What Every Action Plan for Employees Should Include

What Every Action Plan for Employees Should Include

Crafting an effective action plan for employees can be a game-changer, and to get it right, we’ve gathered insights from CEOs and top executives. From defining professional development time to outlining clear expectations and consequences, explore the nine key elements these leaders recommend for a comprehensive employee action plan.

  • Define Professional Development Time
  • Set Specific, Measurable Goals
  • Clarify Milestones and Deadlines
  • Implement a SMART Goals Framework
  • Include a Communication Plan
  • Foster Good Team Rapport
  • Align Goals with Organizational Objectives
  • Provide Regular Training Programs
  • Outline Clear Expectations and Consequences

Define Professional Development Time

Professional development and training opportunities should be clearly defined and not dependent on employees having to do it in their personal time. This is where I think a lot of employees’ action plans tend to go awry; they provide the opportunities but not the time or the company culture that allows employees to take advantage of those opportunities without sacrificing their personal time.

Sure, it might seem like a win-win in the short term since you get better-trained employees and it costs you no billable hours, but it’s a terrible way to foster a development culture and will probably just result in you wasting money on an LMS that no one uses.

Dragos BadeaDragos Badea
CEO, Yarooms

Set Specific, Measurable Goals

The cornerstone of any employee action plan must be the specific, measurable goals that it sets out. These are so important because they provide a clear direction and benchmarks for progress. Without tangible goals to work toward, employees will essentially be directionless in their attempts to rectify problems.

Action plan goals should be tailored to align with both the employee’s career aspirations and the company’s objectives, creating a win-win scenario.

Alex UgarteAlex Ugarte
Marketing and Operations Manager, London Office Space

Clarify Milestones and Deadlines

Well-defined milestones are key to any successful employee action plan, but as a recruiter, I’m still seeing wishy-washy goals in place of succinct definitions and deadlines.

HR isn’t helping anyone by being vague and imprecise. While it may feel you’re implementing flexibility and openness, workers are actually more inclined to see this strategy as confusing. Most people work better knowing the exact expectations of them.

In fact, when employees leave a company, they often tell me it’s because of poorly communicated aims. The resulting ineffectiveness is frustrating for both them and the broader company.

Travis HannTravis Hann
Partner, Pender & Howe

Implement a SMART Goals Framework

One essential element in any employee action plan is setting clear, measurable goals. Drawing from the precision required in brazing engineering, just as specific temperatures and alloy compositions yield optimal results, clear goals provide employees with a tangible target.

At DoDo Machine, introducing SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals for projects led to remarkable improvements in team performance and project outcomes. This approach not only enhanced our efficiency but also fostered a sense of achievement and motivation among the team, showcasing the direct impact of well-defined objectives on workplace success.

Mark ShengMark Sheng
Project Engineer, DoDo Machine

Include a Communication Plan

One of the biggest reasons why team members might have a difficult time in their position is that there is a lack of proper communication in the workplace. This is especially poignant for those who work remotely because of how difficult it can be to collaborate and communicate effectively.

A communication plan ensures that all employees understand the objectives, goals, and expectations outlined in the action plan. It aligns everyone on the same page, reducing confusion and misunderstandings, so it’s an important strategy to include in any action plan.

A proper plan ensures that everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities, allowing for effective teamwork and synergy, and encourages open dialogue, allowing for the timely resolution of issues that may arise during the implementation of the action plan. Regular communication keeps your employees motivated and engaged in their work and provides them with the information and support they need to overcome obstacles and stay focused on achieving their goals.

Another reason why this is a must is that in the event of unexpected challenges or crises, a communication plan provides a framework for disseminating information quickly and efficiently. It ensures that employees are kept informed and empowered to respond appropriately to the situation.

Christian Ofori-BoatengChristian Ofori-Boateng
CEO, ChristianSteven

Foster Good Team Rapport

Establish good team rapport. While everyone may have different personalities, work styles, and comfort levels with being social, an emphasis on having a good working relationship with fellow employees should be part of a team member’s action plan.

Things like performance, attendance, successes, and other work-related metrics are easy to pin down, but ensuring a smooth relationship within the team also encourages a comfortable, innovative, and inspiring work culture, making it an integral part of everyone’s continuous action plans.

Jamie FrewJamie Frew
CEO, Carepatron

Align Goals with Organizational Objectives

In my experience, a key element that should always be included in an action plan for employees is specific, measurable goals. These aren’t just any goals; they need to resonate with the employee’s career aspirations and align with our organizational objectives.

I’ve found that when employees see how their personal growth contributes to the company’s success, it not only boosts their motivation but also fosters a sense of belonging and purpose. This alignment is crucial for achieving tangible progress and maintaining high levels of engagement and productivity.

Ana AlipatAna Alipat
Recruitment Team Lead, Dayjob Recruitment

Provide Regular Training Programs

One important thing that should be included in an action plan for employees is regular training programs. These training programs serve as a way to develop and enhance the skills and knowledge of employees, ensuring that they are constantly updated with the latest industry trends and best practices.

Training programs can cover a range of topics, such as technical skills, leadership development, communication skills, customer service, and more. By providing employees with ongoing training opportunities, they can not only improve their performance but also feel valued and invested in by the company.

Moreover, regular training programs can also help identify any skill gaps or areas for improvement among employees. This allows the company to address these issues proactively through targeted training initiatives, resulting in a more skilled and efficient workforce.

Alex CapozzoloAlex Capozzolo
Co-Founder, SD House Guys

Outline Clear Expectations and Consequences

An effective action plan for employees should encompass several key components to ensure clarity and accountability. This starts with identifying objective problem areas and articulating their impact on operations.

Clear expectations for improvement, aligned with organizational and departmental goals, should be outlined, providing employees with a roadmap for success. A defined measurement period, whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly, allows for progress monitoring and adjustment of strategies as needed.

Additionally, consequences for non-compliance should be clearly communicated. This ends with a signed acknowledgment by the employee that formalizes the opportunity to improve and understanding of what will happen if expectations are not met.

Patty Hickok, Sphr, Gphr, Shrm-ScpPatty Hickok, Sphr, Gphr, Shrm-Scp
Sr. Director Employee Relations, Hris & HR Operations, NANA Regional Corporation

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