‘Tis the Season for Setting Performance Objectives

Daily OrganizerMany organizations require annual performance reviews either in December or January. These reviews are both a look back at employees performance during the past year and an opportunity to set goals for the year to come.

Too Late for 2012

If you are like most managers and employees, you’ve only given a little thought to those objectives set for 2012. Maybe you had a mid-year review, but probably not much more discussion than that through the course of the year.

What do you do now? I can’t offer much advice to fix the past. Go look at your email and hard-copy files, and see if you can piece together what you and your staff accomplished in 2012. Write it up as best you can.

Take Accountability in 2013

How do you do better in 2013? I can offer some advice here.

I’m out of the corporate world now, but as an independent consultant I find myself setting and tracking goals more now than when I had a boss and a staff. Why? Because it’s all up to me.

So my advice is that in 2013, you act as if your performance is all up to you. Because it is.

          1.       Set your own objectives

Offer your own goals, rather than wait for your boss to set them for you. Then negotiate, till you both agree what is reasonable to accomplish through the year.

If you can’t agree, then suggest that the goals should be discussed and revised quarterly. This is a good idea, even if you and your boss are on the same page regarding what needs to be done.

Do the same thing with your staff – set dates or project milestones for reviewing objectives. None of us can see a whole year ahead.

          2.       Review your objectives regularly

Then review your objectives regularly through the year. This is critical.

I’ve used several methods of reminding myself to review my objectives, depending on their scope and specificity.

When I worked in the corporate world, I put a repeating to-do item on my schedule for each objective – a reminder every week or two to ask myself what I’ve done on that objective and what I need to do in the next week or two. That insures that I at least think about each project regularly.

I also kept to-do items for “things to discuss with my boss” and “things to discuss with each staff member.” That way, I stayed prepared for staff meetings and could keep those meetings focused on objectives.

Since I’ve become self-employed, I have the opportunity to keep a journal every day. Every two weeks I do a re-cap of what I’ve accomplished during those two weeks and set goals for the following two weeks. Quarterly, I do a major re-cap, and re-assess my annual goals.

Develop a system that works for you.  Don’t let performance review season be something you dread. Take charge of your own performance.

What systems have you used to take accountability for your performance?


Filed under Human Resources, Leadership, Management, Workplace

6 responses to “‘Tis the Season for Setting Performance Objectives

  1. Good advice Sara. I’ll try to apply your wisdom to my writing.

  2. I like the idea of a journal …great post, thanks!

  3. Pingback: Goals Are NOT for Losers, But Set Reasonable Goals | Sara Rickover, Behind the Corporate Veil

  4. Pingback: Assess Yourself as a Manager As You Assess Your Employees | Sara Rickover, Behind the Corporate Veil

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  6. Pingback: Performance Reviews—Make Them More Flexible to Make Them More Meaningful | Sara Rickover, Behind the Corporate Veil

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