Career planning with employees


2 min read

The benefits of having a plan How to make a career plan Supporting an employee's career plan Additional resources

A career plan sets out the career goals of your employee and plans how you will work together to achieve them. It helps create clarity for you both, demonstrates your commitment to each other, and increases the chances of your employees gaining the skills and experience they need to progress their goals or career. For your farming business, career plans help you set goals for the immediate, medium, and long-term future, with confidence that your employee’s development will help you achieve your business goals.

The benefits of having a plan

Creating career plans with your employees improves their focus and can lead to highly motivated staff who are eager to learn. This results in higher-performing employees with faster progression, helping to achieve both their personal goals and your business goals as well. Most people keep their career plans in their heads and never get around to writing them down. Thinking about, discussing, and then writing down career goals significantly increases the chance of everyone working towards those goals, and successful outcomes.

Having a career plan demonstrates a commitment to a career and the dairy sector. It can help employees talk clearly about their career goals and think about their ideal career next steps.

Depending on your farm business and the progression opportunities you can offer, it is good to have open and honest discussions about career goals. This should include what is realistic to achieve in their existing role, and what career progression pathways are available, both in and outside of your business.

How to make a career plan

Discuss career plans with your employees during your catchups or yearly review; If they have a career plan, or want to develop one, explain what it means and potential benefits.

Find out if they want your help developing their career plan. If they would like your support, organise a time to sit down and work through it together making sure it’s their plan, with you supporting, challenging, and encouraging.

It’s normal for a career plan to change depending on how an employee’s career progresses, their experiences and their personal or family situation. It is a great idea for your employee to get their partner and family involved in their career plan because any plans for your employee’s future, will affect them too. Support and commitment from their partner/family will help them achieve their goals, especially if these include contract milking, sharemilking or farm ownership.

We recommend using the Plan your career (careers.govt.nz) tools and templates to help create the plan.

Developing a career plan

It’s important to support your employee’s career plan and where you can, help them upskill. This could be through informal training and formal training needed to progress. Visit our coaching and mentoring section to see how you and your team can best support each other to keep developing.

Last updated: May 2024

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