Setting Employee Goals for Effective Performance Management
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What is performance management? To the uninitiated, performance management is something they
need not overly concern themselves with, since they know their job and do not need to be told what to
do. Besides this, there are many other misconceptions that surround performance management: that
performing employees do not need managing, that performance management is merely telling
underperforming staff that they need to put their game face on or lose their job, or that performance
management is sitting meekly until your manager is finished criticizing your work.
Performance management is a far cry from these misconceptions. It is a process by which a manager
and a staff member sit together to plan and review the employee’s performance based on his work
goals and on his overall contribution to the success of the organization. It is an ongoing process that
involves a shared commitment to high performance, both from the manager and the employee.
Setting Great Goals
Goals are essential to performance management; without them, there will be no standards by which to
base the performance on. To effectively set goals, one must bear the following points in mind:
1. Goals must be SMART. Any goal must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
For employees to reach their goal, they must know the specific expected outcome at a set
period of time. They must also have the resources to achieve goals that are aligned with the
organization’s overall vision, objectively assessed by applicable measurement tools.
2. Goals must be adequate in number. Too many goals can be a burden for employees and can
lead to productivity issues, while too few goals can make them lax in their work. Around five or
six goals are enough to challenge staff and keep them engaged in contributing to the success of
3. Goals must impact both the business and the employees themselves. Both management and
employees must be invested in achieving high performance. Well-planned goals, regular
monitoring and feedback allow employees and management to enter dialogues that create a
positive impact on the business and individual employee performance.
Performance management is a great tool for harnessing employee motivation and engagement. By
creating quality goals, you pave the way for your employees to contribute to the success of your
organization while encouraging their personal achievement.
Want to delve deeper and learn how to create a fully integrated and coherent performance strategy?
Take a look at our upcoming workshops for the next Performance Management and SMART goal