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Guide to AT&T Cell Phone Plans

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All of AT&T’s unlimited data plans include 5G access.


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AT&T offers both limited and unlimited data plans, and its prices generally tend to be higher than those of competitors like Sprint and T-Mobile. But AT&T’s network performance ranks second nationally, trailing only Verizon.

At a glance

AT&T cell phone plans

Unlimited Plans

AT&T offers three unlimited data plans: Unlimited Starter, Extra and Elite. Prices listed below are for one line, before taxes, fees and discounts. You can save $10 per month if you sign up for autopay and paperless billing.

  • Unlimited Starter ($75): Video streaming is limited to standard definition (480p). Mobile hot spot is not included with this plan. Data may be temporarily slowed when network is busy. Includes 5G access in eligible areas with a compatible device.

  • Unlimited Extra ($85): Includes 15GB of high-speed mobile hot spot data per month, which drops to 2G speeds after you use your allotment. Video streaming is limited to standard definition (480p). Access to 5G networks, where available, included if you have a compatible device.

  • Unlimited Elite ($95): Includes 40GB of high-speed mobile hot spot data per month, which drops to 2G speeds after you use your allotment. Video can stream in 4K UHD if you turn off AT&T’s “stream saver” restriction. Subscription to HBO Max with a compatible device, where available, included.

AT&T Prepaid

AT&T’s prepaid plans have monthly, multi-month and pay-as-you-go options. The monthly options function much like the carrier’s traditional plans, but they don’t require a credit check. Learn more about AT&T prepaid plans.

AT&T unlimited plans: How it compares on price

Prices listed are for the least expensive plan when more than one unlimited plan is available. The pricing doesn’t include taxes, fees or autopay discounts unless otherwise noted.

Monthly price comparison

1 line

2 lines

3 lines

4 lines





U. S. Cellular


Metro by T-Mobile

Cricket* **

*Restricted LTE data download speeds. **Prices include taxes and/or fees. *** Pricing includes a 3rd Line Free limited time deal.

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On a similar note…

Best AT&T phone plans: What’s right for you

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The best AT&T phone plans don’t come cheaply — at least not if you want unlimited data — but you will get great value for your money. AT&T’s network performance is well-regarded, and it’s building out faster 5G service. It routinely offers great deals on phones, whether you’re an existing customer or planning on switching service, and we’ve got a range of AT&T Mobility promo codes to make those prices even better. AT&T boasts find a wide collection of available plans, spanning from unlimited data with plenty of features through to a number of pretty affordable prepaid plans.

AT&T appears on our list of the best cell phone plans, and for good reason. In addition to unlimited data, you can also find some unique features like the inclusion of HBO Max, roaming in Mexico and Canada and security add-ons such as caller ID and fraud blocking.

  • Best unlimited data plans: Where AT&T ranks
  • Find the best 5G phones at AT&T

You’ll also find the best AT&T phone plans among the best family cell phone plans, with significant savings for four-line plans. While not as cheap as T-Mobile or Visible, AT&T can challenge those rivals with coverage and performance. Prepaid plans at AT&T offer further chances to save money on wireless service.

Here’s a closer look at the options at AT&T and which are the best AT&T phone plans for your needs.

AT&T plans: What kind of offers are available?

When you break it down, AT&T realistically offers two kinds of plans — unlimited or prepaid. While both are great options, these plans offer very different kinds of service.

AT&T’s best plans at a glance

1. Best overall value: Unlimited Extra plan
2. Most features for your money: Unlimited Elite plan
3. Best prepaid AT&T plan: 8GB 12-month plan

If you’re looking for a family plan or just want the most features and add-ons for your money, going for an unlimited plan is the quickest way to find the best AT&T phone plans. You can pick from three versions of AT&T’s unlimited plan at differing costs, with the more expensive options packing in more features

These options can range from a basic plan offering unlimited data, calls and texts on 5G but with no hotspots, premium data or add-ons, all the way up to a plan with hotspots, premium data with no throttling, an HBO Max subscription, security features and plenty more. These unlimited plans see their best per-line prices when bought in a family plan with four lines. 

