Add Value to your Professional Performance with an IDP
How much of you is in the organization that you work for? If you are an employee, there certainly must have been times that you have asked yourself this. Although many of us think that we do our best in achieving our daily professional tasks, this perception may not always be aligned with the organizational goals of the company we work for. That is why it is very important that we know how to best answer the question of our real contribution to the overall performance of the organization we are part of.
Performance management tools and techniques cascaded to the individual level should maximize our core competencies in order to meet the level of proficiency required from us. Does this always happen, though? How can you know how to best interpret what is needed from you in terms of expected deliverables?
The tool which might help you identify your place within an organization is the Individual Development Plan (IDP). Often regarded as an evaluation tools, the IDP is rather a good form of partnership between employees and their supervisors.
It provides not only a mechanism for identifying career goals and individual development needs, but also the necessary feedback which helps align individual work objectives to business priorities. While organizational charts divide the organization into work units, IDPs help set a ground denominator for these work units to efficiently and effectively attain a high level of overall performance within the same organization.
So, before asking the question of how well you fit in the performance management scheme of the organization you work for, try to work closely with your supervisor to develop and monitor your IDP. This includes doing the following:
- Identifying short and long-range objectives and key performance indicators to outline the achievement of the objectives;
- Defining knowledge, skills, and abilities that are reflected in competencies required to achieve the stated career objectives;
- Setting initiatives to support the achievement of professional objectives;
- Assigning reading, education, training and other professional development activities.
While employees might think periodical review of their performance simultaneously hinders initiative and demotivates employees, from the organizations’ point of view, assessments are the ideal tool for rating and improving individual performance.
On the other hand, it is the responsibility of the organization to outline SMART objectives and key performance indicators for each employee to understand and follow. A SMART objective is an objective that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Trackable/time-bound. This is why every organization relies on a performance agreement.
A performance agreement is a tacit rule of continuous communication requirements between employees and their managers/supervisors in order to achieve performance maturity. In this agreement, employees are encouraged to identify what they don’t know and solicit help for training and coaching, while managers and supervisors are expected to work closely with their employees to ensure that adequate tools are provided in order for them to excel at their work.
The learning and development plan in the performance agreement focuses on three areas which highlight employee development needs:
- Mandatory job – specific learning, which consists of training modules and courses that must be successfully completed in order for the employee to perform adequately at his/her job. It also comprises the following certifications that keep professional standards up to date;
- Specialized job – specific learning, which includes courses and workshops that enhance employee future performances, while mastering the duties of their current position;
- Career development learning – that can help employees progress in their careers, while helping determine development opportunities such as special assignments, unique projects or exchange programs.
Employee performance rating concludes the performance evaluation process by rating work objectives and core competencies and giving employees feedback on both accomplishments and shortcomings.
Feedback ensures associating organization strategy with communication, and ultimately, communication and collaboration ensure success in articulating senior management vision and employee dedication.Energizing the workplace by stretch goal exercises following performance ratings can help employees identify intrinsic motivators and use them to optimize their performance.
In performance management, competencies make explicit that how work gets done is just as important as what work gets done, and maybe, before asking yourself how much of you is in the organization you work for, you may stop and think of the individual performance plan that values you for who you are within the company that you work for.