Creating A 70-20-10 Development Plan For Your Team

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
– Aristotle

According to the Association for Talent Development, organizations with employee training programs enjoy a 24% higher profit margin as opposed to the ones that don’t.  

So, training is crucial for organizational growth, development, and success. And one of the principles of employee training is the 70-20-10 development plan. 

What is a 70-20-10 plan?

Created by Michael Lombardo, Morgan McCall, and Robert Eichinger, the 70-20-10 is a learning and development framework used by successful managers to effectively train employees. In it, people acquire 70% of the useful knowledge from job-related experiences, 20% from interactions with others, and 10% from formal educational events. 

Most of the learning (70%) happens when employees think on their feet, address challenges, and interact with influential people (such as immediate managers and/or subject matter experts) in a professional setting. For example, when your employee faces a bottleneck while compiling his code, they work on it until it’s resolved and then, the learning helps them combat similar issues in the future. This also includes learning from feedback. Your employees can employ corrective measures when necessary and use that learning for his future work.

A small chunk of learning (the 20%) happens in a collaborative learning environment where employees interact with their peers (colleagues, team supervisors, thought leaders) at work to facilitate learning. Deloitte recommends directing your employees to “practice communities” (or internal discussion forums) where they are exposed to new perspectives. You can also incorporate social sharing tools in your online training programs, so people can give and receive feedback on their learning journey.  

Finally, 10% of the learning takes place by a formal intervention that includes informative reading materials, traditional courseware instructions, and educational events (like webinars, seminars, workshops, etc). Apart from creating digital asset libraries for employees that include short, step-by-step instructions on accomplishing certain tasks for this, you can also provide competency models to them as reference tools to learn from. 

Importance of 70-20-10 Development Plan

Here are some benefits of the plan:

More employee engagement: 

Formal training limits employee engagement with others in the organization while the 70-20-10 plan engages them to come together. It allows employees to get more involved at work and practice their job roles. This engagement increases their chance of staying with the company for long.

Improved Productivity: 

Formal training can be a time taking process. The more time you take you are less likely to want to finish your work. Incorporation of mentorship, or coaching opportunities in the workplace, speeds up the work process, and improves your productivity. This is because your employees have all the knowledge readily available within the organization. Obstacles in finishing up any task can be resolved in no time.

High-performance Culture: 

The continuous share of knowledge and experience results in high performance of the team. A 70-20-10 plan allows identifying others’ weaknesses and helps them out to perform better. Helping each other in the team makes every task easy to finish and the quality of work also increases. 

Faster Problem Resolution

The employee’s questions are answered and problems are solved at the quickest. You don’t have to wait around for the training courses. You can ask your team manager or your colleagues and collectively find solutions. This makes the process cost and time-efficient.

How to Create a 70-20-10 Development Plan for Your Employees?

Plan First, Implement Second

Start by reviewing where your organization stands in terms of training. For example, is on-the-job training a formal or an informal process in your organization? Are your managers or team leaders keen on participating in the training process? How much money do you spend on employee training? How much money are you likely to spend on a 70-20-10 plan? 

By answering these questions, you’d be in a better position to determine the goal of your training program. Quick note: Your employee training goal must directly align with your organizational goals. 

 Get inputs from your workforce as a whole on what can be done to improve their knowledge. Or the subjects they largely need help with. Based on this information, you will be able to create a concrete plan to implement your training process successfully.

For example, If your workforce largely requires training on public speaking, a training program for software building might not be as useful. However, if you conduct a survey across cross-functional teams in the company, you can find out some of the most important topics that your employees need training for and strategize accordingly. 

Lastly, if you are creating a training program for teams or roles you are not well acquainted with, ask your managers to help with the subject matter and resources your employees need.

Strategize your 70-20-10 Development Plan

Now that you have the basic plan, goals of your training program, the second step involves a strategy to achieve it. List down the different ways you can implement your plan. Ensure that these ways of learning are in respect to the 70-20-10 development plan. 

For example, if you want to train your employees in customer service, the main focus is their communication and conflict resolution skills. So, formally you can provide them with a written course on public speaking which includes some tips and techniques for good communication. Socially, you can have an activity where some employees play the role of a customer, whereas the others act as the sales representatives, sales staff, and interact with each other. And then you can give them a group of new customers to handle which will allow them to practice their skills. 

In this step-by-step process, you can engage employees who are in superior positions so that they can make good ambassadors of the development program. 

Pick the Right Tools for Implementation

There are several learning tools available for companies looking to successfully train their employees. Remember, too many cooks spoil the broth, so you must pick tools based on your training requirements.  You can consult your managers or senior leadership for suggestions because they work closely with teams on an everyday basis. 

Below mentioned are a few popular tools that you can put to use:

Learning Management System (LMS)

A learning management system is a digital learning platform that helps you to deliver, manage, and track employee training effectively. You can create one place for all your training courses. With LMS, you have everything you need under one roof – you can create and manage your training program courses and also keep a track of your employees’ progress.  

LMS is like having your online class where you can create training programs to help your employees learn, evaluate their progress, and provide feedback. (You can try Siminars too!)

Project Management Tool

Project management tools allow you to share important documents with your employees and assign tasks too. You can keep track of all the tasks and manage your team better. Trello, Slack, Asana, are some popular examples of Project Management Tools that can help you manage your team. 

Messaging Software 

You mainly require systematic messaging software to take your workforce collaboration a step further. One of the most used messaging software is Slack. It allows you to form groups like on WhatsApp but in its professional form. You can easily get reviews, give reviews, and discuss problems. Now you must be wondering, then why not WhatsApp itself? Your availability on WhatsApp is not just limited to your workforce. It is also open to your friends and family. This increases your chance of getting distracted and reduces the chance of productivity at work. Hence, you must avoid communication over social media platforms. 

Cultivate a learning culture

You have successfully implemented your training plans, your training courses and tools are ready to reach your employees. But are they willing to get trained?

It is important to create a learning environment for your employees in a 70-20-10 plan. Everyone in the organization should participate in the process. You can make them aware of the importance of training. And how it can help their career growth within the company. 


This mix of experiential learning, social learning, and formal learning brings all the employees together in the learning process. It changes business into a family. Because of the regular collaborations. There is less dependency and more empowerment of individuals. The open opportunity for employees to regularly practice their job roles right and polish their skills will let you enjoy a new growth in your business. 

So are you ready to implement the 70-20-10 development plan for your team?