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Five key steps for a successful skills development plan

The skills development plan covers all the training actions that employees can benefit from. Employers will need to focus on the following five key steps to carry out this plan efficiently.



1. Define strategic priorities and training needs


The skills development plan is part of a global reflection on a company’s evolution. In order to define its major strategic orientations, it is necessary to take into account both external factors such as the evolution of jobs and skills on the job market and internal data such as the skills available to employees and their training needs and wishes.


To do this, it is possible to rely on indicators and trends, such as the automation of jobs or emerging jobs, and to count on the information collected during professional interviews.


Collecting, consolidating, and putting this external and internal information into perspective enables the employer to obtain an overall view of the company’s situation. This step is fundamental in determining the priority needs to be covered in order to achieve its objectives.



2. Prioritize and budget training actions


Given the numerous needs that can be identified at the end of the first stage, it is essential to define the priority training actions to be implemented. To do this, the employer can ask himself the following questions: what are the most critical skill needs for maintaining competitiveness and the organization’s sustainability? Which employees have the most urgent training needs? (e.g., those exposed to short-term automation of tasks)


Budget allocated to the skills development plan must also be carefully considered. The return on investment (ROI) of short, medium and long term training actions can be used to arbitrate and prioritize needs.



3. Work with the unions


For example, French companies with worker unions, a draft of the skills development plan must be presented to the representatives of the staff.


As part of this consultation, employee representatives can propose adjustments to the employer. At the end of the discussions between the two parties, the staff representatives must give a formal opinion on the skills development plan, which is recorded in the minutes.



4. Implement the skills development plan


Implementation of the skills development plan involves an essential phase of communication with employees, launching training registrations and preparing schedules. This stage consists of ensuring the logistical and administrative follow-up of the project and setting up the necessary actions to encourage the commitment of the employees by giving them all the keys they need to access the training courses and improve their skills.


Good to know

The skills development plan is not a fixed document and can evolve according to several parameters: the emergence of new priorities, the arrival of new employees who need to be trained, e.g.



5. Continually evaluate and adapt the plan accordingly


It is essential to evaluate the impact of the actions undertaken as part of the skills development plan. This assessment stage allows you to measure its success and identify areas for improvement:


  • Do employees have new skills?
  • Is the performance achieved in line with the objectives that the organization has set?
  • Was the budget adhered to?


The answers to these questions allow the company to draw lessons that will enable it to progress and gain relevance in future skills development plans.


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Illustration credits: https://www.istockphoto.com/fr/portfolio/vladwel