As a leader, you have a responsibility to not just manage your team but to teach them.

Whether you bring on a new employee who needs to learn the ropes or you roll out a new process or piece of software, it’s your job to ensure your employees have the direction, time, and resources they need to get up to speed.

That’s why your employee training plan is so important. It outlines and formalizes your approach to training so that everyone can align their expectations and make that training as smooth and effective as possible. 

That all starts with the right software. Wrike has all of the features and resources you need for successful employee training, including a ready-to-use employee onboarding template.

onboarding template

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What is an employee training plan?

Your employee training plan is your documented roadmap for educating an employee. It spells out the training goals, timelines, training methods, and success metrics that you and your employees will refer to as you work through the training program. 

Remember that your training plan is just that: a plan. While the employee training itself can happen in a variety of different ways — books, videos, courses, workshops, seminars, mentorship, coaching, and more — the training plan is the documented strategy for when, where, why, and how the training will be carried out. 

When it comes to training, most people immediately think of the people at the very beginning of the employee life cycle: new hires. However, employee training plans are used for a variety of scenarios and circumstances, including:

  • New hire onboarding
  • Career growth, advancement, and upskilling
  • Safety procedures and compliance
  • Process updates or changes
  • Industry news and shifts
  • New products or features
  • Interpersonal skills

Put simply, any time an employee or a team needs to learn something new — be it an unfamiliar skill, a change to your company-wide services, or anything else — a solid employee training plan will keep everybody on track. 

Why is having a good employee training plan important?

There’s an inherent sense of urgency that comes along with teaching something new.

You want your new hires to get up to speed and reach peak efficiency as soon as possible. You need your team to be compliant with those changing industry regulations immediately. You need that person to take over that new process or responsibility sooner rather than later.

That sense of urgency often sabotages planning. It’s tempting to jump right in with the actual teaching while assuming that planning, strategizing, and documenting will only waste precious time. However, there are a number of compelling reasons why your employee training plan is well worth the time and effort. 

1. Increase accountability

Any plan you create — whether you start from scratch or use a training plan template — should include a section for success metrics. How will people know when they’ve successfully completed the training program?

Establishing those metrics not only gives a clear finish line but also instills a stronger sense of accountability in employees, as they know exactly what the expectation is. 

2. Improve productivity and performance

Your employee training plan equips employees with the guidance and resources they need to learn something new, without having to second-guess themselves or search for the next steps. 

Plus, when they reach the end of the training program, they have the benefit of broader knowledge and stronger skills — which usually translate to improved performance and efficiency. 

3. Reduce errors

Mistakes happen, and your employee training plan isn’t about achieving perfection. With that said, your plan will give employees a clear structure as they move through the learning process, which means fewer inconsistencies in training and less room for future errors and misunderstandings. 

4. Support growth and development

Employees are eager to learn and advance their own careers. In fact, an impressive 57% of workers say they’re very or extremely interested in participating in training to upgrade their skills or learn new ones. 

Your employee training plan shows your employees that your commitment to their growth and development isn’t just lip service — you’re willing to put a formal plan in place to support them. 

5. Increase employee retention

When so many employees are hungry for growth, it makes sense that they’re most interested in sticking with employers that support those values and desires. 

Your employee training plans can help you not only develop more top performers but also keep them around. When 68% of workers say they would stay with their employer throughout their career if the company made an effort to upskill them, your employee training plans can keep your top talent from looking for greener pastures. 

Yet, despite the numerous advantages, reliable employee training isn’t as common or prevalent as you’d think. An alarming 47% of workers in one study said they didn’t receive any training and development from their employer in 2021. 

What should your employee training plan include?

So why do so many employers fail to provide the training that employees obviously crave? From limited resources to lack of awareness, there’s a variety of potential reasons that employers drop the ball. 

One of the big ones? Employers feel overwhelmed by the idea of employee training — they don’t know the first thing about what to include in a plan or how to carry out effective and engaging training.

In this section, we’ll walk through what should be included in your training plan. You can use it as a checklist as you create a training plan template for your own organization. 

Basic information

At the top of your employee training plan, include some nuts-and-bolts information to provide some upfront context for the training. This should include:

  • What: What type of training is this?
  • Who: Who is this training for? A specific employee? An entire department? The whole team?
  • When: What date was the plan created? What’s the timeframe for the training itself?

Remember, your training plan is intended to document all of the important details of your training — which means you shouldn’t assume anything is common knowledge. 

Training goals

Now it’s time to establish the “why.” Why are you rolling out this training? What’s the objective or purpose?

Try to drill down and get as specific as possible here. For example, the purpose of the training might be to educate your employees on your new enterprise project management software. But dig deeper into why that’s important. 

Here’s a quick example of a training goal: Educate employees on the basic features and capabilities of our new enterprise project management software so that cross-functional teams can collaborate and communicate more efficiently. 

