One Must-Do Step Before Your Summer Vacation
May 5, 2021 | Executive Coaching, Training & Development
What are your summer plans?
According to a recent survey commissioned by Lending Tree, 72% of Americans did not take a summer vacation trip last year, due to COVID. 44% of working Americans took no paid time off last year, and 22% of workers used less PTO than normal.
After a year without summer vacations, thoughts of sunny beaches and other destinations occupy most parents’ minds as the academic year comes to a close. Published reports estimate American families spend an average of 20 hours researching, planning, and booking vacation travel per trip.
While rest and relaxation are vital to one’s mental health, there is another type of planning that should not be overlooked in May: your individual development plan. It does not require 20 hours of your time, and it pays greater long-term dividends than a week at a resort hotel.
Your Plan to Win
If you’re following an individual development plan (IDP) that sprang from your annual performance review, now is a great time to revisit that plan. Be honest with yourself and assess your performance to this point. If you set goals with your manager early in the year, check in during May to evaluate your progress.
You may identify areas where other urgencies have distracted you from making the advances you truly desire. Talk honestly with your manager about your wins and opportunities.
Pivot, where necessary.
If you find yourself entertaining thoughts of failure, break the rearview mirror and focus on what you can do in the near future to make progress.
Before you leave for summer vacation, schedule time with your performance manager to talk through your IDP. Establish specific quarterly goals so that, by the end of Q3, you have a clear picture of what success looks like. This is a vital step in bringing year-end goals within reach.
A Common Complaint
It will be incumbent on you to get on your performance manager’s radar. They are just as eager to take vacation as you are. Scheduling an IDP review becomes challenging as people’s out-of-office times grow.
The common complaint we hear at inclineHR is, “Yes, I have a good IDP, but I somewhat feel like the shoemaker’s children…never taking time to focus on me and my development.”
This meeting will not happen organically. Be proactive with your department head or HR person to book and protect it.
If your review gets bumped, be the squeaky wheel.
Get It Where You Can
Many executives face difficulties finding an internal person to serve as their performance manager. Senior executives who are driven to grow often turn to an outside coach to work with them on their individual development plans.
At inclineHR, we prefer the term “personal contract” when talking about an IDP, because we truly believe it’s an agreement that an individual makes with themselves. Coaches and supervisors will not always be present to reinforce behavior in challenging situations. So, it’s up to the individual to focus on goals they wish to accomplish and to act in their own best interest.
Self-awareness is key, and our coaching customers start with a baseline that is defined by our proprietary inclineHR 360 Feedback Assessment. We survey key stakeholders to develop a 3-dimensional view of how our client comes across in the work place. We generate a narrative –aggregating responses from peers, superiors and direct reports – that outlines strengths, as well as gaps and obstacles, that pave the way of progress.
Our clients meet with their coach at regular intervals throughout the year to renegotiate the personal contract. Some action items come off because the goal has been met or is deemed “good enough.” New objectives are added to make sure the executive remains on path to reach the end goal.
More Than Souvenirs This Year
Make it a priority to schedule a mid-year progress report with your performance manager. Take advantage of the insight you’ll gain, combined with the energy boost from time off, to make a concerted effort to achieve your IDP goals in Q3. It could be the turning point of your career.
Picture this: ten years from now, your office is decorated with vacation photos plus a framed memo dated June 2021 with your IDP goals. When anyone asks why the memo is included with the pictures, you tell them it’s the best planning you’ve ever done. Not only did you make memories with the family that year, but you also set the course that eventually led to phenomenal career growth and personal fulfillment.
If you’re in a circumstance that feels like you have to “go it alone” in formulating and executing your individual development plan, contact inclineHR for support.
We excel at “Building Exceptional Leaders.”