One of my goals for 2017 is to get a lot of knowledge under my belt and somehow I find myself drawn into writing on the subject. So this is my second article this year on the subject of setting and achieving Professional Learning goals in 2017.
Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. Tony Robbins
It’s still early in the year and for lots of organizations, employees are currently in the process of drawing up their task, targets and individual development plans for the year. These plans must be tied to the overall desired outcomes the organization has set for itself. Key among these would be the professional learning goals for employees. This would naturally be drawn by employees and agreed upon by employers. Below are a few tips that would help you in setting winning professional learning goals:
Identify learning priorities and agree with the board
Learning priorities are the basis upon which your learning goals and proposal will be built. For organizational buy-in then it is important that you provide sufficient information and data to highlight your learning needs and how your proposal would benefit the organization. A good source of data would be evidence of performance analysis especially from the previous year. Documented feedback from superiors, peer reviews over the penultimate year and self-evaluation are also good sources of data.
Establish Specific goals in relation to each priority.
Now that your have developed your priorities, how do we know when they have been met. The answer is to develop specific measurable goals that highlights what is to be achieved, how it will be achieved, the measure for success and impact on the business outcomes of the organization.
Set S.M.A.R.T goals.
The SMART acronym is a tool that can be used in setting clear reachable goals:
S: Specific (What, Why, Who, Where, Which)
M: Measurable (How Much, How Many, How Will I etc.)
A: Achievable (Stretch your abilities but still attainable)
R: Relevant (Worthwhile, Right time, Applicable)
T: Time Bound (When, Today, 7 days, Weeks, Months)
Link Goals to Specific Identifiable, Professional practice, benefits or support for your personal career progression.
Setting SMART goals is just one half of the process. These goals must reflect specific and identifiable milestones in professional practice. It should also bolster your position with regards to career progression. What this simply means is that your goals should reflect in some of measurable growth when completed.
Link learning priorities to strategic organizational outcomes.
We all have must be familiar with our organizations strategic direction as enshrined in the Vision, Mission statement, Policies and Objectives. When developing your learning priorities do envision how it would contribute to the long term, medium term and short term objectives. Do well to outline these benefits as part of your learning priorities.
Link learning priorities to employee specific outcomes for the year.
For every organization there are specific outcomes that are required from the employees in the performance of their duties. In developing your learning priorities do ensure your plan mirrors this outcome as part of the benefits. Your learning priorities now serve as enablers for the outcomes already specified by your organization.
Link learning priorities to personal career ambitions.
Your personal development goals are closely linked with career progression and should be given serious considerations. Key areas to look at would your professional strengths, and weaknesses. Consolidating on strengths and bolstering weaknesses help improve professional practice. This forms a solid justification when linking professional developments to learning priorities.
In conclusion, as you settle on your goals for 2017 and go about achieving them I hope this guide makes your journey easier. You can read more about Professional Learning Goals in my previous article: What are your learning goals for 2017?
If you are a Maintenance and Reliability Professional in Nigeria or anywhere in the world you can include some of our training as part of your learning plan in 2017.