Monthly Archives: January 2012

Planning for Performance Management

In my last post, we had discussed on the three phases of performance management. Today we will be discussing the first phase that is planning for performance management in detail.

Planning phase consist of making a “Work Plan”.  The work plan should include:

  1. What needs to be accomplished that is the results that can be expected at the end of the year.
  2. How will this be accomplished that is the game plan for it.
  3. Measures and standards that will be used to measure the same.

What needs to be accomplished:  Requires some effort to be put in to find the appropriate language to describe the performance objectives and the measure/indicators of success.  After putting the appropriate language as per the role and responsibility of the individual, the performance objectives and measures need to be defined. These objectives need to be SMART that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timebound.

Work Plan – SMART Goals:

Specific:  The objectives should specify clearly

  • What is to be done
  • When it is to be done
  • Who is to accomplish it
  • How much is to be accomplished.

Measurable:  Ask questions again such as

  • How much
  • How many
  • How will I know when it is accomplished?

These measures need to be valid that is they should actually measure things that you are trying to measure.

Attainable:   An attainable objective is one for which we can see a likely path to achievement, it should not be very low hanging fruit either but needs to be challenging goal which can accomplished with certain degree of effort.

Realistic:  The objective needs to be possible to achieve. We need to match the level of complexity of the task with the employees experience and capability. Another aspect to consider is the role and responsibility of the individual.  When deciding the final objectives Role and Responsibility precedes experience and capability.

Time-bound:  We need to be clear about the timeframe in which performance objectives are to be achieved.

Writing Objectives:  

• We need to make sure that the objectives are a good representation of the full range of duties carried out by the employee, especially those everyday tasks that can take time but are often overlooked as significant accomplishments.

Consider identifying critical objectives. If the employee does not meet his/her critical objectives then overall performance will be evaluated as unsatisfactory.
•The employee should have a written copy of the performance objectives and the measures/standards that will be used to assess performance.


Performance Planning Checklist

  • Set up a meeting with the employee to discuss the work plan.
  • We need to make sure we set aside sufficient time and make arrangements so that we are not interrupted during the meeting.
  • Explain the purpose of performance planning, the purpose of the meeting and how you propose to proceed
  • Review the employee’s goals and objectives and the strategic plan for the next year.
  • Look at the employee’s existing job description to determine if it’s still accurate and reflects the reality of the employee’s job. Discuss with the concerned employee and make changes as required.
  • Identify objectives that will help the employee grow in terms of role and responsibilities.
  • Discuss the supports available to them for achieving their objectives. These could include courses, workshops or other forms of training which can helpful in their respective roles.
  • Senior management team can be helpful in this phase by helping employee out with resources, funds, and smooth functioning of the department.
  • It is very important to ask the employee if she/he sees any barriers to accomplishing these objectives or their day to day work and, if so, what needs to be done to overcome them. This needs to be done during the planning phase.
  • Finalize the objectives with the employee and  make an appointment for a follow up meeting to sign off on the plan.

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