Individual Development Plan , What is IDP?

Studies have shown that employees are most likely to stay longer at an organisation if the employer invests in their career paths.

New skills obtained are no longer optional when applying for a new job or being promoted; it is now one of the essential attributions to have. Adding new skills to your resume ranks as the third most crucial perk when evaluating job opportunities. With this in mind, employers now invest in Individual Development Plans (IDP) to enhance employees’ career paths.



What is IDP?

Individual Development Plan (IDP) is an action plan that supports staff members’ professional and individual development to achieve their career objectives on time. It also showcases the roadmap for an employee’s career path at their current employer. The aim is to develop your staff’s potential and, at the same time, position the company for future growth.


A well-established plan should include short- and long-term career goals, estimated completion dates, and specific training opportunities.


Training can take place by using one or a variety of the below upskilling method:

  • Formal classroom training called learnerships
  • Online training
  • Rotational assignments
  • Shadowing assignments called internship
  • Internal processes and procedure training
  • On-the-job training
  • Self-study programs
  • Professional conferences, seminars or workshops


Managers must be actively involved with their team’s progress and ensure that allocating time for monitoring and assignments is aligned with the development objectives of the IDP. One should remember when operating in South Africa, one must comply with Employment Equity Plan and align the skills development with your Workplace Skills Plan.


Managers also need HR support to craft an IDP and reminders to follow up on the action plans.

HR can assist with:

  • Train managers about how to draft IDPs
  • Install a one-on-one process dedicated to IDP follow-up at least once every 2nd month.

An Employment Equity Committee is usually selected to Consult on training priorities and needs and agree on interventions that address these priorities and needs.



Benefits of Individual Development Plans

  • Goal-oriented employees tend to be more motivated, productive and organised than those who lack management’s action plans and support.
  • IDP improves employee retention, job satisfaction, and the development of an in-house human capital of qualified, promotable leaders.
  • Understanding the company culture of your staff members will generally be positive and present moral values and efforts to create an inclusive work environment.


How HR can implement and create an Individual Development Plan for employees


The HR managers can create Individual Development Plan based on the SMART objective strategy; specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.


Follow the steps below to create an effective IDP.

  1. Schedule a meeting in a less busy for each staff member to formulate individual development plans.
  2. List goals and objectives. Compare business objectives with personal objectives and identify which ones the employee can help achieve, and have the employee create a list of job-related goals they would like to pursue.
  3. Implement achievable goals that the employee would like to include in an Individual Development Plan.
  4. Prioritise goals and assign task targets. This step will help employees with time management and prioritise tasks. Submitting your WSP and Annual Traning Report will identify the skills gap needs. By identifying the skills gap, the HR management team can benefit by identifying and developing an accurate training budget, hiring the right skill sets, and cutting the budget for outsourcing.
  5. Identify possible obstacles and discuss ways to overcome them. Employees are more confident when taking on tasks they know what to expect. Outline the key functions and responsibilities
  6. Adress training or professional development opportunities. Various training methods that will best suit the outlined goals will address their training needs.


Adson’s HR team assists companies in achieving human capital as an asset by auditing and addressing your staff’s career paths. Contact us for more information.





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