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5 Examples of Employee Development Goals

So you’re coming up with an employee development plan. You might have a good idea of what to put in it (if you don’t, here’s a good place to start!). But one question probably still remains. What are some good goals to set for your employees?

Well, the obvious, and slightly unhelpful, answer to this question would be: it depends.

Different employees have different requirements, depending on their role, experience and preferences. 

We can’t give you cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all goals to give your employees. It goes against everything that a good employee development plan should be – personalised, well thought out, and individual. 

But we can offer some high-level frameworks for setting those goals. Employee development goals can actually be broken down into five categories – we’ll be discussing them here. 

By taking the time to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) goals, you can ensure that your employees have a clear roadmap for their development.

There are a few different types of employee development goals that you may want to set for your team. Here are a few examples:

1. Skills development goals

2. Career development goals

3. Personal development goals

4. Leadership development goals

5. Business development goals

1. Skills development goals 

One type of development goal that you may want to set for your employees is a skills development goal. This type of goal focuses on helping employees improve their skills in a specific area. Remember that this needs to be measurable and time-bound.

For example, you may want to set a goal for an employee to improve their sales skills. So the goal you agree upon with them could be to close five more sales this month than they had the month before.


2. Career development goals

Another type of employee development goal that you may want to set for your employees is a career development goal. This type of goal focuses on helping employees progress in their careers.

For example, you may want to set a goal for an employee to get promoted to a management position. This could involve taking on additional responsibilities at work or completing a management training course.


3. Personal development goals

While career development is about setting milestones for the employee within the organization’s hierarchy, personal development is about more individual goals. 

It can be quite hard to fulfil the ‘measurable’ aspect of these more personal goals, but there are ways of doing it. 

Let’s take the example of someone choosing ‘being a better communicator’ as their personal development goal. The way to measure the employee’s performance on that goal – if they want to – would be to set up monthly checkups with their line manager, with a focus on discussing their communication skills, where they’d been doing well, and where they could improve.


4. Leadership development goals

Leadership development can be a really strong motivator for employees, even if they aren’t in a leadership position. There are times when people at most levels of an organization need to show leadership – even a junior sometimes needs to take the reins in a situation. Focusing on building those leadership skills will create a culture of ownership and a more adaptable workforce. 

An example of a leadership development goal would be to set an employee the goal of becoming team leader. However, you obviously can’t really do this for all employees and have an achievable goal. So try to think of other ways that you can encourage leadership. For example, setting employees the goal of taking the lead on a specific project or long-term task.


5. Business development goals

Another type of development goal that you may want to set for your employees is a business development goal. This type of goal focuses on helping employees grow and develop the business.

To set a business development goal, you need to find a business metric related to that employee’s function. For an SDR, that might be lead generation, for a software engineer, it might be delivering the next three sprints on time. Notice, these are not direct measures of that employee’s performance. Business development goals are about achieving results for the business as a whole. Because of this, business development goals are often shared across whole teams and functions.

The 5Mins learning platform is designed to help your employees reach their development goals fast.

Interested to see how? Let's have a chat

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