Inside the App: Individual Development Plan (Updated: 2022)

April 28, 2022

As we have frequently shared, the key to winning the war on talent is fostering a culture that values internal growth. Opportunities for advancement and professional development rank high in surveys – not only will this type of investment help engage the employee, but it will also drive production for the employer.

A new Pew Research Center survey finds that “low pay, a lack of opportunities for advancement and feeling disrespected at work are the top reasons why Americans quit their jobs last year. A majority of workers who quit their jobs in 2021 – 63% – did so because there was no opportunity for advancement.”

To be sure, we can’t advance employees who aren’t ready, but we can identify those who could be good candidates and develop a plan to help them prepare for new opportunities.

An Individual Development Plan is a great way to provide direction and purpose, which can help employees stay motivated and engaged.

An Individual Development Plan, or IDP, is an action-oriented plan to guide employees on their career and development path. An IDP is different from a Performance Improvement Plan, or PIP, which is a more formal document that outlines what a team member needs to do to bring their performance up to an acceptable standard.

An IDP focuses more on career goals and is a proactive plan that helps Team Members to achieve their developmental aspirations.

Managers can guide employees through the process of developing an IDP but it must be driven but the employee. The first step is to explore the team member’s career goals and aspirations.

Each person brings something unique to the table. Identifying strengths and talents can help you determine how you can best leverage those assets, and can help the employee stay positive and confident.

If you are completing on-going employee assessments in the Truvelop app and using Sparks to recognize accomplishments and areas of strengths, you can refer to this data to help the team member identify strengths and talents.

Understanding strengths and talents can help an employee to think about their future goals and the career path they may want to pursue.

Where do they see themself in a year? 3 years? 5 years?

When establishing professional or career goals, the team member should think about how this aligns with their values. Every goal should have some level of intrinsic motivation built into it, so identifying what we enjoy and want to pursue is going to help ensure the presence of intrinsic motivation.

The next step is determining the skills needed to achieve the goals. A manager or mentor can help the employee develop a list of these and may have additional insight into different roles that could be a good fit to help them along this journey.

Knowing these goals will help you as a manager, to advocate for the team member, share encouragement and positive reinforcement, and identify different development/training opportunities as they arise.

Once an employee determines their career goals and areas of opportunity for skill development to achieve those goals, you can work together to develop a plan – are there training programs internally or externally? Is there someone who can serve as a mentor?

Establish specific milestones, steps and actions that have dates or deadlines and metrics to track.

Having specific and measurable action plans with a deadline will help the employee to remain focused and motivated. These can also help guide evaluations inside the app so that you are evaluating against their goals and the plan you have developed. Using Spark, you can help keep your team member accountable and recognize progress.

The IDP does not need to be a permanent plan – it can be agile and adjust as the employee develops – the IDP and goals can be updated as necessary. In fact, a good development plan is one that is constantly revisited and updated as career goals are met and aspirations change.

Contact us today to learn more about our modern approach to performance management and development that actually improves the manager and employee relationship by taking your managers to the next level. Don’t just take our word for it, see what our Customers have to say.