Goals – The Key to Employee Success

by Jerry Bumgarner on June 22, 2015

in Employee Engagement,Performance Management


When done correctly, performance appraisal is an important management tool that contributes to employee engagement and customer satisfaction, and has a measurable impact on the bottom line. Based on experience with all types and sizes of organizations, I’ve found that most provide ongoing feedback to employees and conduct annual appraisals. However, goals/clear expectations are frequently left out of the process.

In the absence of clear expectations, supervisors tend to focus on employee behaviors (how the work was accomplished) in appraisals. As a result, both the supervisors doing appraisals and the employees receiving them end up resenting the process.

Don’t get me wrong, while I believe how the work is done is important, supervisors must also address what was achieved… the goals (how well the work is to be done) for the process to be complete.

“…clarity is the first and fundamental operational component for creating high performance environments.”
–Dan Rockwell / Leadership Freak

It is all about “clarity” regarding what’s expected of employees to succeed. To be truly effective, performance appraisals need to be a reasonably simple, ongoing/day-to-day activity consisting of three elements: specific goals that are communicated to employees in advance; regular ongoing coaching and performance discussions; and periodic documentation and discussion about performance results (the annual appraisal).

Leave out any one of the three elements (especially goals), and the program will be less effective.

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