Employee Individual Development Plan

Cultivating Potential

This second building block of an effective Performance Management System is what seems to be a commonly overlooked or left out item.  The Individual Development Plan or the IDP is oftentimes embedded in the Performance Appraisal form – which should be okay, but it tends to be overshadowed by goals and targets whether they have been met or not.

It is a usual scenario too, that this part becomes a mere self-assessment or “wishlist” on the part of the employee, but with little to no follow through on the part of the manager.  As with all 3 building blocks of a good Performance Management System, employee and manager should work together through each of the processes to ensure transparency and accountability.

We have defined in the first part of this series that an effective Performance Management System is not a mere checklist of targets that need to be achieved, nor a corrective action form for gaps and lapses.  In total, a Performance Management System should assist and allow employees to reach their full potential.  That is where an Individual Development Plan comes in.  The IDP defines employee competencies, potentials and aspirations, and the tools and resources needed to address gaps and nurture strengths.

The following are interconnected factors of an effective Individual Development Plan:

    • Training and Developmental Needs Assessment
    • Career Pathing
    • Succession Planning

Training and Developmental Needs Assessment

Factoring in areas for improvement identified from the Performance Evaluation, as well as their personal and professional aspirations, employees should be able to identify trainings that will address their developmental needs and interests.  Training is a key factor in keeping employees engaged and in minimizing attrition especially from an organization’s high potential pool.

Career Pathing

Employee and Manager discussions should also touch on recommended potential next roles where the employee may seem to be a fit based on performance and competencies, as well as employee aspirations for advancement.

From there, current tasks may be adjusted, and possible stretch assignments identified to help simultaneously assess and equip employees for these roles.  This should likewise link back to Training and Development, providing learning opportunities that will support these potential roles and aspirations.

Succession Planning

One indicator that effective IDPs are in place is a stable organizational structure that guarantees continuity amidst standard projected employee internal movements/promotions and the company’s acceptable attrition rate.

A well-oiled Performance Management System, specifically a functional Development Plan for employees, can help ensure that critical roles are identified, potential employees are matched, and said employees are equipped and prepared accordingly.  Remaining gaps, if any, are likewise addressed, by either fast tracking internal efforts if available, or commence external search as necessary.

Succession Planning brings together performance evaluation and development to ensure a steady pool of high potential and qualified successors especially for the organization’s identified critical roles.


As Performance Evaluation addresses the here and now to ensure an organization’s success, Performance (Talent) Development ensures the organization’s agility and stability amidst projected as well as unexpected people movements.  These building blocks are essential and in fact, indispensable to an effective Performance Management System, thus both should be fully functioning and well implemented to address both employee and business needs.

In the last part of this series, we talk about the Performance Improvement Plan – an equally vital part and product of the Performance Management System that communicates an organization’s aim for all employees to succeed, find their right fit and reach their full potential.

SunFish has a fully comprehensive Performance Management Solution for you to evaluate, you can see more here: SunFish Performance Module

We also offer a Performance Management solution for our SME clients in our GreatDay HRIS, this can be viewed here: GreatDay HRIS Performance System

You may want to explore our HRIS platforms.

  • GreatDay HR: Simple HR solutions tailored for SMEs with user-friendly features.
  • GreatDay HR Pro: Flexible HR management designed for smaller companies with complex policies.
  • SunFish Workplaze: Robust HR capabilities catered for large enterprises, ensuring efficiency and compliance.

You can also explore our services:

  • Managed Payroll Services: Outsourced payroll that simplifies complexities, ensuring accuracy and compliance, so you can focus on growth.”