What is an Individual Development Plan (IDP)?
An Individual Development Plan (IDP) identifies an employee’s development goals. An IDP contains training, education, and development activities to acquire or enhance the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to maximize job performance. This helps to ensure that staff are prepared to carry out their responsibilities and contribute to the organization’s mission by helping them learn new skills, refresh current skills, and make use of emerging technologies.
An IDP gives managers/supervisors and employees an opportunity to:
- Focus your professional efforts and identify individual work goals.
- Use the IDP as a communication, development and/or planning tool.
- Serve as your career action plan for skill building, professional development and career management.
- Establish objectives that support both the unit’s and employee’s needs and goals
- Create a clear guide for employees to help them work toward career goals and for supervisors to channel the employee’s efforts in ways that help the unit achieve its goals and mission
- Organize and set priorities for development experiences that will help an employee:
- Learn new skills to improve current job performance
Step 1: Preparing for the IDP Discussion
- Review the employee’s most recent performance review.
- Reflect on the employee’s performance and observable behavior to identify key strengths/areas for development.
- Consider key organizational needs or opportunities that may be of interest to an employee
Step 2: Discuss creating a Draft IDP and Finalizing the IDP
Engage in dialogue with your staff member in order to identify strengths, interests, and values.
- What interests you?
- What do you like to do?
- What are you good at doing?
- What do you want to get better at doing?
Work with your staff member to select classes/development opportunities that address their top interests, leverage their strengths, and align with values. The optimal opportunity addresses multiple areas.
Consider the following potential development categories:
- Conflict Management
- Customer/Guest Service
- Diversity/Cultural Awareness
- Financial Management
- Technology Management
- Written Communication
Complete the attached IDP form, and provide your staff member with a copy.
Step 3: IDP Implementation and Follow-up
Schedule bi-weekly 1-on-1 meetings with your staff member. During these meetings, ask the following:
- How are you doing? (A personal check-in.)
- What have you done related to your development plan?
Following workshops or any IDP related progress, ask the following:
- What was your biggest take-away?
- How can I apply this to my work?
- What did I learn about myself?
- How might this change my approach to work?
Consider extending the development opportunity by asking your staff member to write a brief summary of key learnings, share highlights during a team meeting, or visit the Box account associated with the Timeless Success Series