Writing Objectives: Without reinventing the wheel!

writing objectivesWriting Objectives: Are your managers reinventing the wheel?

Research consistently demonstrates that staff members who know what is expected of them are both more productive and have higher levels of job satisfaction than those who don’t. Writing objectives is an effective way of achieving that clarity of expectations but writing objectives can also be time consuming and effort intensive (to say the least!). One thing I notice when working with managers writing objectives is that they sometimes have a tendency to ‘reinvent the wheel’  because they don’t use what’s already in place in order to make writing objectives so much easier (so they are always starting with a blank piece of paper!)

Writing Objectives: Using resources already in place

Here are some examples of resources managers typically use for writing objectives

  • Job descriptions
  • Person specifications
  • Performance standards
  • Competency descriptions
  • Handbooks
  • Guidance notes
  • Training manuals

Writing objectives: how to use the resources

It’s simply about managers taking what the already have and then editing, cut and pasting, amending that material to make a performance objective

Let’s take a couple of examples:

  1. Competency descriptions usually describe desired behaviours. If the manager wants a staff member to demonstrate more effective team work then why not examine the competency descriptions and see if there is a description there that can be easily adapted into a performance objective?
  2. Or if a staff member is not following procedure, and that procedure is set down in a training manual, then why not cut and paste the procedure description from the training manual and use it as a performance objective?

The simple principal is, it’s much easier to write objectives if you don’t begin with a totally blank page! Anything a manager can use to get started is always helpful

Do the managers in your business need help writing objectives?

A couple of questions;

Do the managers in your business know what resources are in place that can help them in writing objectives?

Do they know how to write and use objectives to improve employee performance and satisfaction?

In my video ‘Motivating Your Staff with Powerful Performance Objectives’ I teach managers how to write objectives, how to communicate those objectives and how to gain their staff’s commitment to achieving those objectives. Take a look at the video details and find out how to watch a preview session from the video HERE

Joan Henshaw is the author and presenter of the video management training series ‘The 10 Minute Management Toolkit’ – the flexible, cost effective and time effective way to help managers learn how to motivate their staff to high performance (including writing objectives!)

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