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Individual Development Plan – A Two way street for commitment

An Individual development plan is a tool which helps to facilitate employee development, It’s a two-way street for commitment between an employee and their manager as how they are going to grow together.

An individual development plan (IDP) is termed to be tool to assist employees in career and facilitate employee development. It is two way commitment between an employee and their manager whose primary purpose is to help employees reach short and long-term career goals, as well as improve current job performance.
An IDP is often used as way to drive leadership development which need not mistaken to be a performance evaluation tool or a one-time activity. Organization gives preference to them because they are tangible evidence visible that leadership development is taking place as continuous feedback. IDPs are encouraged throughout many organizations for new and current employees.

Why need for IDP

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is an organized approach to professional and personal development tracked as measure of progress to drive accountability for development when they are well written and taken seriously. These development plans benefits the organization by aligning employee training needs with its objectives, goals and mission. Following are some of benefits of IDPs for organization.

  • • IDPs are useful for supervisors who understand employees strengths and developments needs and professional goals to draft realistic staff development plan.
  • • Employees are aware of responsibility and accountability in their career development and skills they need to acquire or enhance to stay in current profile.
  • • Its helps and Assist organizations training and development needs for new employees as well as existing employees.
  • • Organization will have administrative mechanism for identifying and tracking development needs and plans.
  • • IDPs align employee training and development plans with objectives , goals and mission of organization.

Measures to Make IDPs Successful

Though IDPs are not mandatory for organization , still is considered to be good management practice for many agencies who have developed their own planning process and forms for practice . An effective plans need to include minimum key elements which are as following :

  • Profile of Employees need to be included in the plan, mentioning the name, position title, office, grade/pay band or basic information related to employee.
  • Career goals : Short term and long term goals of employes should be given due importance along with the actual completaion peroid
  • Objectives Organizations goals and objective and mission should be mentioned which need to be linked to employee's development needs and objectives.
  • Training and development needs of employees should be included with estimated time period for completion, including activities like formal classroom training , rotational assignments, on the job training, self-study programs, seminars, shadow assignments and professional conferences .
  • Signatures : Scope for signatures of supervisor and employee along with date should be considered.

How to Build up your own IDP

In order to development effective IDPs, it is really necessary for supervisors and employees work together to complete the employee's development plan, though employees are ultimately responsible for taking the initiative for their professional development plans.

  • • One need to start with goals by putting timelines in place or completion date.
  • • One need to create a tables with the goals in one column and dates on which these goals to be achieved in another column.
  • • In the next step one need to figure out what skills and competencies along with the support is needed for each goal. Also the strategies required for developing those skills.
  • • It is necessary and essential one to have trustworthy mentor working with you to identify the needed skills and steps necessary to reach drafted goals.
  • • One can seek advices from academic and research advisors, peers, professors or colleagues having similar career or professional goals.
  • • One need to consider as much details for skills and strategies needed for long -term and intermediate- term goals and short-term goals.

Skill Assessment and Timeline

Building an ideal IDP is energizing and motivating which requires time and effort, and has to be done with careful thought and an honest self-assessment. Conducting a skill assessment is necessary for person to identify the gaps for skills needed to achieve one’s goals. With help of honest self-assessment one can craft effective strategies to fill those identified gaps within realistic timeline. These strategies can be in the form of classroom activities, workshops, seminars, tutorials and so on. Another essential for success of IDPs is to have timeline to make person more accountable and committed. One need to review and assess IDPs from time to time to check ones progress towards goals to be achieved which is essential for success of IDPs.