Setting Effective Performance Objective

There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time. Performance objective is a specific end result that contributes to the success of the unit or organization and that you as a future employee will be expected to accomplish or produce.
Performance objectives provide focus to an employee’s work to ensure that his or her actions are directed towards achieving important mission-related outcomes. This has become really challenging in today’s business environment where lack of proper goal reduces the top line of an organization. Performance objectives are not work activities, task descriptions, or responsibilities listed in a performance description.

A work activity is an overall action that an employee takes when performing his or her job. A performance objective specifies the outcome or end result of a work activity.
There is a subtle difference between the task and the performance objectives. For example-Setting effective performance objective

  • Task: Determine sourcing strategies to avoid cost.
    Performance Objective: By the end of the financial year, present two sourcing strategies for existing and new vendors based on a thorough analysis of volumes, customer needs, capabilities, and value addition.
  • Task: Prepare and deliver executive leadership deck.
    Performance Objective: By March end, deliver three decks to key stakeholders regarding the new process, and consolidate a detailed report on the feedback received.
  • Task: Collaborate with others.
    Performance Objective: For each project received during this year, solicit at least one individual to provide input at the planning stage. Incorporate the individual’s input into your final report.

Difficult times disrupt your conventionalways of thinking and push you to forge better habits of thought, performance and being. Young people often gets discouraged when encounters on immediate failure. You need to hold up your aces, think what went wrong and develop performance objectives to overcome in future. There are five ways to set good performance objectives and if worked diligently on achieving can work wonders for all of us. I believe effective performance objectives should be:-

1) Specific
I think that the Japanese culture is one of the very few cultures left that have its own identity. They’re just so traditional and so specific in their ways that even till now they our amongst the world leader. If your team is going to do what you ask them to do, then you need to be specific about the end result. Use action words like “to increase”, “to establish”, “to reduce” and “to create” in your communication. You can also use “specific” to remind yourself that objectives need to relate back to a specific personal or organizational goal. It’s a constant cycle to remind you.

2) Measurable
Imagine you are playing the games ‘Candy Crush’ or ‘Words with Friends’ and it doesn’t show a score or progress indication as you go along. You wouldn’t play it – there’s no motivation!
You want something that will allow the person to gauge how well they are progressing toward achieving the objective. You don’t want an objective that is vague. This leaves room for misinterpretation and that will end in disgruntled people. So tell the person how you are going to measure the achievement. Then you both know when it hasn’t been achieved, when it’s been met and when it’s been exceeded.
For example, 100 percentile push every student to compete with other. It’s also a good idea to record the source of the measurement. For example, the profit & loss report for retail division, client survey, and sales reports.

Setting effective performance objective

3) Attainable
When a warrior learns to stop the internal dialogue, everything becomes possible; the most far-fetched schemes become attainable. I’ll quote a story once upon a time there was a leader and his three direct reportees. The first employee’s objectives were too hard; there is no way they could be achieved. First employee just gave up at the start. Second employee’s objectives were too easy; they just weren’t motivating at all. But third employee’s objectives were just right. They were a stretch and it might be difficult, but employee thought there was a good chance she could achieve them. She was one motivated passionate employee. The moral of the story is “Persist and persevere, and you will find most things that are attainable, possible.”

4) Relevant
Relate the objective back to the team and company goals. Being part of a team effort is much more motivating than just having an objective. Is the objective within something the person will have control or influence over? There’s always going to be the circumstances you can’t plan for. There’s always the unexpected relevance never question the relevance of truth, but always question the truth of relevance. Your goals should be relevant enough for you to achieve it. You can become a shining star or will be shot down depending upon the relevance of goal you have. People are overwhelmed looking up at the Mount Everest of environmental challenges that we face. But you put one foot in front of the other and you recognize that not everyone is Sir Edmund Hillary.

5) Time bound
What is the time frame for achieving the objective? A target date and some milestones help keep things on track. Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use. Ensure your goals are time bound and should have a fixed hard line. If the objectives are fixed it helps you to work hard until they are achieved. Imagine a 20 over cricket match, the batsmen has a set target or are in process of setting target, they can’t wait till the last ball is about to be ball. It’s a time bound game and everyone wants to win.
Most “impossible” goals can be met simply by breaking them down into bite size chunks, writing them down, believing them, and then going full speed ahead as if they were routine.

Contributed by Vaibhav Chandra (Class of 2009, IBS HYDERABAD)

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