If you want something more flexible, prepaid AT&T options are available too. These are mostly low data, low cost options and while they’re more limited in their features and lack 5G, many will find their pricing to be more suitable than unlimited data.

Unlimited and family AT&T plans

Unlimited data and family plans go hand in hand with AT&T. The carrier offers three different tiers, depending on how many features you’re going to need and how much you’re willing to pay.

Where the family factor comes in is that the best per-line prices come as you tack on additional lines to your plan. To get the lowest monthly price per line, you need to get a four line plan with AT&T — this applies on all three unlimited data offers.

AT&T’s Unlimited Starter, the cheapest of the three, is pretty bare-bones in what it offers, with limits on streaming quality and no hotspot data. But you do get unlimited calls, texts and data.

The other two plans — Unlimited Extra and Elite — step it up, offering hotspot data, free streaming services, advanced mobile security and more. In fact, AT&T boosted the perks included with Unlimited Elite last year, making it a better option than before.

AT&T | Unlimited Starter plan | $35/month with four lines – AT&T’s budget unlimited plan
The cheapest of AT&T’s unlimited plans, Unlimited Starter will be a great choice for those on more of a budget. If you get a four-line family plan, you’ll only have to pay $35 a month per line; a single line costs $65 a month. You get unlimited data, texts and calls and unlimited texting from the US to more than 120 countries. However, you won’t get any hotspot data, and if AT&T’s network is busy, your speeds can be slowed. You’ll also find your video streaming limited to SD.

Pros: Affordable price tag; Unlimited 5G data
Cons: Limited to SD streaming; Not many added features

AT&T | Unlimited Extra plan | $40/month with four lines –
Great value option
AT&T’s Unlimited Extra plan sits neatly in the middle of the carrier’s unlimited offers. A family with four lines will pay $40 each every month; a single line costs $75/month. Unlimited Extra has everything you’re getting above, but with this plan you also get 50GB of priority data — AT&T won’t slow your speeds until you go over that amount. You also enjoy 15GB of hotspot data per line per month and advanced security features, including spam and fraud call blocking and caller ID.

Pros: Unlimited 5G data; 50GB premium data; 15GB hotspot
Cons: More expensive than Starter plan; Limited to SD streaming

AT&T | Unlimited Elite plan | $50/month with four lines – AT&Ts feature-packed unlimited plan
This is definitely not a cell phone plan for those on a budget, with AT&T charging $85 per month for a single line of Unlimited Elite. A family of four pays $50 for each line er month. However, you get a lot of benefits in return. This plan includes free access to the HBO Max streaming service. AT&T also offers unlimited 5G data and no longer slows your speeds no matter how much data you use. Customers can now enjoy 40GB of hotspot data each month per line. Unlike the other two plans, you can stream in HD with Unlimited Elite, and 4K streaming is supported where available.

Pros: Unlimited 5G data; Free HBO Max; No throttling; 40GB hotspot; HD/4K streaming

AT&T prepaid plans

While AT&T’s best value can be found in the unlimited plans above, it also offers a selection of prepaid plans. These prepaid options vary drastically in what they provide, with data caps ranging from 5GB through to unlimited.

While AT&T prepaid plans don’t have quite as many features as the unlimited plans, they do follow a similar format in terms of hotspot data, whether you can access HD video or not and more.

However, it is well worth noting that AT&T’s prepaid plans do not offer 5G coverage, with the exception of the pricey Unlimited Plus plan.

AT&T | 8GB 12-month prepaid | $25/month – Great value prepaid on AT&T…if you can prepay for the year
This is an excellent price from AT&T’s prepaid selection. It only costs $25 a month for 8GB of data. However, the catch is that you have to pay the full value upfront — $300 to be precise. If you can afford to pay that in one go, this is AT&T’s best value prepaid plan. While the prepaid plan doesn’t offer 5G, you do get rollover data,  a mobile hotspot, HD video, use in Mexico and Canada and fraud and call blocking.

