Individual Development Plan: 7 IDP Templates & Examples to Inspire You in 2024

by Srikant Chellappa Dec 16,2023

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Learning and development form an integral component of an organization. Employee learning and development programs are the key drivers of organizations’ success. Not only do these programs foster a culture of continuous learning, but they also boost employee engagement and help reduce employee turnover. A recent Great Place to Work LinkedIn poll shows how important learning and growth opportunities can be for a company’s bottom line.

By investing in the professional growth and skill enhancement of employees, organizations create an environment that encourages loyalty and job satisfaction.

Furthermore, learning and development initiatives align with strategic goals, ensuring that the workforce is equipped with the latest knowledge and capabilities needed to address industry challenges and stay ahead in a competitive landscape. 

Also read: Employee Turnover: Know Why Employees Quit

What is an Individual Development Plan?

An individual development plan, or IDP, is a documented process to help employees advance professionally in their careers. It involves drafting a plan to improve an employee’s performance by setting short-term and long-term goals. An IDP is neither a performance evaluation process nor a one-time activity. Instead, it’s a continuous process that requires active participation and collaboration between the employee and the supervisor.

IDP aims to strengthen employee and employer contributions toward business objectives through mentoring, coaching, and continuous feedback. Through personalized mentoring, employees gain valuable insights, guidance, and support from seasoned professionals, enhancing their skills and knowledge. This not only accelerates their professional development but also cultivates a culture of collaboration within the workplace.

Also read: Unleash Success: Achieve Goals with Goals 2.0

Importance of Creating an Individual Development Plan

A recent study indicates that employees who are offered professional development opportunities are likely to be 15% more engaged in the workplace. This ultimately leads to a 34% higher retention rate. IDPs help employers create a highly engaged workforce by offering a defined roadmap for achieving certain professional and personal goals and objectives. They also offer metrics to gauge employees’ progress regularly and effectively. Following are some of the benefits of creating an individual development plan:

For employees:

  1. It informs employees about job goals and standards.
  2. Effective IDPs boost performance and productivity.
  3. A recent survey by Gallup indicates that companies with engaged employees are 21% more profitable. Since IDP keeps employees aware of their goals and responsibilities, they are more engaged at work.
  4. It provides a comprehensive assessment of an employee’s strengths and weaknesses.
  5. It allows employees to schedule and plan their individual development every year. A study found that when employees are given autonomy to work the way they prefer, they are more than twice as likely to be highly engaged.
  6. Comprehensive IDPs help in career advancement of employees.

For managers:

  1. IDP involves continuous communication and feedback between the manager and employees. By actively communicating with employees, managers can create a more productive and satisfying workplace and a more engaged and motivated workforce.
  2. Accurately documented progress helps managers and supervisors identify a talent pool for succession planning. It also keeps them prepared with a sufficient talent pool for unprecedented events like sudden increases in turnover, managerial changes due to mergers and acquisitions, or skill gaps in cases of expansion.
  3. A recent survey underscores the significance of career training and development, revealing that 86% of millennials express a willingness to stay in their current roles if provided with sufficient opportunities for professional growth. This insight emphasizes the pivotal role that effective development programs, like IDP, play in retaining talent and fortifying organizational resilience
Also read: How Internal Communications Can Align Your Employees with Organizational Goals?

How Do You Draft an Individual Development Plan?

Crafting an Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a strategic process designed to propel personal and professional growth. IDP plan templates provide a structured framework for individuals to outline their career aspirations, identify areas for improvement, and set specific goals. 

These templates guide the creation of a roadmap, ensuring a systematic approach to skill enhancement and career advancement.  The following section highlights the key sections of an IDP template:

  1. Employee Profiling: This section mentions all the details about the employee, such as name, designation, educational qualification, and professional experience.
  1. Career Goals and Objectives: This section highlights the employee’s current goals, KRAs (key result areas), significant milestones achieved, and missed deadlines, if any. It also covers long-term and short-term goals.
  1. Employee Assessment: It encompasses an assessment of the employee’s strengths and areas for improvement, offering a brief overview of their past performance reviews and highlighting specific skills and professional knowledge. Monthly work reports serve as a valuable source of clear, concise data, aiding managers in crafting effective Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for employees.
  1. Development Opportunities and Objectives: Once strengths in an employee’s performance are identified, establish SMART goals that align with their growth potential. These goals should foster both individual development and the achievement of business objectives. Additionally, establish clear benchmarks and timelines to effectively track progress toward goal attainment.
  1. Create an Action Plan: An action plan enlists steps and activities required by an employee to achieve defined goals. This involves deciding on on-the-job training, job rotation, employee certification courses, job shadowing, etc.
Also read: Unlock Employee Development with Engagedly’s IDP

7 Individual Development Plan Templates

  • Individual Development Plan for Sales Manager

Long-Term Goals
Generate more revenue through an increased conversion rate.
Short-Term Goals
Improve communication, networking, and technical skills.
Goal Objective Resources Progress Tracking Metrics Completion Date
Improve Communication skills Work with senior sales representatives to learn effective communication practices. Job shadowing and training program to learn communication skills.
Provide resources to improve understanding of various terminologies.
Feedback from supervisor
Number of leads converted
XYZ Date
Improve Networking Skills Attend conferences and seminars to build a network. The fee to attend conferences and other official gatherings, travel allowance, and time to attend the events. Number of leads generated XYZ Date
Improve Technical skills Gain product knowledge for a better understanding. Technical courses through a learning management system Knowledge acquired XYZ Date
  • Individual Development Plan for Administrative Assistant 


