It’s a new year. In most companies, it is a time for employees to develop their annual performance goals. Goal setting is a very important and valuable process. Managers can focus employee’s activities to deliver results which contribute to and are consistent with their overall strategy. There are many different methods and processes that can be used to make this successful.. All have fairly similar steps. I would like to stress two key components of these goal setting processes that can enhance performance, but are often overlooked.
The first would appear obvious, the communication of the overall business strategy and goals. As a leader, do your employees know where you are going and just as import, why? Many companies use a cascading approach to goal setting which allows employees to see overall goals, but many times there is minimal or no communication regarding why those goals have been selected. The beginning of the year is a great time to communicate and reinforce the overall business strategy and discuss why the particular organizational goals have been selected. All Employees Meetings are a great way to communicate this information. If this is not possible written messages can be used as well. The key point for leaders is ensure that employees understand how they help to contribute to the overall goals and its success.
The second aspect that is often overlooked is to establish a process to review goals. Most organizations report monthly financial information. When are individual goals reviewed?. If the goals are set properly and are important to the success of the company, why not develop a system to review progress on a monthly basis as well? This may not be applicable for all goals because achievement may not be accomplished on a monthly basis, but a quick monthly progress update can focus employees on the areas of their responsibilities that are most important. Additionally, a regular review will allow the company to make any goal adjustments based on the changing business environment. A worst case scenario could be where an employee is trying to achieve a goal that is no longer relevant.
These two items may seem like common sense, but my experience has demonstrated that given time constraints and other issues are quite often overlooked. A business can reap greater rewards from the performance management process by just focusing on these two components.