Setting objectives in consultation with the member of the team ensures both parties have clarity what the organisation expects and what the minimum standards are. It also increases the staff member's commitment and motivation to achieve the agreed objectives.

1. Objectives in principle

Understand that the individual will have personal objectives they will need (and hopefully) want to meet. These should be clearly linked to organisational objectives.

2. Make them measurable

Measurable is the most important consideration. Ensure that you both know when the objective has been achieved, and how they are going to track progress. Good questions to use are "How will you keep me updated?", and "What will success look like/feel like/sound like?"

3. Is it achievable?

There’s no point in starting a job you know you can’t finish, or one where you can’t tell if/when you’ve finished it. How can you decide if it’s achievable?
1.You know it’s measurable because others have done it successfully (before you, or somewhere else).
2.It’s theoretically possible (ie clearly achievable’).
3.You have the necessary resources, or at least a realistic chance of getting them.
4.You’ve assessed the limitations.

4. Ensure it is specific
The key to setting any objective is to make it exact, clear and specific. Any question that begins with what, when, how or why is a good starter. You will know your objective is specific enough if:
1.Everyone who’s involved knows that it includes them specifically.
2.Everyone involved can understand it.
3.Your objective is free from slang and jargon.

5. Are they relevant?

Make sure that all of your teams objectives are aligned with your departments objectives. You can not lead your team into the achievement you want, if your teams objectives are leading them in a different direction.

To summarise the key to setting successful objectives is to make them measurable, specific, achievable and aligned to the company targets.

If you have a specific issue with their performance then tell them and discuss and agree ways to move their performance in the right direction. Review time should not really throw up any surprises from either side if you have been meeting with them regularly and discussing throughout the year. Remember if you approach a performance review correctly, you and your team will benefit. You’ll work better together, you’ll get more done in less time, and you’ll trust each other. And as you build trust, giving reviews will get easier and easier.

About the author

phil laviolettephil laviolette

Hi!, I'm Phil LaViolette, Founder and Owner of evalu8d. I created resourcily to share hints, tips and resources I've collected over 20 years of training and coaching, across lots of industries and at all levels. I hope that, even in a small way, you gain from the tools I share!