    Properly Formatted Table

    Long-Term Goals
    Reduce operational costs.
    Short-Term Goals
    Reduce supply costs.
    Goal Objective Resources Progress Tracking Metrics Completion Date
    Reduce the purchase of supplies Work with the department to identify unnecessary supplies.
    Monitor monthly purchases and consumption.
    Identify the need and place an order accordingly.
    Department survey to assess the use of supplies.
    A course on inventory management.
    Reduced purchase of supplies XYZ Date


    • Individual Development Plan for Training Manager

    Long-Term Goals
    Reduce the organizational skill gap.
    Short-Term Goals
    Introduce necessary training programs and deliver quality training.
    Goal Objective Resources Progress Tracking Metrics Completion Date
    Keeping the workforce updated with the latest industry trends, skills, and knowledge Teach new skills to employees to improve their work speed and knowledge about the job role.

    Conduct an off-site training program.

    Travel costs and paid leaves to attend online training and certification courses.

    Cost of inviting professors or industry experts to deliver lectures.

    Conducting online or offline exams after course completion

    Tracking performance before and after training sessions

    XYZ Date
    Improving the effectiveness of training sessions Conduct “train the trainer” programs.

    Take feedback on training delivery management.

    Survey employees to see if the training sessions are adding value to their job roles.

    Preparing and circulating online and offline survey forms.

    Analyzing the information received.

    Employee engagement metrics: absenteeism rate, turnover, eNPS, and number of people enrolling in a training program. XYZ Date
     Also read: Importance of Training And Development For Employees: 12 Benefits


    • Individual Development Plan for Leadership

    Long-Term Goals
    Improve IT management.
    Short-Term Goals
    Improve soft skills, learn new technology, and acquire leadership skills.
    Goal Objective Resources Progress Tracking Metrics Completion Date
    Improve soft skills Have better communication with the team. Soft skills training Team member feedback XYZ Date
    Learn new technology or programming language Learn new programming language to handle diverse teams and roles. Courses and certification fees Successful completion of courses XYZ Date
    Acquire leadership skills Gain leadership skills by working on small-sized products. Projects to lead

    Support from senior developers and leaders

    Feedback from the team XYZ Date
    • Individual Development Plan for Managers (Operations)

    Long-Term Goals
    Get promoted to the position of senior manager.
    Short-Term Goals
    Improve soft skills, learn new technology, and acquire managerial skills.
    Goal Objective Resources Progress Tracking Metrics Completion Date
    Improve communication skills Have better communication with the team. Soft skills training Team member feedback XYZ Date
    Acquire managerial and technical skills Work closely with line management.

    Take certification courses. Renew all overdue certificates and licenses.

    Participate in the decision-making process.

    Courses and certification fees Successful completion of courses XYZ Date
    Also read: 10 Best Personal Development Goals For Leaders


    • Individual Development Plan for Junior Accountant (with a section for manager notes)

    Date DD/MM/YYYY
    Employee Name XYZ
    Designation Junior Accountant
    Goals Fine-tuning existing skills for career advancement
    Training and Development Needs Accounting fundamental training programs

    Tax consultation training

    On-the-job training for understanding financial transactions

    Online courses to strengthen concepts of investment planning

    Estimated Costs Estimated cost for each training program and online course
    Completion Date DD/MM/YYYY
    Manager Notes
    Funds and resources for providing training are available in the organization.

    Mr. ABC can introduce on-the-job training.


    • Individual Development Plan for Onboarding New Hires (in the form of a checklist)

    Employee Name
    Team Leader
    Onboarding Checklist Status Priority level
    Give an introductory lecture on the company’s vision, mission, achievements, and history.    
    Introduce yourself to the team members.    
    Give an office tour.    
    Provide employee handbooks.    
    Introduction to Office Practicalities Status Priority level
    Assign a workstation.    
    Provide desktop credentials.    
    Generate employee IDs.    
    Inform employees about the company policy on leave, working hours, compensation, and benefits.    
    Training Needs Status Priority level
    Introduce hires to the company’s training software.    
    Generate credentials for accessing training modules and literature.    

    Summing Up

    IDP is a great tool to empower employees, improve engagement, and propel organizational performance. The systematic approach fosters a high-performance culture where employees understand their goals and expected performance and contribute to the organization’s success.

    Helping organizations derive maximum benefit from their IDP, Engagedly’s IDP Module enables organizational openness, cooperation, and alignment. Our platform facilitates extensive cooperation, offers seamless interfaces, and delivers a comprehensive picture of organizational goals and useful tools such as feedback, guidance, and visual graphs to track outcomes. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • How is an individual development plan different from a performance evaluation?

    A performance evaluation process reviews an employee’s performance based on pre-decided parameters. Based on the performance review, the employee undergoes a performance corrective plan. On the other hand, an individual development plan serves as a roadmap for an employee to work toward completing personal and organizational goals.

    • What is a performance development program (PDP)?

    Performance development plans are powerful tools for improving employee performance. Creating a PDP enables managers and employees to identify areas for improvement, set goals, track progress, and devise strategies to achieve those goals.

    • What do SMART goals refer to?

    SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. These five words mention benchmarks that help in the goal-setting process.

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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