Sometimes it’s hard to know if our employees have fully understood the performance objectives we (think) we have agreed with them. A great question to ask your employee when you have agreed performance objectives is;
How are you going to achieve the performance objective we’ve just agreed?
The simple principle here is that if your employee can describe what they are going to do to achieve the performance objectives (and if what they say makes sense!) then we can assume they have understood the objectives
But, what if they can’t answer the question?
If they can’t describe what they need to do to achieve the performance objective then one of two things has happened. Either:
a) They really don’t understand the performance objective
b) They do understand the performance objective but haven’t got a clue how to achieve the objective
Neither is a great scenario!
Let’s take scenario a) first
Performance Objectives and Clarity
You now need to check whether they have understood the objective. A way to do this without making the employee feel totally dumb is to say
I’m not entirely sure we’ve got clear on what specifically this objective means. Can you talk me through exactly what you think the objective is?
You’ll then be able to assess if there’s been some misunderstanding and can then, if you need to, clarify specifically what the objective means
Performance Objectives and Coaching
Scenario b) usually occurs when either the employee is new and inexperienced or when you have agreed a new and unfamiliar objective with a more experienced employee. In either case you simply need to coach them and help them work out – step by step – how to meet the objective
Do you want to read more about Performance Objectives?
Why 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