Performance goals are targets for the output of an employee. Employees may get performance goals periodically; that is, weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly. These goals are normally agreed on between a manager and the employee.
To ensure that performance goals are effective, they must have indicators to show when they are being met. Indicators also help both management and employees in tracking the progress of performance goals. They also guide in the adjustment of the same if necessary.
When setting performance goals management must keep some things in mind.
Performance goals must be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound.
The company objectives must guide you: The performance goals must be pegged to the objectives of the company. At the same time, employees must be given a clear picture of these objectives and how their performance goals contribute to their achievement.
Employee participation: Performance goals have to be arrived at in collaboration with employees. In this way, managers can identify any knowledge gaps in employees that may hinder achievement of goals. This also turns employees into stakeholders in the achievement of the goals, rather than people who are tasked to finish a job.
Monitoring: Performance goals need to be monitored and more specifically. There may be a need to adjust goals, given the circumstances within and outside the organisation. Monitoring also gives management a chance to reward employees who are excelling and offer support where it is required.
Performance goals for teams and employees
Teams and employees should strive to be more efficient. This goal will see people reduce wastage and still achieve their targets. Efficient employees can save the company time, money and material resources like paper.
A lot of performance goals are intertwined, with one supporting and even improving another. Communication is one of those performance goals that affects all the others. With better communication comes improved team work, efficiency, productivity, better time management and so much more.
Away from a few organisations, such as not for profits, most enterprises are in the business of making money. Therefore, increasing revenue is a performance goal relevant employees need to have. Objectives under this goal may include something like To increase a given products’ revenue by 10% by next year.
Improved customer satisfaction
What is a business without its customers? It makes sense therefore that this is one of the performance goals to prioritise with staff. Customer satisfaction should be emphasised at all the points at which customers interact with the business. These include at points of purchase, sale, query, return and so much more.
Improved customer service, like better communication, is one of those performance goals that affects several others. It impacts other performance goals like increasing revenue
Employees who can self-manage make better use of their time and are thus more productive. They are of greater value to the organisation, team mates and customers. A performance goal you might want to nurture among employees is the ability to self-manage.
Besides affecting other stakeholders, this goal boosts employee growth, morale and wellbeing. It will also free management up to focus on other tasks such as increasing revenue. It will reduce cases of micro management, increase delegation and its benefits.
Development of soft skills
Soft skills should not be ignored when organisations are thinking about performance goals. They include: interpersonal skills, communication, conflict resolution and emotional intelligence.
Soft skills are great for the all-round development of employees. They become more productive workers, better teammates, they improve work culture and they also contribute to personal development.
To achieve this and some of the other performance goals mentioned, organisations may have to invest in training and professional development programs.
Developing soft skills as one of an organisations’ performance goals will also improve morale.
Working harmoniously together to achieve goals can itself be a performance goal for employees. When employees collaborate, organisations can look forward to more innovative solutions to challenges, positive work culture, healthy competition, motivation and wellbeing.
While some companies may encourage competition amongst employees, research from Stanford University reveals that when employees felt they were working with others, they were more committed and productive.
Professional development goals
A performance goal that both employees and management should pay keen attention to is the professional development of employees and nurturing a growth mindset.
Professional development allows employees to sharpen their skills and develop new ones. This gives them a chance to remain marketable in a competitive and changing job market. It allows them to be of more value to the organisation while improving their own career prospects. Knowing that an organisation is investing is willing to invest in their employees will earn more engaged, loyal and productive workers.
Most people would like to develop their skills but with the present workloads and pressures of everyday life, this may rank low on the priority list. Management can go the extra step by carving out time for development programs and ensuring that they are part of the performance goals.
Social media goals
Social media has shifted from being a place to meet friends to being a strong business tool. The organisations of today and the future lean on social media for recruitment, competitor analysis, customer engagement and more. It thus makes sense that there should be performance goals tied to it.
These can range from the audience growth to audience engagement, conversions, number of interactions and more.
Decision making goals
Decision making goals will sharpen your management’s and even employees abilities to make decisions. This performance goal will guide staff in making time sensitive choices, handling conflict and working better as members of teams.
Performance goals give employees a map for where they are going. It is important to note that different employees and at different levels in the organisational hierarchy will have different performance goals.
In addition, these goals need to be paired with the resources people need to attain them.As an example, if a sales manager is charged with meeting a given target, they should also be availed with the necessary human resources to get there.