Steps in Creating Individual Development Plan

Individual development plan plays an instrumental role in employee development. Individual development plan is generally prepared both by the employee as well as the employer as to what all initiatives the organization needs to take to enhance the skills of an employee and help him grow both personally as well as professionally.

Individual development plans are generally well written and hence taken seriously both by the management as well as employee. In an individual development plan, employer or the team manager outlines the job responsibilities/key responsibility areas of an employee in lines with his educational qualification, back ground, specialization and areas of interest. In a layman’s language through individual development plans superiors decide the career goals of employees and how they can accomplish the same.

Individual development plan is designed and implemented in the following steps:

  1. Step 1 - Self Assessment by employees

    Employees ought to analyze their strengths and weaknesses to know the gaps between their current stage and desired stage. No one knows you better than yourself. Find out what all skills you should know if you really want to excel in your professional career. Set a benchmark for yourself. Every employee should have well defined key responsibility areas and job responsibilities, the very first day he/she joins an organization. At the end of every month, jot down what all important you did in the month, your achievements, your contributions towards the organization and so on. Check whether you have exceeded the targets of your previous month or not? Compare your knowledge and skills with those mentioned in your key responsibility areas. Do not hesitate to send weekly or monthly reports of what all you have done to your seniors. Performance monitoring is essential to successfully design individual development plans. To know what extra you need to learn, you need to understand where all you are lacking. Ask for proper feedbacks from your seniors.

  2. Step 2 - Assess your current position

    It is essential for employees to evaluate their current position in the organization and how they can improve their performance which would not only help in their career development but also benefit the organization. Identify what the management expects out of you ? Organizations face problems as majority of the employees do not know what they are supposed to do in the system ? Ask yourself what if in the coming times you have to handle new clients or your organization asks you to perform additional responsibilities? Are you really capable of surviving the changes in the work environment ? Are you well equipped to face unforeseen circumstances or adverse conditions ? Do not always think about the present but also for the future. Find out what all new skills you need to learn to be an efficient resource for the organization.

    • An employee must know what all goals he/she would like to achieve in his/her professional career ?
    • How would trainings and new learnings benefit you as well as your organization ?
  3. Step 3 - Identify Development Activities

    Identify how you would achieve your career development goals. Identify what all steps you need to take to upgrade your knowledge and enhance skills ?

  4. Step 4 - Implement your Plan

    Prepare a rough draft of your development Plan. Do take the help of your manager or supervisor. Your manager’s approval is necessary. Once you are ready with your individual development plan, put your plan in action. Implement your plan and evaluate your progress on a regular basis. Find out how the plan is helping you.


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