Pros: Great price for the amount of data; Mobile hotspot
Cons: Requires you to prepay for a full year; No 5G coverage

AT&T | 5GB prepaid | $30/month – The budget AT&T prepaid plan
If you don’t like the idea of paying your full value in one upfront payment, this 5GB plan will be the next best option on a budget. It gets you 5GB of data while only charging $30 a month. The plan has all of the benefits as the plan above but it can’t get HD video and your use in Mexico and Canada will be pay-per-use.

Pros: Affordable price tag; Mobile hotspot; Data rollover
Cons: No HD video or 5G; Not much data

AT&T | 15GB prepaid | $40/month – A great value option for more data
While the above will be perfect for anyone on a budget, this is the choice for those who need a little bit more data. Your data allotment goes up to 15GB, which will be a lot better for streaming and downloading on the go. Like the above two prepaid plans from AT&T, you don’t get 5G access and you don’t get access to HD video. You do get data rollover, mobile hotspots and fraud call blocking though. 

Pros: Good amount of data; Hotspot; Data rollover
Cons: Expensive; No HD video or 5G

AT&T | Unlimited Plus prepaid | $50/month with Auto Play- Unlimited data on a more flexible plan
If you like the flexibility of a prepaid plan but need a lot of data, this is the best of AT&T’s two options. Set up AutoPay (automatic payments from your debit or credit card), and you’ll only have to pay $50 a month. That’s a special price, as AT&T is currently offering a $25 discount for enrolling in autopay. (Normally, it’s just a $15 discount). This plan includes 5G coverage, HD video streaming, and all other prepaid plan perks. For even more savings, you can get the same plan at Walmart for $45 a month with in-store activation.

Pros: No caps on data; Can use in Mexico and Canada; 5G
Cons: High price tag

Is AT&T a good carrier?

(Image credit: 10’000 Hours)

In our guide to the best phone carriers, AT&T takes the third spot behind T-Mobile and Verizon. This is no surprise as AT&T has a lot going for it, mostly due to its rapidly growing 5G coverage — AT&T 5G now reaches 250 million people, and C-Band 5G coverage is now available in eight cities — and extensive network.

When we did our last test of network performance, AT&T finished in second place for LTE download speeds. Rootmetrics’ most recent nationwide report, covering the first half of last year, ranked AT&T first for download speeds overall.

However, AT&T is in a bit of a weird spot. It’s not quite as large a network as Verizon and lacks its intensive coverage and it isn’t as affordable as our top ranked carrier – T-Mobile. While some of AT&T’s plans can be quite expensive, it offers ways around this, most noticeably through family plan discounts and savings for nurses, teachers, first responders, military and more; you can also save with some schools, organizations and employers.

As we said above, AT&T isn’t the cheapest carrier, but it does have some of the most feature-filled plans, most noticeably its Unlimited Elite plan with HBO Max. 

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Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide. He’s been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He’s been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he’s been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.

Individual employee development plan: guide for HR


Business development is influenced by many factors, including the professionalism of the team. Therefore, one of the important strategic tasks of the HR service is to launch employee training in the right direction, drawing up an up-to-date individual development plan for each.

Individual Employee Development Plan (IDP) is a list of activities that ensure the continuous professional development of each team member.

Why draw up an individual employee development plan

Any business is a mechanism of many interconnected nodes. A failure in the operation of any node, even a potential one, poses a risk to the entire mechanism and affects the quality of the final product.

The same is with the company’s employees: technical incompetence, lack of time management skills, ignorance of deadlines, poor communication skills… These and similar, seemingly insignificant flaws of the personnel lead to managerial problems — to technological failures, disrupted negotiations and untimely reporting. And this, mind you, in a regular situation.

One of the important tasks of the hr service is to determine the vector of development for each team member, in accordance with the goals and objectives of the company. And draw up an individual plan for the short-term (next year) and medium-term (up to 3-5 years). If the medium-term plan consists of a general list of competencies for development, then the short-term plan specifies it – how to develop an employee in the coming year.

Preparatory work for the preparation of IPR consists of three stages:

  1. Determine the vector of personnel development based on the company’s goals
  2. Assess the employee’s competencies and make a list of them for development
  3. Find out the employee’s desire to develop

Next, we will discuss these stages in more detail.

What is the correct vector of employee development

The company has strategic (long-term) and tactical (short-term) goals. Correlating the employee’s functionality with the company’s strategy and tactics is a good reason to update the job description and, at the same time, start forming an individual development plan. How to do it:

  • Strategic objectives are divided into four areas according to the Balanced Scorecard: business processes (improving product quality), finance (increasing revenue), customers (increasing the base) and training (increasing the number of training programs). The specialist is related to one or two areas – for example, finance + clients or development + processes. A manager can cover three sections. Strategic goals set the general direction for the development of employees and form the basis of the medium-term IPR.
  • Tactical goals are steps towards achieving a strategic goal in a specific time period. For example: introduce a new production technology to improve the quality of the product or open another branch to increase the customer base. Such tasks should form the basis of a short-term employee development plan. For example, if a company worked only in large cities, and now decided to open new branches in the regions, marketers and PR people should study the features of promotion in the regions. Because the algorithm of work differs from large cities.

Read more about the peculiarities of employee training during the crisis.

The development vector is followed by a specific list of competencies for an individual plan.

How to make a list of competencies for personnel development

There are two main ways to select competencies for employee development – improve those skills that they already have or create new ones that they did not have before.

1 — Movement from shortcomings

Ideally, all requirements for competencies by groups are clearly defined in job descriptions and in the competency matrix: corporate, professional, as well as personal and managerial. Sometimes they are supplemented by a list of what you need to “know” and “be able to” to solve new tactical problems. Therefore, periodically it is necessary to find out whether a real person corresponds to his duties – to conduct an assessment of the personnel.

If in your organization the control system is created, automated and works successfully, performance monitoring does not require additional actions and investments. In this case, it is enough to supplement the list of competencies and requirements for them, and then correlate them with the results of the assessment. If a specialist lags behind in some competencies, add them to the development plan.

For example, at the last online meeting, a project management specialist showed poor knowledge of a foreign language, which did not have the best effect on the results of negotiations. Or, as a result of an underdeveloped customer focus, a senior sales manager missed a profitable client. These competencies need to be improved.

This path is a movement away from shortcomings: when you need to tweak here, add brightness there, clarity here . ..

2 — Big brother path innovations. Everything that you evaluate as effective and translatable should be adopted, which means training the right specialists/managers.

For example, you learned that competitors are using a new modern machine to produce a product. And we decided to introduce it into our work technology in order to improve the quality of the product. Obviously, employees most likely do not have the appropriate skill to work on a new machine, so they need to be trained.

Merging two paths

As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle: the development map will include competencies derived from both the first and second paths. Thus, you come to a complete list of required competencies – new and existing.

The list of competencies for development should be short: up to 5 pieces for each employee. If this list for some specialists turns out to be too long, these specialists are probably “not up to” in terms of the main parameters for the position. This means that an irrelevant specialist has been selected for this position. It is worth considering whether to spend resources on his full training or hire another specialist who has already developed basic competencies to the required level. If the staff is selected with high quality, it needs only fine adjustments.

What the employee wants: his goals and motivation in development

When you have sorted out the list of necessary competencies, it’s time to find out the employee’s professional goals. For example, his goal could be:

  • Desire for career growth “up” – to leadership positions
  • Desire to develop “in depth” in the previous position, to become an expert in his field more of yourself, but without increased responsibility for colleagues

It is important to identify and take into account the personal aspirations of the employee so that he is interested in development and shares responsibility for the final result of training with the company. Read more about how to create a career development plan.

