Individual Development Plans


UNIT 5: Individual Development Plans

You have been asked to speak to your local training and development group on individual development plans (IDPs). Specifically, you are focusing on the following:

  • How to create effective IDPs
  • How to evaluate IDPs
  • The importance of IDPs

Use the library, Internet, and course materials to research this topic and back up your recommendations for creating and evaluating IDPs.

Write the full text of your speech as a Word document of 3 pages with citations in APA format.


 Individual Development Plans

It is the dream of every employee to have a successful career and moreover, to make progress in his career as well as gaining promotion from time to t time. As a result, the employees may use different methods and channels just to ensure they do not stall their career progress. At times, they are forced to go back to study while others take refresher courses from time to time just to ensure that they remain sharp. To others, the only way to ensure that they remain at the top career wise is to make individual development plans. Individual development plans is a tool commonly used by employees in career and personal development. The primary purpose of individual development plans is to help employees reach short- term and long – term career goals as well as improving their current job performance to become an integral part of the organization. This essay will attempt to elaborate on various ways employees can use to create effective IDPs, how to evaluate them and finally their importance in an employee’s life.

Question 1

How to create effective IDPs

In most cases, individual development plans are meant to drive leadership development in an individual and an organization in general. To create and develop great individual development plans, the employee should start by having a goal: the reason behind the creation and development of these plans. For an IDP to work there needs to be a reason as to why it was developed and why it exists. If there is a no reason to improve, then there is no reason to create the plans. Some of the most common reasons as to why people develop these plans include: an individual is new in a job and wants to get up to speed as fast as possible (Conger, 2010). On the other hand, a good example of individual development plans is telecommuting to help a working lady to balance between family and work chores. In most cases, women are always the victims of work and family dilemma considering that they have to take a maternity leave after giving birth. As a result, an individual may decide to make plans to telecommute during this period to ensure that they do not stall their careers. The next step that is required in this stage involves identification by the employee of what he or she wants to achieve and learn from the plan. A good plan should always have an objective as to why it is in place and what is expected at the end of the plan. Moreover, there is a need to develop an action to address the need at hand. Good individual development plans should only make an individual stronger than they were before and more competent career wise.

Question 2

How to evaluate IDPs

There are various ways and methods to evaluate the effectiveness of and efficiency of Individual development plans both at individual and organizational level. One of the most common way used is the measure of the quality of the outcome. After undertaking a plan to oversee career development such as academic advancement, an individual should be in a position to boost the quality of the final outcomes of his work. As the success of training is usually judged on the quality of the final results, an individual or the organization should show a positive progress towards improvement of quality (Rondinelli, 2013). Moreover, the performance of an individual can be used to evaluate Individual development plans. The success of the plans can only be noted only if the performance of the individual improves significantly. The performance of an individual is crucial in determining his position in the organization, and the performance of the organization is important in determining the position of the organization in the market.

Question 3

The importance of IDPs

Individual development plans can be adopted both at individual and organizational levels. One of the importances of the plans at the organization level is the creation of a friendly and comfortable working condition as the organization manager show that he cares about his employees to focus on developing them for the future. This acts as a wake-up call for all employees and stakeholders to work harder since it shows that the employer has a good plan for them, and thus, it can act as a motivator. A good example of the importance of individual development plans is when a leader decides to abolish hierarchical structure is his organization for a more flat organization where he can accept and listen to a suggestion from all members of the staff on how to take the organization to the next level (Thompson, 2009). This helps to create a sense of belonging and unity among the workers and thus boost the organizational performance.

On more personal level, the Individual development plans aim at encouraging individuals to become more self- aware and self – reliant as well as pay more attention to the overall growth of the organization and his or her career while planning for the future. As a result of the plans, an individual is set to learn to recognize and utilize his strength and reflect areas of one’s achievements through identification of one’s skills.


Conger, R. D. (2010). Socioeconomic status, family processes, and individual development.         . Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(3), , 685-704.

Rondinelli, D. A. (2013). Development projects as policy experiments: An adaptive approach      to development administration. . Routledge.

Thompson, E. R. (2009). Individual entrepreneurial intent: Construct clarification                         and development of an internationally reliable metric. Entrepreneurship Theory                       and Practice, 33(3), , 669-694.

Related: Training and Development