Managing performance is
larger than just helping team members perform well on short-term
assignments and goals. To
improve employee performance over the longer haul, it is important to
establish long-range developmental needs.
This requires a realistic action plan that shapes developmental
Development Plan (IDP).
What Is an IDP?
An Individual Development
Plan (IDP) is...
A clear statement of an
employee's career goals,
A map for attaining goals
that specifies immediate and long-range developmental needs,
action plan to develop specific competencies (knowledge and skills)
needed to improve performance in a current position or to prepare for
A written plan for
scheduling and managing an employee's development,
A tool for a supervisor to
estimate resources needed for employee development training.
The IDP process is a
continuing cycle of planning, implementation and evaluation between a
team leader and individual team members for the mutual benefit of both
the employee and the organization. An IDP requires time to:
Analyze job requirements,
Assess current competencies
Make informed decisions
about developmental needs.
Note that an IDP and a
performance appraisal have the same focus--fostering individual and
organizational improvement. However, a performance appraisal is more
like an end-of-year profit and loss statement while an IDP is an
investment plan. They should work together, but they have different
of an IDP for Team Members and Team Leaders
IDP's shall provide
meaningful training plans that will help the…
Team Member to...
Team Leaders to ...
Perform duties according
to established job standards,
Improve job performance,
Set reasonable goals,
strengths and weaknesses
Schedule and plan
individual development each year.
Aid in the development of
their team members to achieve the necessary knowledge, skills
and competencies to meet performance standards.
Accurately document the
current developmental needs for their team
Clarify team needs,
mission changes, changes in technology, expected turnover,
staffing needs, program plans and future needs for particular
The IDP Process: Four
There are four phases of
the IDP Process:
1. Employee-Team Leader Conference
2. Developmental Activity
3. Preparing the IDP Form
4. Implementing the IDP
The first phase of developing and IDP is the employee/team leader
conference. The purpose of
this joint conference is to identify developmental needs and discuss
optimum capacity building activities.
A. The employee must come prepared to discuss…
where he has been (what
training he has had),
where he is now (both
developed and underdeveloped competencies), and
where he wants to be (both
short-range and long-range work goals).
B. The team leader must provide honest and open feedback and identify what
he/she feels are competency development needs.
C. Together they must do the following:
Discuss critical job
requirements and responsibilities
Outline the knowledge and
skills needed to perform the work
Identify an employee's
talents and needs
Define individual job
activities that will support the employee’s capacity development;
then prioritize the activities; and subsequently identify criteria to
measure and evaluate employee growth.
Two: Developmental Activities Selection
In this phase of the IDP process the team leader and the employee must
match identified developmental needs with available development
activities. The goal is to select activities that provide maximum
learning but stay within the organization’s mission, budget, travel
restriction, staff requirements, and time/work restraints.
The activities are
generally of four different types:
training that includes
individualized coaching, mentoring, and/or counseling.
classroom training either on or off site.
-development where the employee secures
training on his own: evening classes, training videos, online courses,
correspondence self-study, personal reading, etc.
activities within the workplace such
as shadowing, task force assignments, short-term assignments in other
Three: Completing the IDP Form
It is important to formally
document the IDP by completing and signing the IDP form.
The employee must complete the form and present it to the team
leader for sign off. Here
the participants can finalize agreements concerning what is to be done
and when, how performance will be assessed, and what
the intended results will look like.
After signing the form, a
copy should be filed with HR or the Training Office.
Four: Implementing the IDP
Once the specific activities identified in the IDP are approved, it is
up to the employee to carry through with the experience. The team leader
will support and guide the employee, but the primary responsibility for
successfully reaching the goals rests with individual team members.
Note that just
participating in the developmental activities is not enough.
It is vital that the employee apply the learning to the job.
In periodic IDP performance reviews the participant and the team
leader can discuss how the new training has been translated into
practice and improved performance.
Note that it is important
for both the employee and the team leader to be flexible.
This means staying open to IDP changes as training and conditions
The IDP process is in
reality an ongoing and vibrant learning journey.
from the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency