Five Tips to Remember When Setting Performance Targets With Employees

Performance of the employees has to be managed to enable the company to meet its goals and objectives.

Before the start of the performance evaluation period, each employee is required to accomplish a form, usually a performance plan form, where he indicates his targets for quantity, quality and time, for each work activity.

A performance plan form which is signed by the employee and the supervisor or manager, serves as the performance contract between both parties.

In my three decades of experience in managing people, I have noticed some improper handling of the performance plan form.  For some offices, it is just filled-up by the ratee who just sets whatever targets he wants for himself and signed by the manager without any review.  So, we can see some employees just taking easy with their jobs while the rest work hard to meet their targets.

A worst scenario is when the employee fills-up his performance plan form together with the performance evaluation form at the end of the evaluation period,  When he wants a high performance rating, he sets his targets much lower than that of his actual accomplishments.

To be effective and realistic, a performance plan form must be filled-up before the start of the evaluation period and targets must be properly discussed and agreed by the manager and his employees.  This may mean a little extra work for most managers, but you’ll realize that it’s time well spent.

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A Manager is conducting a performance target-setting with her employees

Here are the five tips to remember when setting performance targets with employees;

1.  Don’t set targets that are too high or too low. Doing this will lower the morale of the employees.  If targets are too high that only the best employees will meet them, the rest would not be able to stay even with others and will become frustrated with themselves.  The non-achievers will set aside the target as unattainable and see themselves as “losers”.

On the other hand, if targets are too low, employees may consider their jobs as not challenging and insignificant.

2.  Set specific ways to measure accomplishment. Don’t just tell your employees to increase quantity of his output by 30% but it must be clearly defined to him what level is considered poor, unsatisfactory, satisfactory, very satisfactory and outstanding performance.  Each employee must comprehend precisely what is expected of him.

3.  Make sure that the employees have been trained, coached and have supplies and equipment to meet the targets. You can’t expect employees to meet quotas, cut-off dates and other targets if they don’t understand how to perform the job correctly or if the tools, materials and equipment they work with are malfunctioning or if work procedures are unclear and so complicated.

4.  Give allowance for modifications. Problems may be encountered by your employees during the performance of their targets that you won’t know in advance.  Constant monitoring of the employees’ performance must be made as it may be essential to make few adjustments to the targets.

5.  Review and evaluate. There is a need for a one on one discussion during the performance evaluation of the employees as they need feedbacks to continue to improve their work.

If you have more tips to add, I am inviting you to leave your comments after reading this post.

Your friend,

Nimia S. Acebes

7 thoughts on “Five Tips to Remember When Setting Performance Targets With Employees”

  1. Hi Ms. Nimia,

    Wow! I was really impressed with this article. First, it has a very catchy title…. “lead from the Heart” Yes O absolutely agree that to lead is 100% commitment of our Hearts….

    I salute you for the zest, enhusiasm and dedication to lead. You are a real WINNER.. and for this YOU DESERVE A KISS… mwah…. i love you.

    Marilyn

  2. Hi Mam Nimia,

    We really appreciate your effort in conducting Performance Target Setting with your employees. Truly this is an important matter that was overlooked for quite sometime by managers. This will enable employees to understand more their performance to be more effective and productive. KUDOS !!!

    Elsa M.

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