Many companies set objectives, whether for measuring corporate performance, team performance or individual performance. However, tracking these objectives and determining whether they are met can be daunting, and often results are open to interpretation.
Unclear objectives can lead to disagreements, especially if they are tied into the company’s compensation practices; whether by determining how generous a salary increase will be, or in deciding whether a bonus has been truly merited. Even worse, often there is no follow-up or accountability and they are simply never attained or taken seriously.
The best way to ensure that goals set will be goals reached is to ensure that they are “SMART”:
What do I want to accomplish?
What is the skill / behavior needing improvement?
What is the project and its scope?
Is it possible to quantify it?
If so, is the information available for me to do so?
What action(s) must be taken to reach this objective?
In what order should they be done?
Can this objective be accomplished? Is it feasible?
What resource(s) do I need?
When will my objective be met? Is there a deadline?
What is the time frame of the various steps required to meet the ultimate deadline?
Here are some additional tips to ensure that objectives are met:
• Get the employee involved in defining his/her own objectives.
• Don’t set too many goals, or reaching them all may become overwhelming. Go for quality and not quantity.
• Ensure that processes are in place to follow-up on objectives – not only once the deadline has passed, but throughout the various stages and timelines that have been determined.
• Ensure that proper recognition is given to employees who meet their objectives, whether monetary or non-monetary. For objectives set for a longer timeframe, recognize the employee as the various stages are successfully completed.
• If you see an employee struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to them, help them focus and provide the support or coaching they may require.