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The Champion Forum Podcast

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The Best Tool For Driving Employee Growth and Success - The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher


Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! Performance reviews are simply a report card; they do not give employees a path to improve and further their development. But what is the alternative? Today we're delving into a topic that holds the key to unlocking the full potential of your team – Individual Development Plans, or IDPs. Specifically, we'll be exploring why leaders should take the initiative in driving this process within their teams.


Only 14% of employees strongly agree that the performance reviews they receive inspire them to improve. - Gallup


What is an IDP?

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a personalized roadmap for an individual's professional and personal growth. It's a collaborative effort between the employee and their leader, outlining goals, skill development, and actions to enhance performance and achieve their career objectives. It includes:


1. Personal and Professional Goals:

Work with your employee to clearly define their short-term and long-term goals. Ensure that they align with the employee's career aspirations and the organization's objectives.


2. Strengths and Areas for Improvement:

Collect a self-assessment from the employee and feedback from their superiors and peers. This insight will allow you to identify the employee's strengths and areas that need improvement, such as technical skills, soft skills, and leadership abilities.


3. Skill Development:

Identify specific skills the employee will aim to develop. These skills should either capitalize on their strengths or improve their weaknesses. List specific technical skills, industry-specific knowledge, communication skills, leadership skills, or other relevant competencies.


4. Training and Learning Opportunities:

Identify your employee’s learning objectives and opportunities for personal development. List potential workshops, online courses, books to read, podcast episodes to listen to, conferences, seminars, or on-the-job training.


5. Milestones and Timelines:

Clearly define the milestones and timelines for achieving each development goal. These goalposts will help you track their progress and ensure accountability.


6. Networking and Relationship Building:

Include strategies for building professional networks and relationships within and outside the organization. Explore opportunities to attend industry events, join professional associations, or seek mentorship.


7. Career Development:

Build a plan for career advancement, including potential promotions, lateral moves, or opportunities for increased responsibility within the organization.


Why Should You Use IDPs?

1. Employee Engagement

Leaders who invest time and effort in their team members' growth send a powerful message that they value their employees for not only their current contributions but also their future potential. When employees feel supported in their personal and professional growth, they are more likely to find fulfillment in their roles.


2. Skill Enhancement

Leaders who initiate IDPs foster an environment where continuous learning is encouraged and celebrated. When executed well, IDPs become a strategic tool for talent development within an organization and ensure that the workforce remains adaptable and competitive.


3. Retention and Succession Planning

Identifying high-potential individuals for succession planning will allow you to begin preparing them for a smooth transition into key roles. Great leaders know that it is not just about the present workforce; it's about building a sustainable pipeline of leaders for the future.


Application Activities

  1. Ready to add Individual Development Plans to your review process? Get our free IDP Template here!

  2. In addition to employee feedback, you should get acquainted with what feedback procedures are working in your industry. Benchmark the tools your peers are using to drive employee performance. You can find people in similar roles on LinkedIn and either reach out personally or ask people what has worked for them. If someone comments, send them a private DM and see if they would be willing to do a virtual coffee date to share best practices.

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