12 Tips for setting performance goals

The Cheshire cat summed it up by saying to Alice in Wonderland that, if she did not know where she ought to go, then any road would take her there. The same principle applies in business, and hence the importance of setting performance goals for employees.

Tips include:

  1. Providing training to employees on the performance management cycle i.e., goal setting, performance appraisals, reward and recognition, development, and explaining the implications of not meeting the goals.
  2. Setting the date and preparing the employee for the goal-setting meeting.
  3. Jointly reviewing past goals, progress, challenges and the development plans.
  4. Jointly identifying future goals related to tasks, behaviours, skills, and development. Focus on the desired outputs, and drill down to departmental, team and to the employee’s goals.
  5. Including parameters for working remotely such as time and attendance, online and work from home “etiquette”.
  6. Ensuring that the SMART principles are used for goal setting i.e., goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and have timelines.
  7. Agreeing on the employee’s development areas and the action plan to address these.
  8. Addressing any obstacles that the employee raises, which may prevent them from achieving their goals.
  9. Eliciting ideas from the employee on ways to improve engagement and productivity whilst working remotely.
  10. Ensuring that there is agreement and commitment to the goals. This ensures alignment and focus on the right priorities.
  11. Agreeing the next steps, setting regular interim review dates, and setting a date for the year-end performance appraisal. Regular reviews increases the company’s agility.
  12. Ensuring that the employee receives a copy of the final document.