Individual Development Plan Template

Individual Development Plans Examples and Templates – A Deep Dive

Employees who find and embrace opportunities to learn and grow are 2.9 times more likely to be engaged in their roles. 

This proves the huge impact continuous learning opportunities have on employee performance. Not only this, 91% of employees say that it is important for their managers to encourage them to learn and experiment.

And when employees are engaged they bring profitability. According to Gallup, companies with engaged employees are 21% more profitable. 

Companies that prioritize employee development witness not only a surge in productivity but also a more engaged, satisfied, and loyal workforce. 

This is where IDPs come into action. To help you create an engaged workforce by prioritizing growth and learning opportunities for them. 

But what exactly do we mean by IDPs or Individual Development Plans, and how it can help you harness your people’s potential? 

In this blog, we will share with you everything– a ready-to-use template to help you create individual development plans, tailored to each employee.

What is an Individual Development Plan?

An Individual Development Plan  (IDP) is a framework that is tailored to suit each employee and guide their personal and professional growth. It helps individuals create a clear and actionable plan for driving growth. 

An IDP also helps in filling the skill gaps that are accessed during the process. It lets them create actionable steps so that they can focus on learning and staying equipped with the required skills for their dream role or goal. 

This creates an agile workforce for you which dedicatedly works towards the organization’s success.

Individual Development Plan

It usually contains: 

  • The employee’s desired achievements in the short and long run of their career.
  • Enhancing existing skills or acquiring new ones, as aimed by the employee.
  • Skills that you, as a manager, wish the employee to advance further.
  • Precise action items to realize the goals, such as enrolling in courses, participating in workshops, seeking mentorship, and more.

Why do you need an individual development plan?

We already know that investing in employee development yields remarkable returns and is essential not only for employees but also for the company. 

  • It facilitates skill development which boosts performance and productivity. 
  • Its focus on engagement reduces turnover rates (as we have already seen above) and nurtures a loyal, motivated workforce. 
  • It helps create an internal talent pool for new and bigger responsibilities. 

And this is not all IDP has to offer. When you implement IDP and make it an integral part of your company culture, it aligns personal goals with organizational goals. Apart from this, when you commit to employee development you build a reputation for your company that attracts top talent. 

How do Individual Development Plans facilitate employee growth?

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1. Tailored Growth: IDPs are not one-size-fits-all.  They are custom-made for each individual. This ensures that each of your employees works on their individual aspirations and strengths and align with the company’s aspirations.

2. Clear Direction: IDPs provide a clear guideline as to how one can create a well-defined career development plan. With a clear roadmap to success, IDP helps employees stay on track, and take actionable steps toward their goals without losing focus.

3. Focused Learning: IDPs are highly focused on what needs to be done and achieved. They highlight areas of improvement, enabling managers and HRs to create targeted training and development initiatives addressing the identified skill gaps.

4. Skill Diversity: Through IDPs, employees are encouraged to diversify their skill sets. This well-rounded approach prepares them to handle multifaceted challenges that may come their way with the new responsibilities. 

5. Motivation: IDPs fuel motivation by showing personal progress. As milestones are reached and skills are honed, employees experience a sense of accomplishment that motivates them further.

6. Continuous Improvement: IDPs are all about perpetual growth. They help foster a culture of learning and ensure that employees remain abreast with the relevant skills and are highly adaptable to challenging situations. 

7. Performance Alignment: With IDPs, skill acquisition aligns seamlessly with job requirements. As a result, employees become skilled and turn into assets for your company. They perform well in their job and contribute meaningfully to the company’s success.

8. Retention: The satisfaction and engagement that stem from embarking on a journey of personal development through IDPs significantly boost employee retention, securing the company’s investment in talent.

How To Create Employee Individual Development Plan Template

Crafting a robust IDP template requires precision and purpose – a blueprint that not only propels personal growth but also aligns seamlessly with team and organizational objectives. Let’s learn what a comprehensive IDP template looks like. 

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A simple and effective IDP template includes the following core elements and steps: 

1. Career Goals 

Begin with crystal-clear articulation of the employee’s career aspirations. What are their short-term goals, and where do they envision themselves? This requires a methodical approach, where each career goal is meticulously and clearly defined. This ensures that the roadmap outlines clear action steps to achieve those objectives. 

Now, for a company, this is where the concept of collaborative synchronization of goals comes into play. IDPs foster an environment of shared objectives. It blends individual career goals seamlessly with the broader team and organizational objectives. It is important to recognize that an employee’s professional goals are not isolated plans. They are, in fact, a part of the organizational growth. 

2. Defining Measurable Development Goals

This step involves turning aspirations into specific, achievable goals.  To achieve this, you can use methods like OKR –to create clear goals and define key results. This methodology ensures that the goals set by employees are not vague but are clear targets for them to achieve. 

It is also important to ensure that these targets aren’t set in isolation and align with the company’s objectives. 

By aligning company objectives with individual goals, IDPs serve as a roadmap that guides progress for both.

3. Identifying Development Areas and Training Needs

This is an important part of IDP–identifying areas of development and training requirements. This evaluation requires a thorough assessment of the employee’s current skills, its comparison with the aspired job/role/ goal and finding the skill gap between the two. 

This evaluation highlights areas where skill enhancement and growth is required. For example, a current ongoing project might require a skill that an employee does not possess. An IDP can help highlight that skill gap under short-term goals.

