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One of the greatest challenges faced by small to medium-sized businesses is making the transition from “what made us successful” to “what will keep us successful.” Clearly understanding the difference between individual development planning and performance management is critical in moving an organization to the next level…or “what will keep us successful.”
What is Individual Development Planning?
Also known as IDP, individual development planning is a process that allows an employee to own their career. Although the organization establishes an IDP process, it is up to employees to take advantage of, and own their own IDP. Research has shown that when employees are actively involved in and own their development process, they not only experience individual growth but also positively impact the organization.
A typical individual development planning process includes the following steps:
- A self-assessment. There is only one person who truly cares about your career, and that is you. You may have a great manager and work for a great company, but in the end, you have to control your own destiny. Understanding your talents and passions will help push you towards finding your career best.
- Feedback surveys. Commonly known as 360s, these surveys help you gather feedback from your manager, peers, direct reports and/or others regarding your strengths and areas of development. This is a critical step in the development process as it helps us compare how we see ourselves to how others perceive our behaviors.
- Coaching/training. Receiving and interpreting feedback isn’t always easy. Utilizing an outside coach/trainer to interpret and understand your feedback is a must. This person can also coach you in how to approach your manager regarding your development plans.
- Action planning. Once the employee assesses where they are at today and determines where they want to go, it is time to create a plan. This plan should include no more than three critical goals or action items that the employee wants to complete. The plan should also indicate what steps need to be taken to reach that goal, what resources are needed, and who is responsible.
- Manager and organizational support. An employee can do all of this work and still run into roadblocks without the support of their manager and organization. It is imperative that organizations understand the value that IDPs provide: aligning an employee’s talents and passions with the needs of the organization equals a career best for that employee. This results in an engaged employee for the organization. Win-win.
What is Performance Management?
Performance management is a process that is owned by the organization. It is an attempt at establishing and rewarding employees for achieving individual goals/objectives that align with the organization’s strategic goals/objectives.
Most companies do a mediocre job of performance management. This can be for a variety of reasons:
- Failure to create objective and quantifiable strategic goals.
- Inability to create individual and/or department goals/standards that align with the established strategic goals and objectives.
- Inability of organizational leaders/managers to hold others accountable for meeting those established goals/objectives.
- Establishing subjective or non-behavior-based measurement tools. Ex. “Comes to work with a positive attitude.”
Why Development is Better than Performance Management?
Most small and medium-sized businesses are still very much focused on critical issues like cash flow, customers, process improvement, and more. This is to be expected. Unfortunately, people processes are generally some of the last things that these organizations review and make a priority.
The good news is that implementing a development program is affordable and has huge pay-offs for a small to medium-sized business. On June 20, 2012, Skywalk Group will be offering its first ever workshop designed to help employees with their individual development process: The Engaged Employee. For just $299.00/employee, an organization can create an IDP process, help their employees align their talents and passions with the needs of the organization, and have happier, more productive, and engaged employees in their company. Again, a win for employees and for the organization.