Performance Objectives: The ‘what’ and the ‘how’


Performance Objectives: Where is your focus?

When I was a manager, I used to focus all of the management of my employees on the ‘what’ part of their performance.

So, I used to set performance objectives for producing the right amount of work on time, meeting a deadline, achieving the % increase in sales or the $/£ of savings and so on. I would monitor the numbers and, sometimes, I’d give feedback to my employees about their performance against those numbers. It made some sense to me at the time!

But what about the ‘how’ of performance – the behaviours? Well the theory was, according to me, that I couldn’t effectively manage how my employees worked (e.g. how they managed their time, how they worked in a team, their ability to be creative) because these behaviours are subjective and unquantifiable. I thought, therefore, that behaviours couldn’t be measured and subsequently managed. But here’s the thing;

Performance Objectives – The Importance of behaviours

Why manage behaviours?

  • Because behaviours are crucial to the success of any business or team. I realised (and I guess you do to) that it’s impossible to be successful without our employees demonstrating the ability to manage their time, work as a team, develop creative solutions and so on.  By managing behaviours we improve those elements of the employees performance are so important to our business success
  • Because I, and the business owners and managers I now coach and train, regularly judge our employees on their ‘attributes’ without being able to clearly define those attributes as behaviours. We say things like:

he’s just not well organised”’ or

She’s not a team player” or

He lacks creativity”.

Without being able to define what being ‘well organised’, or an ‘effective team player’ or ‘being creative’ looks like in practice how can we help our employees improve in these areas? How can we acknowledge and reward employees who do demonstrate these crucial behaviours?

I’m sure you know that behaviours are crucial to business success. What’s often harder to know is how to manage those behaviours. The easiest way is to manage the behavioural part of your employee’s performance is to use performance objectives (see ‘What are performance objectives?)

But where do you start?

Firstly you need to:

    • Identify the behaviours you need to clarify with your employees and
    • Identify which behaviours are going to improve performance.

Do you want to read more about Performance Objectives?

performance objectivesWhy not take a look at my e-book ‘Motivating Your Staff with Powerful Performance Objectives’ – a step-by-step guide for managers, team leaders and supervisors who want to motivate their staff to high performance. More details HERE

3 Responses to Performance Objectives: The ‘what’ and the ‘how’

  1. E-bike says:

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  2. […] written before about the importance of behavioural performance objectives (read more at ‘Performance Objectives: The ‘what’ and the ‘how’’). Without repeating myself too much the key reasons for managing employee behaviours […]

  3. […] like in practice, then it’s no use to us here (read more on the importance of behaviours at ‘Performance Objectives: The ‘what’ and the ‘how’’ […]

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