Identifying Development Areas


4. Creating Action Plans and Providing Resources

Once the goals are set, the execution takes center stage. This means charting out actionable steps for the set goals. As a manager, it becomes your responsibility to provide the required resources – like access to resources, courses, specialized training, workshops, and mentorship opportunities, etc. 

Creating Action Plans


5. Establishing a Timeline and Milestones

Defining a timeline and significant milestones is a critical step because without this one can just go on without learning and producing results forever. This highlights the blend of planning ahead and taking steady steps, where development goals are not just thought of but they are given a clear timeline for accomplishment. 

This requires breaking down the goals into meaningful milestones. These milestones act as markers of progress which allow real-time tracking of achievement and enable evaluations. 

This ensures that the employee remains on track and the objectives are achieved timely.    

6. Periodic Reviews and Progress Evaluation

Consistent reviews and evaluations involve establishing a schedule for regular meetings where the employee’s progress is assessed in line with their IDP. 

These sessions serve as checkpoints to ascertain how well the plan is being executed and whether the intended growth is being achieved. 

These reviews also provide a platform to critically evaluate the efficacy of the plan itself. 

The review involves a careful examination of what has been achieved and what hasn’t been. Whether the strategies and actions outlined in the IDP are yielding the desired outcomes, if not then why? 

In short, these reviews offer the opportunity to identify and implement necessary changes to ensure the plan’s effectiveness. 

7. Offering Ongoing Support and Feedback

While this might not be a part of the template, it is an important part of IDP. This involves providing guidance and support to help employees maintain a steady trajectory. This includes offering constructive feedback and acknowledging their achievements. 

Acknowledging their positive contributions and offering them feedback acts as a catalyst, motivating individuals to strive for continuous improvement. This dual strategy of guidance and recognition helps transform IDP into a dynamic instrument of growth for individual development and also a corporate culture rooted in perpetual accomplishment.

8. Linking IDPs with Performance Management

By aligning IDPs and Performance Management, you can ensure that employee growth and development are linked to their overall performance assessment.

This integration extends to recognizing and rewarding their achievement in executing their IDPs. As individuals make tangible progress in their personal growth as outlined in their IDPs, their achievements are reflected in the company’s growth as well. 

This not only motivates them but also solidifies the notion that as a company you take the professional development of your employees seriously.

To facilitate this process, features of tools like the Peoplebox performance management tool can be leveraged. It offers comprehensive tracking and goal-setting capabilities which streamlines the connection between IDPs and performance management. The tool makes it easier to monitor progress, offer timely feedback, facilitate regular check-ins in the form of 1:1 and generate insightful progress reports and analytics.

9. Encouraging a learning culture where employees feel motivated to pursue development opportunities

Encouraging a learning culture simply means fostering an atmosphere where learning is not just a requirement, but an intrinsic part of the company. Provide access to resources such as online courses, mentorship programs, and skill-building initiatives to your employees. You can also tailor the resources based on their IDPs. 

As a manager, you play a pivotal role in promoting learning initiatives–leading by example, and offering guidance to your team. This not only benefits individual employees but also fosters innovation, adaptability, and a workforce that is always ready to meet evolving challenges.

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Questions to Answer in the IDP’s– For Employees 

It is crucial to address that an IDP is not an isolated plan but is a strategic initiative to help employees grow. In order to ensure that employees are fully a part of IDP and are invested in it, you will have to ensure that they contribute to defining each aspect of the IDP. 

These questions will help them and you to create an IDP aligning with their interest the most. 

Long-Term Career Plan

  • What do you want to change in your life, family, community, or work?
  • Where do you feel most comfortable? What things do you care about?
  • When you retire, what would make you really proud?

Short-Term Career Plan 

  • What opportunities are available in your current job, team, company, field, or location?
  • What challenges do you face that hinder your development? 
  • What qualities do you want to overcome the challenges and grow in your present or future opportunity?

Identifying strengths, weaknesses and learning opportunities

  • Which skills do you find easy to use or require less work to do well?
  • What do your performance reviews or feedback often highlight about you?
  • When do you feel sure about teaching others? Where have you made a difference?
  • What helpful suggestions have you gotten from recent reviews or projects?
  • Are you aware of the latest certifications and improvements in your field?


As an organization, embracing a culture of nurturing your employee’s growth is crucial. It is a partnership where you help individuals take active control of their own development while subsequently contributing to the company’s development. IDP is an important contributor to bringing this harmony between individual growth and company objectives. 

Peoplebox helps you achieve this seamlessly by combining IDPs with organizational objectives. It assists in aligning goals, providing constructive feedback through 1:1 meetings, 360-degree feedback and performance insights. 

To find out how Peoplebox helps you with IDPs, take a demo today. It’s easy, it’s free!


What should an IDP look like?

An IDP is a personalized growth plan outlining career goals, skill development and strategies. An IDP provides a format for identifying short and long-term goals, skill assessment, gap analysis, and action steps to achieve the goals and timelines, feedback and review.

What are the objectives of IDP?

The objective of IDP is to help individuals identify and work towards career goals. It helps identify skill gaps and offers a structured approach to acquiring new skills. It increases employee engagement and helps prepare leaders. 

What is an example of an individual development plan for employees?

A simple example of IDP looks like: 

Employee Name: Employee’s Name

Position: Marketing Specialist

Supervisor: Supervisor’s Name

Date: Date

Career Goals:

Current Skills Assessment:

Skill Gap Analysis:

Development Objectives:

Action Steps:


Resources and Support:

Progress Tracking:

Reflection and Review:

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Individual Development Plans Examples and Templates – A Deep Dive