- Mark Murphy writes for Forbes that people often miss the mark on their career goals because they are focusing on performance-based goals. Instead, he advises to try working on learning goals, or an increased focus on "acquiring knowledge or skill."
- Learning goals are generally harder to attain, and this produces better results. Employees are forced to expand and grow when they learn. Learning goals are also more suited to employees at the beginning phase of a career, because there is so much more to learn.
- To determine if a goal is a learning vs. performance goal, Murphy says to ask employees if they need to learn new skills in order to perform their job better and meet their goals. Add in learning elements to make the goal more achievable.
Human resource leaders often rely on goal setting that is based wholly on performance metrics, established early on in each employee's role assignment. But are we being realistic when we give employees performance goals but don't provide them with adequate learning opportunities?
Setting learning goals that challenge employees to take on new knowledge at work is a more reasonable endeavor. Leaders should routinely ask employees during strategic interventions what they need to learn to excel in their jobs, rather than just expecting them to figure it out on their own.