Going that extra step helps provide some more motivation for employees to actually complete the training, as you’ve clearly outlined the value in doing so. 

Success metrics 

It’s tempting to think that simply completing the training is a reliable enough success metric. However, you don’t just need to know that employees made it through the training — you need to know that they’ve learned and retained the information. 

That’s why this section of your employee training plan is so important. It outlines specific success metrics you’ll use to determine whether or not the training was actually successful.

The more quantifiable you can be here, the better. But not every training goal or metric will have a number easily attached to it. Stay focused on pinpointing clear indicators that the training was successful. In the case of our enterprise project management software example, here’s what that could look like:

Training success metrics:

  • Employees complete all 10 modules of the software curriculum
  • Employees can demonstrate working knowledge of the following features to their direct manager: 
    • Task assignments
    • Due dates
    • Comments
    • Workflows

Timeline and milestones

Remember the sense of urgency we mentioned earlier? You understandably want your employees to make it through your training relatively quickly — you don’t want it to stretch on forever.

Yet training and skills development is something that easily and consistently gets pushed to the back burner. That’s why it’s important to outline a timeline in your employee training plan template.

subtasks timeline

For shorter and more straightforward training, that might be as simple as a deadline for when the training needs to be finished. But for more complex training that could span weeks or even months, you’ll want to break down a more detailed timeline with milestones to keep people on track and prevent a feeling of overwhelm. 

Sticking with our same project management software example, here’s what that could look like:

Training timeframe: Four weeks

Training milestones:

  • Modules 1-4 completed by: July 14
  • Modules 5-8 completed by: July 21
  • Modules 8-10 completed by: July 28
  • Manager demonstrations: July 31 — August 4

Training methods and resources

Your employee training plan is the outline of your training — it doesn’t necessarily need to contain or provide all of the training itself. 

However, your plan should give people a clear idea of where and how they can access the training materials and resources they need. In this section, list out the training methods you’ll use, link directly to any relevant resources, and provide clear directions for access or any other important information people could need. 

This is the section that will vary the most depending on the specific type of training you’re documenting. A new hire training plan template, for example, will look a lot different than a training program template for a new company policy or procedure. 

Ready to jump in? You can get started with our own ready-to-use employee onboarding template.

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Example employee training plan templates

The above components are the barebones of your employee training plan — they should be included in any type of employee training plan you put together.

But if you’re looking for some more specific direction, we’ve created a few basic employee training plan templates for some common employee training scenarios.

1. Employee onboarding template

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when our employee onboarding and offboarding template has everything you need to get new employees up and running. 

Define each step of your own process with detailed and customizable workflows, easily track progress in two different dashboards, and ensure you never miss a step with our employee onboarding checklists

onboarding template

2. Company procedure template

[Type of Procedure] Procedure Training


[Training start date]


[Who is overseeing the training]


[Who needs to take the training]


[How long the training lasts or the dates it runs]

Training goal: 

Ensure [relevant employees or teams] have an accurate and up-to-date understanding of [policy] to ensure compliance with [relevant regulation]

Success metrics: 

  • [Metric]
  • [Metric]

Training timeline:

  • [Milestone]: [Date]
  • [Milestone]: [Date]
  • [Milestone]: [Date]

Training methods:

  • [Method]
  • [Method]

Training resources:

  • [Link to resource]
  • [Link to resource]
  • [Link to resource]

3. Career development template

[Employee] Career Development Plan


[Date the plan was created]


[Employee’s name]

Job Title: 

[Current job title]


[Employee’s manager] 

Career objective:

[Employee’s career goal(s)]

Success metrics: 

  • [Relevant skill or metric] by [date]
  • [Relevant skill or metric] by [date]


  • [Employee strength]
  • [Employee strength]
  • [Employee strength]

Skill gaps: 

  • [Area of improvement]
  • [Area of improvement]
  • [Area of improvement]

Development plan:

  • [Development opportunity] to address [skill gap]
  • [Development opportunity] to address [skill gap]
  • [Development opportunity] to address [skill gap]

Related resources:

  • [Link to resource]
  • [Link to resource]
  • [Link to resource]

Employee training is a learning process

Adequately training your employees is a learning process — not just for them, but for you too. You’ll learn a lot about what works well (and what doesn’t) as you create and work through various training plans. That’s valuable information you can use to adjust your approach. 

Regardless of the type or methods of training, one thing remains true: You need the right software for creating a helpful training schedule template and then executing and monitoring your employee training. 

With clear task assignments, customizable workflows, and helpful reports and dashboards, Wrike has all of the features and capabilities you need to make all of your employee training as successful as possible.

With Wrike on your side, you and your employees can spend less time managing your employee training and more time focused on what’s most important: continuous learning and improvement. 

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