There are 3 components of the Performance Management Cycle:
- Goal setting and planning
- Ongoing feedback and coaching
- Appraisal and reward
As we draw toward the end of another calendar year, today’s post will focus on goals and why it is so important for organizations to develop performance goals. Remember, goals are not “outcomes”; goals are "conceptual" and represent the ideal state – the one which guides all your actions.
Performance goals give employee direction and motivation.
Create goals that:
Define what’s expected of the employee in terms of:
- Contributions to the organization.
- Provide a fair means of evaluating individual performance.
Provide an objective basis for determining the employee’s:
- Areas requiring coaching.
- Training needs.
- Help guide the employee’s career development.
- Help direct individual efforts toward the goals of the department and organization.
Performance goals should meet defined criteria.
Performance goals should be:
- Written in clear terms.
- Measurable (i.e. number of calls handled, increase in production).
- Observable in terms of results, quality, quantity, etc.
- Achievable, through challenging.
- Prioritized in order of importance.
- Agreed to by employee and supervisor.
- Flexible enough to deal with change or crisis.
Each goal needs an action plan.
The leader and employee should agree on an action plan for each goal that:
- Assures shared understanding of the goals and steps to achieve them.
- Gives the employee a road map for achieving goals.
- Identifies and means of measuring progress and improvement.
- Defines the leader’s role in helping the employee achieve his/her goals.
Performance appraisals should focus on goal achievement and progress.
- The point of the performance appraisal is to assess the employee’s success in meeting agreed upon goals.
The leader’s appraisal should identify goals that the employee:
- Made good progress toward;
- Surpassed; or
- Fell short on.
The appraisal process should also look at whether, in retrospect, goals were realistic, high-priority, etc.
- Assessing goals helps evaluate the employee’s accomplishments and identify future goals.
- The performance appraisal meeting should feature an employee-leader dialogue on the employee’s goals, progress, and accomplishments.
The performance appraisal should conclude by:
- Summarizing accomplishments, progress, and revised goals.
- Linking individual goal achievement to organizational goal achievement.
- Basing rewards on goal accomplishments.
In order to be motivated and productive, employees need challenges and direction. Specific performance goals focus efforts and rewards where it counts and also can identify areas for improvement. Achieving success requires having a plan – setting goals and actions to carry them out. Sounds easy but studies show most people do not take the time to identify goals and make a plan for reaching them. Consider making this one of your New Year’s resolutions.