Setting staff goals and objectives for 2016

Motivating and retaining talented employees is important in any business. Setting goals, standards and objectives for employees and putting an appropriate appraisal process in place allows your team of people the opportunity to have their hard work recognised by the business.

The best way to do this is to clearly set out and agree expectations (by both parties) at the beginning of the year. Progress against expectations can then be discussed throughout the year, and a final assessment can be delivered at the end of the year.

Key considerations

The job description is essential so the employee understands exactly what job is expected of them.

Make sure you set goals for your staff. Goals should be for the whole company and cascade down all levels of staff. Your employees will appreciate seeing how their performance directly contributes to the overall performance of the firm.

Set time frames. If your product development department’s goal is to launch a new product, be sure to set a date by when the product should be launched.

Identify dependencies. In the above example, if the product launch is planned for October, make sure to document that your marketing department’s goal is dependent on the launch date of the new product.

Stretch targets are objectives that are set slightly beyond the existing goal. Stretch goals work most effectively when they are utilised in a system that is tied directly to bonus or compensation increases.

Agree and diarise quarterly progress meetings. Track your employees progress against set goals and have them support their progress with evidence. Listen, evaluate, and make recommendations to aid progress. If your company’s priorities have changed, revise the goals. Ensure that you and the employee have an open dialogue about why, what next and agree on the decision. The aim is for your employee to leave these meetings motivated and involved. Finally, diarise year end appraisal meetings with each team member. The aim is to discuss their progress against their objectives, recognise any successes and set out the objectives for the following year.

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