Setting objectives & managing performance

I don’t need to set objectives, they know what to do.

We've all worked for managers who tell you how to do everything - down to the smallest detail. And then there are the managers that tell you nothing.  It is a balance of being overly directive and letting employees figure it out for themselves...and hopefully get it right!

But, there is a better way. One that gives you confidence that the job will get done the way you expect AND gives your employees the opportunity to use their initiative.

It's all about spending time with your employees and setting objectives. Putting in some expectations around roles is very important – how else do employees know what they should be working on and importantly how you will be measuring their contribution?

Objectives can be very specific when the outcome is driven by time frames or financial result or they can be broader to allow the employee to manage their own time.  Well written objectives should be able to be measured without any interruption of the result.  Did you achieve X ? yes or no.  These types of objectives take the guesswork out of the measurement with both the manager and employee knowing very clearly what is expected.

An objective that can’t be measured should not be included as this just diverts attention towards work that adds no value.  No measure equals no value.  Even items that are around behaviour or service can be measured.  You can seek evaluation from clients or team members with specific examples of good work or areas of improvement.  Again, they can be measured.

It is rare that employees would not see the importance of putting objectives in place, unless they don’t want you to be able to measure their contribution.  Most people want to know what is expected and will appreciate your effort to make this clear.

As we are heading towards another year, this is the perfect time to think about what your business wants to achieve in 2015, which will flow into objectives for your team.

Start the year with clear expectations and a plan to discuss these with your employees on a regular basis.  This discussion will not be a surprise because the objectives have been set with measurable outcomes, both you and your employees will know before the discussion starts what the results are.   You can then focus on improvements where required or spend the time to praise and recognise the efforts of your employee.

Need help creating objectives or targets? Want to communicate the purpose to your team? See the value in a Managing Performance system? Then contact The Outside Lane to discuss.

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