Individual Development Planning

To keep up with the demands of today’s workplace, every employee should have an opportunity to develop professionally or grow in his or her job. Taking time to discuss each individual staff member’s professional needs or aspirations for growth, at least once a year, is the basis of the Individual Development Plan (IDP) process.

An IDP starts with an annual conversation between a manager and a staff member that is transformed into an action plan of realistic steps the employee can take to help him or her build a desired skill, better use existing talents, or prepare for a career goal. IDP is complementary to the annual performance management process and encourages employees to invest in their work and themselves, contributing to greater job satisfaction.

IDP is a process you direct, in partnership with your manager, to enhance your professional growth by:

  • Setting goals for professional development.
  • Identifying ways to learn or improve in important competencies you will need now or in the future to achieve these goals.
  • Identifying your strengths, talents and passions and planning ways to use them on the job.

As a part of your IDP, you will identify the professional goals that matter to you, determine what experiences, skills and behaviors will help you achieve those goals and then create a plan of action to achieve your goals. You will work with your manager to evaluate areas that have the greatest potential to pay off for you, and for the organization, in the short term and longer term. In this way, you and the university can succeed together.

Read a real-life example of how the IDP process helped a staff member to further her career at Yale.

To keep up with the demands of today’s workplace, every employee should have an opportunity to develop professionally or grow in their jobs. Taking time to discuss each individual staff member’s professional needs or aspirations for growth, at least once a year, is the basis of the IDP process. Currently available for Managerial and Professional staff members, an IDP starts with an annual conversation between a manager and a staff member that is transformed into an action plan of realistic steps the employee can take to help them build a desired skill, better use their existing talents, or prepare for a career goal. The IDP process is complements the annual performance management process and encourages employees to invest in their work and themselves, contributing to greater job satisfaction.

Below are guides and tools for more information. For questions, contact your Human Resources Generalist.

Guides and Information

Forms and Tools

Other learning resource(s)

Sample IDP conversation: understanding the components and goals of the conversation.