With the challenges leaders face in today’s labor pool, they are wise to boost their efforts when it comes to retaining their people. One way to retain your employees is to help them grow in their professions. Nobody wants to be stuck doing the same job for an entire career, and everyone seeks to learn and grow. The solution? Create a development plan for all—or at least your future leaders.

In fact, the on-going process of developing future leaders is critical to the short- and long-term success of your organization. However, busy schedules, crucial deadlines, and tight budgets get in the way. When training budgets are cut or don’t exist, individuals can be left to their own resources. What happens? They put their professional growth aside as they wait for a better time to advance their careers.

But when it comes to professional growth, waiting isn’t acceptable. Encouraging employees to create their own leadership self-development plan is a viable solution. They can start by following these steps.


For example, if they commit 10% of their time to professional development, that’s 4 to 6 hours a week or a staggering 26 to 39 days a year. This may not seem practical; however, start by getting rid of items that waste time, then dedicate 30 minutes a week to self-development. Follow that with 60 minutes twice a week, then three times a week, and so on. In a gradual way, they’ll soon be honoring their commitments for self-development.


What specific skills, characteristics, qualities, or attributes are required for employees to work on their plans? Consider these realistic approaches to identifying opportunities for improvement:

  • Ask supervisors and mentors for feedback on the plan.
  • Ask co-workers for feedback on the plan.
  • Complete a formal 360-degree feedback survey.
  • Complete an online self-assessment.


Everyone learns a bit differently, so each employee should evaluate his or her best learning style. Here are a few valuable options for learning:

  • Attend relevant workshops, seminars, and webinars.
  • Listen to educational CDs, MP3s, or podcasts.
  • Watch educational videos online.
  • Work with a professional coach.
  • Find and read books, articles, and online blogs.
  • Use role playing to practice challenging situations. Tracking progress helps them keep goals visible.


Proper and complete execution of any plan requires prioritizing actions and defining desired outcomes while staying focused and disciplined. Employees work on these actions during the time allocated in Step One while using the methodologies identified in Step Two.


Conduct 90-day reviews to evaluate progress and adjust their self-development plans as necessary. 


Employees want to contribute to their organizations, and they also want to build toward a promising future. Well-designed and carefully implemented self-development plans help them accomplish both. As a leader, you can set the stage and retain good people in the process.

About the Coach:

As a leadership development expert, Randy Goruk works with construction industry leaders to improve employee engagement and business growth. Contact Randy directly to learn how he can help you and your team: randy@LeadersEdge360.com. For more, visit leadersedge360.com.

Modern Contractor Solutions, July 2022
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