10 simple tasks for effective objective setting with your team

Objective setting is the first step of the Performance Management process. It gives you and your team the opportunity to discuss their performance and contribution for the year. By making objectives, expectations and performance standards clear, you will be clear on how to deliver and succeed.

Before the meeting

1. Prepare

  • If drafted Review objectives your employee has developed. Consider your own objectives.
  • Remind yourself of the goal(s) of the company.
  • Remind yourself of your department’s objectives (Key Performance Indicators).
  • Remind yourself of your employee’s employment history and prepare accordingly – different discussions may be required for different employee profiles.

2. Organise

Give your employee notice about the meeting time and duration. Be clear on what you will expect at the meeting.

At the meeting

3. Focus

Focus yourself on your meeting with this employee – this is an opportunity to coach, motivate and support (take the phone off the hook and switch off the email, it’s important not to be distracted!). Make sure your employee knows this is important to you and the company.

4. Listen

Listen to your employee, be ready to ask them for feedback. Get them to clarify their understanding of what’s been agreed to make sure you’ve communicated effectively what you want done.

5. Coach

Discuss with them how their individual objectives link to company objectives. Consider sharing your own objectives with them. Work with them to review and refine their objectives following a SMART format.

6. Foresight

Anticipate and discuss any potential barriers to the success or any possible challenges. Consider and discuss your employee’s developmental needs and their career interests.

7. Clarity

Outline the performance standards set by the company and what the Performance Management process is used for.

8. Communication

Agree how you will communicate formally and informally throughout the year and what information they should use to support performance reviews.

9. Planning

Agree next steps and timelines for completion. It’s important these are clear and understood by both parties.

After the meeting

10. Review

Make any additional notes from the meeting and if you’re using our performance management software then it’s easy for you and your team to collaborate and update objectives. Set up the next formal meeting in both diaries and don’t leave it till the end of the year!

Engaged employees are more likely to “go the extra mile” so use this meeting as an opportunity to set them up for the year. Engaged employees will help you and your business drive results. Performance Management is not an event, it is an ongoing process – every interaction with your people is an opportunity to motivate, support and engage your people. Performance management should be a positive process that your team will look forward to because it is an opportunity for them to talk about themselves, their goals and aspirations as well as an opportunity for you to give them feedback and get them really focused on the year ahead.



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