templates. A clear structure helps managers to guide employees in setting goals that contribute to the company's overall strategy.
  • Improved Performance Management: With clear benchmarks and objectives in the development plan, measuring an employee's performance becomes more straightforward. This allows for more objective performance reviews and supports a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Enhanced Employee Engagement and Career Satisfaction: Employees who see a structured path for their growth and advancement are more likely to feel motivated and engaged with their work. Development plan templates can help employees visualize their career trajectory within the organization, leading to increased job satisfaction and loyalty.

Now, you may be wondering what we should include in the employee development plan template.

Here is the list of essentials you have to include in your template.

Essential Elements of a Good Development Plan Template

A good Employee Development Plan Template should be comprehensive and flexible enough to cater to the diverse needs of employees while being specific enough to provide actionable guidance. The essential elements of such a template should include the following:

  • Employee Information: The basics, such as the employee's name, position, department, and direct supervisor, lay the groundwork for personalizing the development plan.
  • Current Skills Assessment: A detailed evaluation of the employee's skills and competencies. This section helps identify the strengths to be leveraged and the areas that require development.
  • Career Objectives: This segment should clearly articulate the employee's short-term and long-term career goals. The goals must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).
  • Development Goals: These are the specific skills and competencies that the employee aims to develop. Goals should align with the employee’s career objectives and the organization’s needs.
  • Action Plans: This is the heart of the development plan, detailing employees' steps to achieve their development goals. It should include training programs, projects, assignments, or any other activities that will aid in skill acquisition.
  • Resources Required: Identifying the resources needed to achieve the development goals, such as training materials, courses, mentorship, or time away from regular duties, is crucial for the action plan's success.
  • Timeline: Each development goal should have a clearly defined timeline outlining when the employee should start and complete specific development activities.
  • Success Indicators: This element outlines how success will be measured for each development goal, defining clear criteria for successful completion.
  • Support and Feedback: Details on who will provide support and feedback to the employee throughout the development process, such as managers, mentors, or coaches, should be included.
  • Review Schedule: Setting dates for periodic reviews to assess progress towards the development goals ensures that the plan remains dynamic and responsive to the employee's growth and any changing circumstances.

Learn More: Employee Development Plan Template Best Practices

5 Free Employee Development Plan Templates to Use in 2024

In our previous discussion, we delved deep into the significance of Employee Development Plan Templates, highlighting their vital role in guiding professional growth, fostering consistency, and aligning individual aspirations with an organization's overarching strategy. 

With the ever-evolving business landscape of 2024 and the increasing emphasis on nurturing human capital, having an effective development plan template is more crucial than ever. 

To aid in this endeavor, here's a curated list of '5 Free Employee Development Plan Templates to Use in 2024,' ensuring your organization remains at the forefront of employee engagement and development. Let's explore these templates that are up-to-date with contemporary corporate needs and designed to drive future-ready skills and competencies.

1. Team Flect - Free Employee Development Plan Template

There is no rule that employee development should be with rigid boxes that showcase a depth of design. This free employee development plan template pdf is completely open-ended. This allows individual employees or the team to have complete freedom in mapping out their development plans.

Team Flect - Free Employee Development Plan Template

2. Edstellar’s Skill Matrix - Free Employee Development PlanTemplate

The Skill Matrix template offered by Edstellar is a strategic tool in employee development designed to track and analyze the competencies of your workforce thoroughly. This template functions not just as a mere record but as a blueprint for growth, offering clear insights into each employee's strengths and areas for improvement. It is crucial in crafting targeted, individualized development plans that align with the employee's career trajectory and the company's operational goals.

Through such a matrix, organizations can measure progress, identify skill gaps, and foster professional development, ensuring that their teams are proficient and well-prepared to meet future challenges. This approach underscores a commitment to nurturing talent, optimizing team potential, and maintaining a competitive edge through continuous learning and development.

However, we offer an online skill matrix, which is advantageous for your company to outgrow and meet the organization's needs.

Edstellar’s Skill Matrix - Free Employee Development PlanTemplate

Learn More: Skill Matrix Template: Guide to Boosting Organizational Competencies

3. ClickUp’s Development Action - Free Employee Development Plan Template:

The ClickUp Employee Development Plan Template enables skill enhancement and improved employee performance with tailored development roadmaps. It assesses skills, sets clear goals, and outlines actionable plans. 

The template streamlines onboarding and performance reviews while color-coded statuses track progress. Features like time-tracking and automated alerts ensure plans stay on schedule, with provisions for intervention if team members need additional support to meet their development objectives.

ClickUp’s Development Action - Free Employee Development Plan Template:

4. Forbes Advisor - Free Employee Development Plan Template

Outlined by Forbes Advisor, the plan sets a professional course for a Junior Developer to ascend to Senior Developer. It prioritizes foundational knowledge in computer science, expertise in vital technologies, and the consistent application of industry best practices. 

Progression will be gauged by acquiring pertinent certifications, active participation in advanced training programs, and the successful completion of projects reflecting their expanding skill set. The plan involves establishing well-defined milestones with designated deadlines to ensure targeted development. Additionally, the developer will partake in monthly mentorship meetings for tailored feedback and adjustments, fostering steady career advancement.

Forbes Advisor - Free Employee Development Plan Template

5. Whatfix - Free Employee Development Plan Template

The Whatfix Employee Development Plan is an intricate framework tailored for managers and employees, aimed at crafting, pursuing, and overseeing individualized growth objectives. This versatile tool encompasses a structured approach to setting actionable goals segmented into short-term, mid-term, and long-term milestones. It also delineates the areas for skill enhancement, preferred learning methods, necessary resources, targeted timelines, mentoring guidance, and relevant software or technologies to be utilized.

This plan serves as a strategic instrument to pinpoint and cultivate essential skills pertinent to an employee's current role while paving the path for advancement within the organization and fulfilling long-range career aspirations.

Whatfix - Free Employee Development Plan Template


Employee Development Plan Templates are crucial for fostering a culture of growth and retention in any forward-thinking organization. The selection of templates available, from the customizable framework of Team Flect to the detailed approach of ClickUp and the career trajectory focus of Forbes Advisor, reflects the importance of investing in employee development.

The Edstellar Skill Matrix template, in particular, stands out as a comprehensive, all-in-one solution that offers adaptability and aligns with the continuous development needs of both employees and the organization. It's an excellent choice for companies that optimize talent and drive strategic success. Including such templates in your development strategies reinforces your commitment to your workforce's professional development, ultimately improving job satisfaction and organizational performance.

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