We talked about how to establish Core Competencies in your Performance Appraisals, in the last article, in order to tie your Guiding Principles to your Performance Management system and to reinforce the Culture you are trying to create. Keeping in mind that the overall goal is to increase employee engagement to drive bottom line results, it is important that you add goals to your Performance Appraisals as well. I am a big believer in SMART goals.
I won’t go into a huge amount of detail here as there are numerous websites devoted only to this, but in a nutshell, SMART stand for:
- – Specific – the more granular the better
- – Measurable- make sure you have systems and processes in place that can actually measure whether or not you achieve the goals
- – Achievable- stretch goals are fine; impossible goals are not. No one will strive to meet something, putting in 110% ,for something they do not believe is possible
- – Realistic- I personally like some of the variants for this goal a bit better than “Realistic”. You might use Relevant or Results Oriented to ensure that the goal is meaningful given where your business is
- – Time based- the goals should not be open ended- they should have dates by which they should be completed. Usually shorter time frames for employees in nonexempt roles and longer for those in managerial positions.
Implementing goals in an organization for the first time can be a challenging exercise. One of the many jobs as CEO or President of a Company is to establish goals that support the strategic plan, which is a written document that articulates the organization’s strategy for achieving its mission and vision. It does not have to be an overly complicated process. They can be basic goals such as, Increase revenue by 20% or Gain an additional 5% of market share. At the point at which you are comfortable with the goals, you can share them with your Executive team. There should be as system in place whereby they can then align their goals in support of yours. The first year out, it may be best to limit goal generation to the Executive Team or at least no further than the Director level. The real work is not in defining the goals but in managing the business in support of the goals. This requires dedication to and support of the process. If you have monthly or quarterly management review meetings they should be a part of each presentation, outlining where each team is in support of these goals and allowing others in the room to ask clarifying questions. It can be helpful when you are just starting the process to actually flowchart the goals in the organization to give everyone a quick visual of how the goals are aligned.
It is very rewarding at the end of the year to look back and see all that has been achieved. Sometimes we forget to take just a few minutes to celebrate our successes before we launch into the next set of goals and deliverables.