In order to make sure that IPR is expedient, two additional tests of the employee can be carried out – on the level of motivation and on the dynamics of the development of his abilities. The second helps to determine the potential and learning ability of the employee.

Recap . All preparatory work has been done:

  1. Determined the vector of personnel development based on the strategic and tactical goals of the company
  2. Conducted an employee performance assessment, identified strengths and weaknesses (competencies)
  3. Determined the employee’s goals and motivation for professional development
  4. Compiled a list of competencies – for formation and development

All of the above constitutes the introductory part of the IPR. How to create an individual development plan?

How to draw up an individual development plan

Where does the preparation of an IDP begin? Based on a ready-made list of competencies, an HR specialist builds an individual employee route. What data is important to indicate in the plan:

  • Competencies to be developed. Takes them from a ready-made list of competencies
  • Activities that will help you acquire the necessary skills. The format of these events and those responsible for conducting them
  • The period for which you need to undergo training and obtain the necessary competencies
  • Methods for monitoring acquired knowledge and skills. For example, a test or exam, an interview with an expert, or a presentation of a new project

At this stage, HR has the following choice of actions: either to look for suitable ready-made courses for each candidate from third-party organizations, or to develop training programs in-house for each position, or job groups. As a rule, both options are combined.

What types of learning can be included in the IPR:

Most of the described training methods are conveniently implemented on an online platform, in the form of updated training programs for each position. You assign ready-made programs for the development of competencies to employees, and set the deadline for completion in accordance with the IPR. After that, you only control the progress of employees. Thus, the platform helps to automate the control of personnel competencies and the passage of IEP.

IPR example

In our example, a marketing department specialist is assigned the following list of competencies for development:

  1. Find out the features of promotion in the regions
  2. Gain public speaking skills

An individual route might look like this:

We recommend that you use this sample and IPR example to create a plan for your employees based on it.

Monitoring the implementation of the individual development plan

Periodically discuss with employees the results of the implementation of the individual development plan. This discussion will be effective if HR organizes a business meeting with the participation of the manager, employee and mentor – with analytics prepared in advance from all sides.

It is important to record the results of the implementation of the plan – they will become the basis for the development of a new short-term individual development plan or for adjusting the medium-term plan.

Output . An organization will have a working mechanism for the continuous development of employees if the HR service:

  • Has developed an individual professional development plan for an employee that meets the strategic and tactical goals of the company, as well as the goals and motivation of the employee
  • Coordinated and supervised its implementation
  • Organized and recorded the analysis of the results for further work
  • Incorporated the experience gained into the personnel management system

company competitiveness.

How to draw up an individual employee development plan?

How to draw up an individual employee development plan?

The employee’s Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a document that describes the development goals and specific actions by which the employee can achieve them. This is a training program designed for a specific person. It allows a specialist to acquire new and develop existing competencies.

Why do I need an IPR?

Before starting to develop a development plan for a specific employee, it would be good to understand what business goals the company is currently solving.

Unfortunately, very often an individual development plan for an employee is drawn up just for show. And it has nothing to do with the goals of the company. An individual development plan in itself, and a company in itself. We are doing something, developing, but this does not affect business performance in any way. This approach is fundamentally wrong. We still live in a market economy. This means that every ruble invested in the development of employees should bring a specific result.

Therefore, first you need to understand what goals the company sets for itself. It could be:

    1. Staff turnover reduction
    2. Entering new markets or expanding share in existing ones
    3. Creation of a learning organization, etc.

Next, it would be good to find out what is important for the employee and what he wants to achieve. For example,

    1. Career growth
    2. Income increase
    3. Gaining new experience
    4. Participation in ambitious and interesting projects
    5. Self-development, etc.

The basis of IPR is competency assessment

After the goals of all parties involved have been sorted out, it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the employee’s competencies. And already on its basis to draw up an individual development plan. Typically, such an assessment is carried out once a year.

