Thursday, July 29, 2010
Learning Plans and Yearly Performance Reviews
Nursing school was full of learning plans. Learning plans for a class, learning plans for clinical placements and learning plans for group projects. Now that I’m in the ‘real world’, learning plans continue to be made and revised each year – usually when there’s a yearly performance review scheduled by the manager. I’m somewhat torn on the issue of learning plans. On the one hand, I think they’re a useless waste of time. I always end up scrambling to write down something that might fit with learning goals that were written when I had no idea what I was getting into. However, they can also serve as a checklist for the things that I did want to learn and/or improve upon as well as documentation of ongoing professional development. Invariably, when I meet with my manager this year, I will have to justify why I didn’t accomplish a single thing on my learning plan written last year when I was not allowed to work in certain areas of the department that I do now. That is not to say that my professional growth has stagnated for the entire year – I have taken several courses, applied that learning to my work and have informally learned much more than can be summarized in 150 words. On top of all that, I have never been a very details oriented person. I like to have a general outline with lots of room for maneuvering and improvising because in my experience, things hardly ever go as planned. I won’t be too upset if I learned things that I didn’t know before instead of learning what was strictly written on my learning plan. Regardless of how I feel, I will be wasting a beautiful afternoon writing inane BS to appease the powers that be. And the real kicker – my yearly review is scheduled on the last effin hour of my shift before I scramble to get to the airport!!