<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=40587&amp;fmt=gif">
Competencies Employee Engagement Development

How competencies make individual development plans matter to your employees

By Jon Spratt on February, 19 2021
Back to main Blog
Jon Spratt

Keeping your employees engaged is increasingly important as the global pandemic drags on. And undoubtedly for most companies, it's also more difficult.

With a return normalcy (maybe) in sight, but still many months away, burnout and employee wellness is a real concern amongst organizations, large and small.

By now, we’re all familiar with the day-to-day tools to try and keep people feeling connected, and spirits high. Empathy in the (virtual) workplace has become vital. Social time with your teams is important – even if it’s behind a screen. Recognition goes a long way.

Beyond those tactics, there’s another major way that talent teams are trying to keep employees motivated: through their own professional growth.

Let’s talk about individual development plans.


What is an individual development plan?

In simplest terms, an individual development plan (IDP) is a personalized plan for employees, usually consisting of goals, challenges, and learning activities that they can take on in order to foster their professional growth.

HR or talent teams will often make use of an individual development plan software platform to help them manage all of this, which then allows interaction between managers and employees.

But what are the overarching goals based on? That totally varies.

Making goals matter

Quite often, the individual plans – and goals therein -- are linked through some structure with departmental goals, which are then linked with company goals… and by the time the end user employee is working on their goals, they’re a few levels removed from the company's motivations.

Some organizations may go further and tie development plans into performance reviews; perhaps bonus structures; or vague upward mobility.

But in the end, in this dispersed, remote world, the individual part of individual development plan is more crucial to acknowledge than ever.

What’s in it for your employees?

The benefits of competency-based development plans

In response to these shifts, many companies are moving towards development plans that are based on a solid foundation of competencies.

That's because competency-based employee development plans focus on building crucial behaviors and skills, rather than meeting arbitrarily-created goals.

And that means that ultimately, they're highly centered on the individual employee's motivations.

It comes down to WHY, WHAT and HOW.

Competency-based development plans:

  • Can be tangibly linked with job requirements – current or future -- so employees know why something’s important to improve on.
  • Can be tied into self-built, visual career paths – so employees have a definitive idea of what their future could like if they keep working towards their goals.
  • Can be driven by mapped learning resources – so employees know how to improve on those vital skills and behaviors that matter.

Example of an individual development plan:

Take a quick look at the video below to see how development plans work in HRSG’s competency-based software, CompetencyCore:


For more info, check out our employee development plan software + grab a demo today to see it in action for your organization.