7 Tips to Achieve Better Results
When setting performance goals, be sure to break them down into manageable chunks.
The key is to ensure your goals are not only realistic and challenging, but that they are achievable.
Working together with your employees will help you build trust and confidence, increase satisfaction, and intrinsic motivation.
Make the process inclusive so that you achieve lasting results; a win-win situation.
Critical to motivating employees and maintaining satisfaction is ensuring that everyone knows the rating system and they feel that they will be evaluated fairly.
Setting and achieving goals requires that you clearly communicate expectations while you establish objective terms to evaluate performance. These are some of the fundamentals of teamwork.
One way to do this is to ensure that each of your job goals lists the task, conditions, and standard(s) associated with the effort.
When objective terms are not possible and the evaluation must be subjective,
“ … you should describe as clearly as possible what you like and dislike, what you will observe, and how you are likely to react to these observations.”
– Patricia King
Setting Performance Goals
Objective goals adhere to WHY-SMART:
- Yours – be sure they are your goals!
- Realistically High and Results Oriented
- Time Bound
Imagine a pilot’s job goals that did not include each of these parameters. They could fly from one airport to the next directly, or they could take the scenic route consuming precious fuel. Or, they might travel 150 miles beyond their destination before turning around to land significantly late. Whoops!
Italian Pilot Joke:
Folks, I have a some a good a news and some a bad a news. The bad a news is we are a lost.
The good a news is that we are a making a good time!
7 Tips for Setting Performance Goals
The performance appraisal process begins with clear definitions of what must be accomplished. Again, goals must be specific, measurable, and have a time limit.
- Encourage the employee to discuss their ideas and goals and reach agreement on goals to foster a spirit of cooperation.
- Maintain regular contact and meet at least daily or weekly.
- Use these meetings as opportunities for discussion, clarification and performance feedback. At times, they will become “foot locker” coaching sessions when appropriate.
- Mentor and coach during these sessions to help the employee learn and grow instead of it being perceived as part of a critical evaluation.
- Conduct periodic, semi-formal performance reviews to serve as checkpoints that will enable both parties to make any necessary course corrections or adjustments.
- Conduct these interim reviews in “pencil” to set expectations if there are no changes.
- Continue communicating so that you minimize surprises and remove much of the inherent stress associated with the annual evaluation.
Transform the Appraisal Process into a Valuable Experience
Employee performance appraisals require significant time, but with the right approach, you can transform an often difficult task into a continuous process to everyone’s advantage.
By involving the employee when setting performance goals, leaders can turn the appraisal process into an ongoing learning experience instead of a dreaded annual event.
Employees want to be involved, and they should be. However, ultimately it is the leader’s job to finalize job goals.
Tom Crea is a leadership expert, decorated career Army Officer, and Blackhawk Helicopter pilot. Because of his proven skills, he was hand selected to run the Army’s leadership development program at two Boston colleges, where he and his team transformed college students into combat leaders.
Tom has a B.S. & M.C.S. in Computer Science and a M.A. in Political Science and loves coaching basketball and spending time with his wife and two boys.
Creating a Culture:
Tom’s proudest leadership moment came when his unit was called to war in Iraq after he had rotated out. His replacement was not able to perform, so members he developed stepped up to lead; they attribute their success to the leadership Tom instilled in each of them. Today, the Blackhawk leadership way.