A Question about Performance Objectives and Job Descriptions

performance objectivesJust recently an office manager contacted me with a question around how to use Job Descriptions as the basis for writing performance objectives. Here’s the question and (of course!) my answer

The question about Performance Objectives

Hi Joan

I am struggling with a problem. I am attaching copies of the Job descriptions to see if you can give me some pointers on how to use these to write performance objectives.

Your assistance will be greatly appreciated.

Best wishes

K

Performance Objectives and Job Descriptions – an Answer

Hi K

The first step you need to take is to identify what you want to use performance objectives for. My view is that performance objectives are best used to improve performance (because if your staff are performing satisfactorily in, for example, ‘providing effective communication links’ – from your Clerical Reception JD – there would be little value in setting performance objectives)

I would suggest, then, that you go through your job descriptions and – taking each staff member in turn – ask yourself the question ‘does this member of staff perform to the standard required‘? If they do then fine. If they do not then a performance objective will prove very useful

The overall question you are looking to answer (in order to write good performance objectives) is: ‘what does satisfactory performance look like for this part of the job?’

Let’s take a simple example. Say you have a member of staff who isn’t performing well in this area (from your job description):

To be responsible for redirecting families to appropriate agencies or services within the Council as when required.

If we ask ‘what does satisfactory performance look like?’ we might get answers like:

1. Understands which appropriate agencies and services within the Council are available to families

2. Has accurate and up to date information on how to contact those agencies

3. Provides families with accurate information on the appropriate agencies and services available to them

So, performance objectives for this part of the job might look like:

Example Performance Objectives

Considered effective when:

1. You demonstrate an understanding of the appropriate agencies and services within the Council are available to families

2. You provide to families accurate and up to date information on how to contact those agencies

3. Any feedback from families is that the information you gave them was appropriate and accurate

(You will probably write these better than me because you know the job!)

If you get stuck in writing performance objectives there are other methods you can use beyond the ‘what does satisfactory performance look like?’ question. Here are some of those methods:

1. Reverse thinking (a really neat way of getting clear on what you want from your staff) you can read more HERE

2. Using a model (great if you have a staff member who is performing well in an area that another staff member needs to improve in) you can read more HERE

Good luck!

Very best wishes

Joan

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

 

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