It’s hard to imagine embarking on a road trip or journey without some sort of map. Maps guide us and prevent us from veering off course. They’ve been around for thousands of years, and for good reason.
There’s a lot of value in having a map to guide you in your career progression. It turns out that there’s a map specially designed for the workplace. It’s called an individual development plan (IDP). Unlike traditional maps, there is no right path from point A to point B. Each IDP is tailored to a specific individual and takes into account the individuals’ career aspirations, strengths, and areas for development. IDPs can be game changing in helping you advance in your career.
The most effective organizations are laser-focused on developing talent. Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, once remarked, "Talented people are vital to our continued success, and we continuously invest in our associates, giving them the tools and training to succeed.” Unfortunately, far too many companies don’t spend enough time or resources grooming and developing their high potential leaders. Talent development should be top of mind.
In order to stay ahead of the development and hiring curve, I encourage my clients to formulate IDPs for each employee. It helps companies reduce risk and stack their talent deck to succeed and grow. As Jim Collins has said, "The key is to develop and promote insiders who are highly capable of stimulating healthy change and progress, while preserving the core."
Updating the map
Roads and highways are rebuilt all the time. Maps are frequently updated as a result of changes in terrain and other conditions. The same should be true of IDPs. They should be touched on a quarterly basis as employees develop skills and competencies and transition to new roles. If organizations don’t monitor and track employees’ progress, chances are high that IDPs will fall by the wayside. When organizations are committed to investing in talent development with IDPs, they stand atop the competitions. Performance should be tracked just like any other business metrics. If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
The war for talent is fierce. In addition to being less expensive, it’s typically more effective to hire from within. One study by Matthew Bidwell at the University of Pennsylvania found that, in addition to performing worse on performance reviews, external hires were 61% more likely to be fired from their new jobs as compared to individuals who had been promoted from within. By doubling down on talent management and development, companies can gain a leg up on the competition. Without IDPs, employees will almost inevitably wander aimlessly off course.
Nadine Greiner, Ph.D. provides Executive Coaching and Human Resources solutions. Her mission is to make the executive experience exceptionally enjoyable and effective. She believes that the world needs great leaders and has dedicated her career to helping them.
As an organization psychologist and former corporate CEO, Dr. Nadine understands the pressures and demands executives face. She offers her clients the high expertise that only comes with three decades of consulting success, and a dual Ph.D. in Organization Development and Clinical Psychology. Dr. Nadine is an in-demand speaker, teaches in doctoral programs, and coaches other consultants. She is the author of two books: ‘The Art of Executive Coaching: Secrets to Unlock Leadership Performance’, and of ‘Stress-less Leadership: How to Lead in Business and in Life’. amazon.com/author/nadinegreiner