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What is Employee Development Planning?

Employee development is defined broadly as the development of skills and abilities needed to serve customers most effectively and to improve work processes. Training is a way to enhance the ability to deliver service, to maintain a flexible and continually educated workforce, to provide employees opportunities for growth and development, and improve overall performance.

Statement of Importance:

Having an organization where learning is essential and valued, where staff are continually educating themselves and taking advantage of opportunities provided to them, and where individuals are encouraged to reach their potential through a variety of learning opportunities is at the core of the employee development vision for UW SoN. Employee development provides the organization with the opportunity to enhance service delivery, to maintain an educated workforce, and to give employees the opportunity for growth and development.

UW SoN supports training and developing employees in job-related skills. UW SoN's employees are one of the organization's greatest assets and helping them develop is crucial to the achievement of its goals.

Development may occur in many ways, including:


  • on‐the‐job training or training within the unit,

  • reading and personal study,

  • practicing learned skills,

  • peer mentoring,

  • serving on a cross‐functional team or workgroup,

  • serving as a team facilitator,

  • attending classes, or pursuing a degree or certification.


Performance Development: When an employee is not meeting expectations in their current job and is required to learn fundamental skills or develop specific knowledge. Here, employees ask themselves, "What do I need to do in the next three to six months to meet my leader’s expectations?" This development is initiated by the leader.

In-Place Development: The advancement of skills or expertise to succeed in an employee’s current job. Here, employees ask themselves, "What do I want to achieve in the next year in my current position?" Often employees are meeting performance expectations and are interested in growing, becoming an expert, a role model or achieving an “exceeds expectations” or “outstanding” performance rating. This development is identified through a leader and employee partnership.

Re-Skilling for Emerging Disciplines: Gaining an understanding of and/or developing key skills that may be necessary to support the organization in the long-term. As technology evolves or new skills are required to support systems, applications, or business processes, employees may be asked to engage in learning new skills. Here, employees ask themselves, “How might my job change in the next two to five years, and what skills do I need to develop to stay relevant?” This development results from organizational or technological changes which may have an impact on an employee’s job and is identified through a leader and employee partnership.

Career Development: A self-initiated, on-going process in which an individual learns and grows, either personally or professionally. Leaders offer encouragement to staff who want to pursue career goals, and there may be tools provided by the organization to support employees in their continued growth. Here, employees ask themselves, “Where do I want to go?” This development is initiated by the employee.

The Employee Development Planning program offers employees the opportunity to work with their leaders to design their own development plan with the support of the organization.