The ABC of Objective Setting

We spend a lot of time in goal setting conversations at the start of the operating year. It’s key to any performance management process that the goal setting discussion results in agreed, motivating and actionable individual commitments. This shifts performance management from being an unloved HR process to a dialogue that unlocks and aligns individual contribution. Here’s my ABC (and more) to guide getting these discussions right:

Accountability – Goals should clearly set out what results the team member is expected to deliver and the framework of authority in which they can operate.

Behaviours – How the goals are delivered will impact relationships and potentially reputation, so spell out, guided by your values, the behaviours you expect to see demonstrated.

Connection – Goal setting is an opportunity to connect individual work to the achievement of business goals, helping individuals understand how they can make a difference in your organization.

Development – People stay with and are more likely to feel engaged in organizations that develop them. Make sure the goal-setting conversation includes the growth opportunities that working on these goals presents.

Empower – Well-crafted goals define the space for people to contribute and opportunity to apply their capabilities. They define outcomes rather than provide route maps and are more likely to lead to the goal being exceeded.

Feedback – People grow when they get constructive feedback on their performance. ‘How am I doing?’ is question most of ask, so make sure feedback conversations are happening regularly.

Investing the time to ensure goal setting conversations embrace these concepts should make the P in Performance a reality.

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