Are your staff struggling to achieve their performance objectives? Do they need some help in dealing with problems they are having in meeting those objectives?
I used to find it really frustrating when my staff didn’t meet the objectives I had agreed with them. Sometimes, though, I found they simply needed some help in overcoming the problems they were having in meeting those objectives. Maybe your staff have got some problems they need your help with? Problems like these?
Performance Objectives Problem 1: Lack of Resources
Resources can mean systems or equipment. One of the first questions I would ask if my staff member is failing to meet an objective is; ‘have they got all the resources they need?’ For example, do they have access to the systems they need (maybe you’ve had some IT problems that have prevented them from achieving the objective)? Have they got all the equipment they need? It’s kind of obvious, I guess, that we can’t achieve objectives if we don’t have the right tools, equipment and resources. Most of our staff cannot get those resources themselves. They either need you to help them access those resources or to adjust the performance objectives
(If your staff member is saying they don’t have time (a key resource) to meet their objectives take a look at this blog HERE)
Performance Objectives Problem 2: Conflicting Priorities
Is it possible that priorities changed since you and your staff member agreed their performance objectives? You will know that what we want from our staff can change on a regular basis. These changes might come about when; the needs of the business change, our customers’ requirements change or the way we do business changes
Sometimes we forget to take time to help our staff reprioritise their work (and sometimes to stop working altogether on an objective we previously agreed). If your staff member isn’t achieving their performing objectives it may be worth checking that they aren’t struggling with conflicting priorities. If they are, it might be time to make changes to their objectives
Performance Objectives Problem 3: Lack of Authority
What I mean by ‘Authority’ is a definition of exactly what our staff member can do, and decide, without consultation. Problems meeting objectives can come about when our staff do not have the full authority they need in order to meet those objectives. What’s more, our staff can feel held back when they constantly have to say things like ‘I think we can go ahead with this but I am going to have to ask first’. This happens when authority hasn’t been given when we agree the performance objectives
So, a question to ask is ‘does this staff member have the authority they need in order to perform effectively?’
If the answer is ‘no’ then (of course) you need to either a) give them the authority they need or b) change the performance objectives
Helping Your Staff to Achieve Their Performance Objectives: Summary
There are any number of reasons why our staff do not meet their performance objectives. Sometimes these reasons are within the control of the staff member (e.g. better time management, more focus, getting motivated!). Sometimes, as we have seen, they are not. The skill, I think, is in taking time to analyse – and explore with our staff – the reasons why these objectives are not being met. We can then, together, make an informed judgement on what needs to happen next
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