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Individual Development Plan

Renan Araújo

a importância do autoconhecimento

As we know, performance appraisal is a structured assessment of an employee’s individual performance over a certain period. Among the main objectives of this strategy, improving the company’s performance by improving the performance of its professionals stands out. However, after applying this assessment and providing feedback, you need to manage the person’s development through focus and strategy execution. This is possible with IDP.

Also known as an Individual Development Plan, it is a strategy that will help the company and the leaders monitor the development of a professional’s competencies.

With this in mind, we have prepared this material for you to understand what the IDP is, what the advantages of applying it are, tips on how to develop it, and to understand how a performance management tool will contribute to this. Read on to learn more!

What is IDP?

As we explained, the Individual Development Plan is an important strategy for the company to monitor people’s performance and competence development. In this sense, besides meeting the company’s interests for more attractive results, it will also be aligned with the employee’s objectives, his personal goals, and the goals he wants to achieve within the organization.

We know that, for the development of professionals, it is necessary to invest more in continuous feedback between leaders, subordinates, and other peers, to have goals that inspire and that are defined in a collaborative way, and to have conversations between leaders and their subordinates that will inspire and generate good insights.

However, these strategies will be much more successful if there is the opportunity to manage the development of people, in a way that unlocks human potential and focuses on the execution of the planned actions. Thus, the IDP will be an opportunity for the team as a whole to be empowered, always seeking to apply a high-performance culture.

What are the advantages of adopting the IDP?

Now that we know what the IDP is, it is time to evaluate some of the main advantages of adopting it in the company. We have selected some of the main ones in the next section. Check it out!

Increased productivity

By applying the IDP, the company will consequently adopt a participative leadership style. After all, management will follow the person’s development, assist in individual strategies, and offer relevant feedback on what has been working and what can be improved in the actions.

Consequently, there will be a gain in productivity on the part of the team since participative leadership contributes to bring more respect and admiration from your team members. According to studies conducted by Gallup, leaders have an influence of up to 70% on employee engagement. Engaged professionals are consequently more productive.

Improved goal achievement

When the goals are co-participatory – that is, created through the perceptions of both leaders and followers – there is a greater incentive to achieve these results. In this sense, IDP is an important tool for people to understand points of development that will contribute to better results in their performance.

Understand the relationship: while elaborating the goals together with the leadership, a professional identified that she needed to investigate in more detail why the previous results were not achieved. After that, he asked for feedback from his colleagues, asking for insights on what he could improve to work better and generate more results.

From this feedback, she identified that she takes on different demands and projects. Consequently, she can’t perform efficiently in all the functions assumed. In other words, you had to focus on specific projects and get the most productivity out of them.  In this way, she will formulate an action plan, focusing on given points and achieving the stipulated goals.

Close connection between leaders, male and female leaders

By elaborating an IDP, as we explained, the followers will be able to present their strategies to the leaders, generating a closer relationship between them. For this relationship to be further enhanced, it is best to have one-on-one meetings. These are frequent meetings between management and the professionals led to discuss the challenges and other topics of interest to the team member.

In light of the definition of what that person’s IDP will look like, one of the agendas can be the development and implementation of the outlined strategies. Again, there is an opportunity for the leaders to present their perceptions about the progress of the plan, allowing for changes in routes to be more successful in achieving the proposed goal.

How to help team members develop an IDP?

In the following, we will present some practical tips to help leaders develop the IDP. Check it out!

Define an area that you want to develop

Often, team members may find it difficult to figure out an area that they want to develop. For this reason, you should ideally ask him to ask the whole team for feedback, as in the example given above.

From these insights offered in a genuine way by co-workers, there is the possibility of finding points that need to be worked on so that the results and deliveries are more effective.

In addition, it is essential to review a team member’s performance evaluation. Analyze what the results of the assessment were (that is, behavior observed, and results achieved) and what inputs were found for the employee’s development for the next cycle.

It is also recommended that you show team members the opportunities that are arising in the company and what can be improved to achieve them, Example: an organization is going through a globalization process, acquiring other units around the world. Leadership positions will be open, but fluent English is a mandatory. If the person knows the language but not fluently, it is a topic that can be developed.

However, leave these points to the team member’s discretion, as it will generate greater motivation to achieve goals – which increases the chances of success. 

Devise an IDP with more specific strategies

Another important point when building the IDP with the professional is the importance of outlining more specific actions. There is no need to bring a plan that encompasses the entire IDP. However, it is necessary to plan periodic actions that will contribute to the desired result.

Going back to the example of the professional who needs to focus on only one project. What would be the strategies of your action plan? We can add the following to them:

  • reading articles that help increase your focus on just one project;
  • asking for weekly feedback to coworkers, so that she continuously evaluates how she is developing in this regard;
  • defining project goals that she will have more focus on, following up on these results in every one-on-one meeting;
  • performing at least one action that involves the focus project every day.

Follow up the IDP periodically

It is not enough to create the Individual Development Plan if you do not follow it through. As with the OKRs, in which follow-up is essential to achieve the intended goals, the IDP needs to be monitored so that the leaders can analyze what actions in the action plan have been carried out, what are the topics for improvement, and what results have been obtained so far.

Therefore, it is necessary to document all proposed actions. Whether in a document on the computer, or in a specific tool – we will talk about this later – this will be an extremely important strategy both for the leaders to follow the development and for the followers to correct the course if necessary.

Set a schedule

To improve the follow-up of the IDP, you should ideally have a well-defined schedule. In addition to the proposed actions, put a date (and in some cases even a time) for completing them. For example: “by the 20th of this month I will read 3 articles that deal with the topic, and weekly, on Wednesdays, I will solicit feedback from colleagues who deal with my work on a daily basis”.

But just as the goals set need to be attainable, so do the deadlines. It does no good to set a tight schedule if there is no possibility of keeping to it. Otherwise, there is a risk of demotivating the professional.

Apply what you learn

Throughout the leader’s journey to meet the proposed objectives and follow the IDP, what were the lessons learned?  Be sure to do an evaluation at the end of the cycle to understand strengths and weaknesses, and to bring insights to the whole team about the expertise gained in the action plans.

If the person has studied articles, for example, in some of his periodic meetings with the whole team they can bring up the lessons learned. For this reason, encourage them to create a document in which he will exemplify the deliverables, the actions taken, and the challenges observed during the process.

Why should you rely on a tool for IDP?

As we explained, it is essential that the entire strategy be documented. For this reason, an IDP tool will significantly assist in this process. Check out some of the advantages of adopting it!

Contribute so that people grow together with the company

Through the IDPs, you will be able to guide professionals to the key skills they want to learn, as well as exemplify those the company needs most. With the tool, you have the opportunity to create IDPs with ease, structuring action plans with easy visualization by both the leader and the subordinate.

Create Custom IDPs

And what’s more, you will create customized IDPs based on the needs of the employee, the area, and also the company. From this prepared plan, you can continuously revisit it (in one-on-ones meetings, for example), which allows for more focus on achieving the intended results.

Mobile tools

Lastly, the tool is mobile. After all, the development of a person in search of his or her learning has no place or time scheduled. In this sense, the professional will have the opportunity to view it whenever he or she obtains an interesting insight, either by taking a new course or by reading one of the planned articles.

In this material, you have been able to understand what the IDP is, what its objective is within an organization, and how it can be effectively devised. As mentioned, it is essential that the IDP is created and followed up on a continuous basis, since this feature will help leaders and professionals to make changes in route, as well as provide feedback on the implementation of the plan.

If you want to understand a little more about how a tool will help in this process, don’t hesitate to contact us, talk to our professionals, and clear your doubts!