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5 performance management objectives you must understand

Did you know that performance management costs some companies as much as $35 million per year in lost work hours? Granted, these are large corporations with 10,000 or more employees, but the point is that this organizational practice can be pricey.

The biggest problem isn’t the cost, however — it’s whether the organizations are receiving enough value for those dollars. If you’re a leader who’s concerned about this in your organization, you may need a refresher on performance management objectives.

Success with performance management starts from the top, so if you don’t fully understand the point of the process, problems will arise as goals cascade down to departments, teams, and individuals.

To reorient yourself with the purpose of performance management, review the objectives of this valuable process below.

5 key performance management objectives

1. Ensure everyone sets goals appropriately

An organization needs clear direction to remain on the path to success — and that direction comes in the form of goals. Paul Hunter, principal at People. Performance. Reward., echoes the importance of goal setting. He’s a 20-year expert in performance management and human capital advisement, and he recommends that goals should be 

  • Simple. Employees should be able to easily understand what the organization is trying to achieve. “This understanding encourages buy-in, ensuring employees will exhibit behaviors that support higher-level goals,” Hunter explains.
  • Objective. Objectivity is essential in goal setting, especially at the individual level. “You want employees to feel a sense of fairness so they don’t spend unnecessary time comparing themselves to peers or become disengaged,” says Hunter.
  • Definitive. Once you set goals, don’t change them unless absolutely necessary. “Moving the goal post throughout the year can discourage employees from giving their all,” Hunter notes.

2. Align employee goals with broader targets

Goals aren’t just necessary at the highest level. It’s important for strategic goals to cascade down the organizational chain and appear in departmental goals, team goals, and individual employee goals. There must be a clear connection between what employees are striving toward and the higher-level goals set for the team, department, and overall organization.

Hunter says this alignment is what keeps the organization moving toward success. “At the individual level, one employee veering off course likely won’t impact strategic goals much. However, if numerous employees are disconnected from higher-level goals, it’s unlikely the organization will achieve what it set out to do for the year.”

3. Review goal progress

Next on the list of performance management objectives is goal review. It’s not enough to set goals — you also need to keep track of them throughout the year. This means managers need to stay abreast of their subordinates’ progress.

Leaders should stay in communication with department heads, and department heads need to check on their teams and individual employees. “Then, managers can take corrective action where needed to ensure goals are met as expected,” says Hunter.

4. Encourage coaching and mentorship

Don’t leave employees to fend for themselves once they know their goals. While check-ins are helpful to course-correct, it’s also important to support employees with regular coaching to address their developmental needs.

“Not only can this keep employees on the right path, but it also can strengthen the manager-employee relationship,” Hunter explains.

5. Support appraisal process and compensation outcomes

Everyone knows the typical annual review often corresponds with compensation adjustments. Generally, if you’ve done well throughout the year, you can expect either a raise or a bonus.

Hunter notes that one of the performance management objectives is ensuring that an employee’s performance is tied to appraisal and compensation outcomes. “It’s likely to be a key consideration — but not the only one — in appraising the employee and making compensation decisions,” says Hunter. Last, to reach your performance management objectives, use a solution like Jotform, an easy-to-use form builder and information collection tool. Jotform has hundreds of pre-built form templates you can use to streamline your processes and support your teams’ activities across the organization. Get started with a Jotform template today.

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