Training and Development Group on Individual Development Plans

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The world has changed and so has the work place. While there are a number of organizational changes due to the continued complexity associated with doing business today, managerial prerogative has become a thorny issue in human resources discourses. Increasingly, employees are largely dissatisfied with their bosses and others perform below par, yet studies that encompass management studies and research have been on the rise (Price, 2007). Issues like employee training have therefore come to the fore with a focus to training and employee development issues have been emphasized. While some argument thrust that managers have been doing their role by stamping their authority, others reckon that privileges have been over-emphasized and employee’s welfare have largely been comprised. For the managers who over-stamp their authority and power, increased criticism from their juniors, force a number of them to be hole-up, timid, aggressive and indifferent (Price, 2007). Yet harmony should be the way to go.

Therefore, the role of Individual Development Plans (IDPs) as a strategy to improving the efficiency at the work place and eliminating conflict cannot be disputed. According to Rothwell (2011), IDP role is twofold: It ensures that members of any team, employees and individuals maintain a particular performance level of professionalism and efficiency via continuous training, skills development and honing. The second purpose is that employees can figure out and plan for their careers. This, they do by spotting new ideas, abilities and skills to chase after goals while at the same time mastering the activities required to reach them (Rothwell, 2011). The third objective of IDP is that it supports a group’s or an organizational mission and human resource needs.

For example, employees would be benefitting due to the fact that as IDPs are executed, their knowledge and expertise is improved, enhanced and built. This is capacity building (Price, 2007). Leat (2007) imagines that when an employee experiences an improvement on his/her competence levels, personal accomplishment and career objectives become the twin success stories in both, within and outside of the company he/she subscribes to. On the other hand, the organization achieves by developing enhanced employee potential, work distribution plans, employee’s qualification and experiential needs (Leat, 2007). This way, the effectiveness of the organization is enhanced. When employees are proficient as they earn extra income, they experience personal contentment thereby making organizations more productive. It thus follows that the hard economic times that make employers pile pressure on employees to deliver, with managers being the crux in pendulum should perhaps be solved with IDPs (Gollan, 2005).

Meaning of IDPs

Rowthwell (2011) defines IDPs as individually connected and elaborated goals and activities for an individual employee career progress. Often times, IDPs are win-win strategies as their benefits accrue a company, an organization as well as individual employees. Specifically, IDPs function by helping employees and supervisors to explain issues that are crucial as well as developing a plan to achieving them. This is because IDPs always entail job goals, knowledge, abilities as well as skills required to get the goals. Furthermore, it outlines the activities that allows prospect to learning and applying knowledge and skills (Rothwell, 2011). Therefore, an IDP refers to a documented map of plan for employees and individuals. It details proficiencies that workers put in place to improve on how the development takes place (Price, 2007).

According to Price (2007), this is categorized into Responsibility Areas, Developmental Activities, Time-lines indicating achievements and the dates when such is completed. Developmental Activities implies that all responsibility categories are supported by particular developmental issues (Gollan, 2005). This enables different individuals to attain proficiency. Time line characterized by milestones and dates of completion implies that achievable and measurable time-frames in terms of dates, and other major achievements are outlined whenever a worker can record competency on the basis of abilities and skills acquired (Price, 2007). So how can one create and effective IDP? Rowthwell (2011) notes that there are key elements that one must remember when creating an IDP. One of these is time. The timing of preparing an IDP is significant because there are some processes that function to form the same goals. For example, career counseling, imperative competencies and training needs assessment are the three factors tailored around IDPs in relation to timing. This implies that whatever activity aimed at improving employees input for a current or aimed position as well the proposed time-line for work delivery must be factored in (Rothwell, 2011).

How IDPs are evaluated?

One question that obviously spits to mind is how IDPs can be assessed. When evaluating or reviewing an IDP, a number factor should be considered in the review. One of these is the employee’s objectives on the basis of appraisal of workers’ potentials and previous performance. For example, employee’s objectives should be analyzed to find out their consistency in an organization’s or a group’s departmental requirements, basic competencies and aims. Secondly, the evaluator must seek to find out if development activities prop the objectives of the employees. This includes finding out if the worker considers varied developmental strategies such as conferences, workshops, activities and self-study among others. Besides, questions like whether the activities deal with proficiency enhancement components pointed in a recently previous proficiency assessment must be considered (Leat, 2007). Also, the reasonability of proposed activities in the context of the amount of work must be measured. For example, can activities be executed by the current employees?


The dynamics of management, recruitments issues, harassment and abuses vented on juniors, the dilemma of customer relations and role conflict, employee dissatisfaction and the psycho-social as well as the economic related impacts of managerial actions against employees can be solved on the basis of managerial strategies. One way which should be considered to sought out almost all the problem is paying attention to Individual Development Plans (IDPs)


Gollan, P (2005). Employee relations the international journal, Volume 27, Issue 3. London: Emerald Group Publishing.

Leat, M. (2007). Exploring Employee Relations. Burlington: Elservier.

Price, A. (2007). Human Resource Management in a Business Context. London: Thompson Learning.

Rothwell, W (2011). Effective Succession Planning: Ensuring Leadership Continuity and Building. New York: Amacom.

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