Individual Development Plan – Best Practices & Documentation


An individual development plan (IDP) is an actionable document that guides employee growth, outlining career objectives and steps to achieve them. This blog dives into the specifics of WorkDove’s IDP+ app and how it nurtures a culture where employees feel valued and supported. 

Documenting and Creating An Individual Development Plan

What Is An Individual Development Plan?

Attorney Allison West, in an article for SHRM, emphasizes that employee documentation demonstrates “the steps we’ve taken to help someone be successful.” An individual development plan (IDP), also known as a personal development plan, is an actionable document that guides employee growth. It outlines career objectives and the steps to achieve them, focusing on clarity and detail. This plan assesses strengths, identifies areas for improvement, and builds skills to bridge current capabilities and future goals.” Below, we demonstrate how our Individual Development Plan Plus App (IDP+) effectively implements HR documentation best practices for the benefit of both employers and employees.

Implementing and Documenting Individual Development Plans

WorkDove’s IDP+  app transforms manual employee development plans into a modern coaching tool that empowers employees. WorkDove’s IDP+ app makes career development tracks configurable, transparent, and dynamically adaptable in real time.

The app generates targeted development areas based on employee skills and growth goals. It defines success in each area and provides clear action items for achieving goals. Managers can also record their observations of employees and create talent profiles highlighting strengths, identifying risks, and outlining development opportunities.


Managers can conveniently record thoughts, observations, and conversations in the Notes section of the tool. These notes are time-stamped for accurate record-keeping and can be accessed later. IDP+ gives HR leaders confidence in the security of their documentation. It also empowers employees to take ownership of their growth and provides managers with effective tools for fostering that growth.

Documenting and investing in an employee’s Individual Development Plan (IDP) can help guide their growth, align them with their manager, and increase their productivity. Ultimately, this investment can lead to better employee retention, as they reach their career goals within your organization.

Personal Improvement Plans (PIPs) for Enhanced Performance

WorkDove’s IDP+ app can also be used to create and execute Personal Improvement Plans (PIPs). PIPs aid employees in enhancing performance and meeting job standards. They identify areas needing improvement and outline the next steps for success.

For instance, a PIP provides managers with an opportunity to discuss training options with employees and ensure their commitment to goals. Once an employee’s PIP is generated, they must formally acknowledge it to establish mutual accountability and maintain a record of progress.

Documentation That Empowers HR Leaders and Employees

WorkDove’s IDP+ app simplifies employee development planning and tracking. It’s secure, compliant, and easy to use. Employees can access their plans anytime and add input, which helps them feel valued and supported. IDP+ also helps HR leaders track employee development over time, which can be used for business decisions and coaching.

IDP+ nurtures a culture where employees feel valued and supported, boosting engagement, productivity, and loyalty. It is a valuable tool for organizations that want to empower their employees and improve their overall employee experience.

Managers can document their observations of employees, create talent profiles that highlight strengths, identify risks, and outline development opportunities. While Human Resources has a responsibility to safeguard the employer’s interests, tools that effectively combine the enhancement of employee experience with compliance/documentation tend to yield mutual benefits for both employees and the company. When documentation is used to empower employees, it cultivates a culture of value for team members, equips managers with essential tools, and HR leaders can rest assured that the individuals they serve are receiving exceptional care.

Recent Content