How you will spend it is up to you. This can be a 360 assessment, interviews, observation, business and role-playing games, testing, case solving, etc. The most important thing is to correctly determine the behavioral indicators that you will pay attention to when conducting an assessment. For each company and for each position within this company, they will be different. For example, customer focus, focus on results, systemic or critical thinking, communication skills for a sales manager will have their own behavioral indicators, and for a commercial director – others.

Be sure to give the employee feedback based on the results of the assessment. Discuss with him how working on “sinking” competencies can affect his further professional growth and career, and help him achieve his goals.

Collectively select no more than 2 competencies that the employee will develop in the coming year. According to studies, a simple skill can be developed in 1-2 months, more complex ones in 6-9 months, and complex competencies, consisting of several skills and abilities, develop in about 2 years.

To determine priorities, we recommend answering 3 questions:

    1. What are the key business challenges for this employee today and in the future?
    2. The development of what competencies will help the employee to achieve these tasks?
    3. What tasks related to these competencies cannot be delegated and/or it is impossible to reduce the impact of this quality by using one of the strengths?
    4. What qualities will an employee need in a new role (position, position) and must be present in one way or another?

The structure of the employee’s individual development plan

Once you have determined which competencies the employee will develop, you can proceed to drawing up an individual development plan. Each company has its own IPR structure. It depends on the field of activity, corporate culture, reasons for creation. But there are a number of points that are found in almost every plan of individual development.

1. Purpose. Determine what is a priority for both the employee and the company. It is important that both parties are interested in development and understand what it is for.

2. Timing. Indicate a clear time frame for the implementation of each item in the development plan.

3. Development activities. Develop activities and describe specific actions to achieve your goals.

4. Support. Specify who will help the employee in development, guide. This may be the immediate supervisor or a supervisor from another department. More experienced colleagues, HR, external experts, etc.

5. Control. Fix the criteria that will show the employee’s progress, his movement towards the goal.

6. Completion mark. Check each completed task to determine whether the employee has achieved the intended results or not.

Distribution of the teaching load in the IEP

In an individual development plan for each goal, there must be actions from all categories of the Tell-Show-Do learning model:

Tell (learn) – this includes various methods of “passive” development, which account for 10% of everything we learn. This is self-study to gain theoretical knowledge. They can be gleaned from books, films, courses and seminars.

Show (learn from the experience of others) – this process can be organized in a special way. For example, through rotation to other departments, mentoring, mentoring or coaching sessions, or it can be a conscious observation of how successful employees demonstrate a key competency, followed by an analysis of what the employee can learn for their own growth. 20% of what we learn is learning from the experience of others.

Do (practice ) – practical application is essential for developing a sustainable skill and turning a growth area into a strength. Conduct training with or without interruption from core duties. Connect the employee to work on new projects. Arrange internships. 70% of everything we learn, we learn by working in the workplace by solving real work problems or participating in various projects.

When drawing up a development plan, distribute the selected activities evenly so that the load in each month is approximately the same. It is not necessary to use one action at once for different purposes in some period. For example, in one month, plan only reading a few books on two selected competencies, and in the other – only trainings, etc.

Implementation and adjustment of the individual development plan

Creation and implementation of an individual development plan is the responsibility of the employee. This is not a document that “comes down from above”. The task of internal curators, personnel development specialists is only to direct and correct.

It makes sense to analyze the implementation of the individual development plan in the middle of the year. And based on it, make further decisions. IPR adjustment is also carried out on the basis of a comprehensive assessment. If an employee moves at a given pace and shows a good dynamics of change, has moved to a new level of development of his personal or professional competencies, then this must be noted. For example, they add to the personnel reserve for the desired position, increase wages or change working conditions. If there are no significant improvements, then the individual development plan is reviewed and new competency development activities are developed until the next assessment.

It is also important to regularly monitor the IPR in terms of its relevance. Life does not stand still, business tasks may change, and the focus of employee development may also change.