3 Tips for Employee Performance Goals

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Employee performance goals can take many forms. They might answer what or how things need to be done, but most important, be sure they answer why.

When your employees understand why, they make the connection between their goals and the company’s mission; it becomes win-win.

  • Managers are more likely to achieve company objectives, and
  • Employees feel good about themselves because they contributed to the cause.

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Employee Recognition Starts with How You Treat Your Unsung Heroes

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Employee recognition is the formal or informal acknowledgement of a person or team’s behavior that serves two key purposes:

  1. To show genuine appreciation for the contribution
  2. To communicate that the person or team’s effort is valued

We’re going to walk through why employee recognition is so important, read a practical scenario involving your unsung heroes, and learn why showing your appreciation is essential to any team leader’s success.

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Setting Performance Goals

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 7 Tips to Achieve Better Results

When setting performance goals, be sure to break them down into manageable chunks.

The key is to ensure your goals are not only realistic and challenging, but that they are achievable.

Working together with your employees will help you build trust and confidence, increase satisfaction, and intrinsic motivation.

Make the process inclusive so that you achieve lasting results; a win-win situation.

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Leadership Development Blog

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Welcome to the Blackhawk Leadership Development Blog, the musings of Blackhawk Consulting Group, LLC, a leadership development firm focused on managers who want to build teams, lead more effectively, and achieve superior results … all with less stress.

The key: aligning your company’s core leadership values in an environment where employees can live their personal values.

NOTE: this post has been updated to include links to articles written or updated after I started this blog

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Performance Feedback

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The Value of Timely Performance Feedback

Everyone appreciates performance feedback – the timelier, the better.

Leaders who provide feedback in a constructive manner develop others and foster a positive environment that instills loyalty. In doing so, they also foster an attitude that will lead to improved performance.

Coaching and developing others is a critical part of leadership. Since performance feedback is a critical aspect of an employee development plan, how a leader relates with others determines the level of effort they will get from their team.

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Employee Performance Evaluations

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Why are employee performance evaluations so stressful?

When you think of performance appraisals, what is your first reaction?  Management and staff shudder at the thought.  Supervisors dread writing the report, but they want to get the job done. Employees don’t like surprises in their annual evaluation, but they want to get a good review.

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Employee Performance Review

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Employee Performance Review

A constructive way of conducting the employee performance review is to hold interim (quarterly) performance appraisals and make them part of a continuous employee development plan or process.

Lasting performance starts with setting performance goals, working together, and continuing with timely performance feedback.

Setting and achieving goals involves 5 steps: planning, goal setting, performance feedback, interim reviews, and evaluation. Interim reviews are critical during this process.

Employee Development

Let’s review a performance task that illustrates the importance of feedback and regularly checking work.

A pilot is required to land the aircraft at a designated airport during limited visibility, known as instrument meteorological conditions.

In this scenario, the pilot cannot see the ground consistently and must rely solely on her thorough cross-check of aircraft instruments to determine position. After verifying location, the pilot begins descent to the desired airport at an initial approach point determined by her location and altitude.

Assuming weather remains as forecast, if the pilot maintains a thorough cross-check of aircraft instruments that indicate airspeed, altitude, heading, location, and rate of descent, she will descend to the minimum descent altitude or decision height at a location with the airport in sight, where she can proceed and land.

If the pilot performs the approach properly, all aircraft instruments will remain within tolerance and she will receive “on course, on glide path” indications throughout the approach.  At the beginning of the approach, the aircraft instruments appear less sensitive and any “on course, on glide path” deviation may appear minor.

If they are corrected early, the pilot can return the aircraft to the correct position easily.

As the pilot gets closer to the airfield, the instruments become increasingly sensitive. Adjustments that should have been made early on become more difficult to correct. Typically, the approach is more erratic or results in a failure to break out of the clouds at a point safe for landing.

 

Employee Performance Review

  • Interim Review: Conducting an employee performance review via semi-formal feedback

Failure to maintain every variable correctly might cause the aircraft to be left or right of course, above or below glide path, or too fast or too slow. If the pilot gets out of tolerance, this will prompt a call from the air traffic controller monitoring the radar with an offer of assistance or other course corrections.

At the time or location of the decision point, the pilot must see the airport and determine whether they can proceed for a safe landing. If they cannot see the runway, the approach failed and becomes a missed approach that requires a go around and a need to try again.

 

Setting and Achieving Goals

When conducting an employee performance review, as with any task, it is much easier to take corrective action early on.
This requires that leaders have regular contact with their employees so that they coach and mentor along the way. This allows for discussion and clarification via “foot locker” coaching sessions along the way.

Next, if you conduct periodic, semi-formal reviews (quarterly or some other interval), you allow both parties the opportunity to adjust.

For example, if you conduct semi-formal “pencil” sessions on a quarterly basis, it would provide both a chance to conduct less threatening rehearsal sessions of the formal review. Here, both manager and employee have the opportunity for a full exchange of ideas without the stress of the annual review.

During the remaining time available, everyone can take the necessary corrective action instead of waiting for the formal review at annual appraisal time.

A quarterly or interim employee performance review provides a mechanism for tracking employee performance and making any necessary adjustments before conducting employee performance evaluations.

Make your interim reviews a small part of the appraisal process by providing feedback and encouraging growth and development.

Developing Leadership Skills

Create an environment of engaged employees by communicating your values, and read more about teamwork, team building skills, team building exercises, and being a team leader.

Tom Crea

Tom Crea is an author, leadership speaker, and leadership development coach who travels from Pittsburgh, PA.  Tom's passion is sharing lessons learned in how learning to delegate made his life easier.