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Design an Impactful Employee Development Program

Solve the puzzle of employee development by designing a program to build competencies the organization needs today and in the future.

  • Leaders have left employees to drive their own development without providing direction or support and without aligning development to organizational needs.
  • Organizations position development as employee owned, yet employees still feel like their needs aren’t being met, and many leave as a result.
  • Organizations often have a lot of employee development opportunities but don’t connect the right opportunity to the right employee.

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  • Get on-demand project support
  • Get advice, coaching, and insight at key project milestones
  • Go through a Guided Implementation to help you get through your project

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Employee development needs to be employee owned and manager supported, but organization informed to ensure that it meets the organization’s needs. Operating environments change quickly, and organizations need to develop the competencies employees need both today and in the future.

Impact and Result

  • Design an employee development plan that builds the competencies the organization needs both today and in the future.
  • Connect the right development opportunity to the right employee through an effective employee development-planning process.
  • Equip managers and build program support to foster continuous employee learning and development.

Design an Impactful Employee Development Program Research & Tools

1. Assess organizational needs

Conduct an organizational needs analysis and compile a list of priority competencies to develop for identified employee segments. Create a plan to mitigate barriers, maintain the program, and measure progress and develop an action and communication plan.

2. Design the employee development program

Determine how employees are assessed, review current and new development programs, design a development planning process with identified accountabilities of managers and employees.

3. Build program support

Integrate employee development with other HR programs and identify the tools required to equip managers and employees.

Employee Development

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McLean & Company is recognized by SHRM and can award Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®.

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How to complete this course:

Use these videos, along with the Project Blueprint deck above, to gain an understanding of the subject. Start with the Introduction, then move through each of the Course Modules. At the end of each Module, you will be required to complete a short test to demonstrate your understanding. You will complete this course when you have completed all of the course tests.

  • Number of Course Modules: 5
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1.5 hours

Learning Outcome

Describe how to design an impactful employee development program, from analyzing the organization’s needs, to designing program building blocks, to building program support.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Make the case for an employee development program in their organization.
  • Conduct an analysis of the competencies the organization needs today and in the future.
  • Define the requirements for designing an employee development program.
  • Define the program support required and discuss high-level actions, communications, and metrics to implement the program.

Course Modules

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Introduction: Introduction

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Module 1: Module 1

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Module 2: Module 2

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Module 3: Module 3

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Module 4: Module 4

Design an Impactful Employee Development Program preview picture

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 11 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Assess organizational needs
  • Call 1: Review and prioritize competencies required based on internal and external analysis.
  • Call 2: Identify employee segments to build custom development programs for (if applicable).

Guided Implementation 2: Design the employee development program
  • Call 1: Review assessment inputs and outputs.
  • Call 2: Analyze existing development programs and activities and identify new ones needed.
  • Call 3: Review the development planning process.
  • Call 4: Review follow-up mechanisms.

Guided Implementation 3: Build program support
  • Call 1: Discuss integration of a dynamic learning mindset into the development program.
  • Call 2: Review integration of employee development with other HR programs.
  • Call 3: Review customization of job aids for managers and employees.
  • Call 4: Review program goals and metrics to measure success.
  • Call 5: Review action and communication plan.


  • Alan M. Saks, Professor of Organizational Behavior & HR Management, Centre for Industrial Relations & Human Resources, University of Toronto
  • Anonymous, former Senior Training Manager, Large Telecommunications Company
  • Anonymous, Senior Manager of Talent & Development, Large Professional Services Firm
  • Colleen Philabaum, Director of Learning & Development, Worthington Industries
  • Dr. Karie Willyerd, Head of Global Customer Education & Learning, SAP and Co-Author of Stretch: How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow’s Workplace
  • Gerard Camacho, Director of Career Development, Parkland Health & Hospital System
  • Julie Winkle Giulioni, Consultant, Speaker, and Co-Author of Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go
  • Luis Alberola, Talent Strategy & Innovation, Owner, LA Consulting
  • Michelle Ockers, Independent Learning & Development Consultant