When developing your organization’s people, common factors that come to mind are performance reviews and performance development. Establishing their goals is essential to determining what their development and success will look like. However, personnel goals come from three angles for staff, and when it comes to performing, a good manager can setup their staff to excel by setting them the proper goals.
Consider the recent situation, as we deal with an epidemic, some staff have transitioned to working from home, how do we utilize personnel goals, to not only track their professional performance but also their personal performance?
An example of the three types of personnel goals, from an output-based focus may look like this:
- Sell ‘$x’ of product per month
- Get ‘x’ amount of qualified leads per month
- Have ‘x‘ amount of website views
- Have 'x' number of emails received from customers
- Complete 'x' qualification
- ‘x’ amount of ‘y’ is processed per month
How to set attainable goals:
For a staff member, the above goals are not controllable. This is because they are output or externally driven. While it is ethically wrong to set targets that staff cannot control the outcome of, it does not mean you cannot manage performance effectively.
The change, is to transition from output based goals, to input based goals. This is simple and effective in ensuring your staff are hitting the goals you set for them. Here are some examples of the input based goals, in comparison to the above, that would allow you to track staff performance instead of demand:
- Conduct ‘x’ amount of sales outreach
- Reach out to 'x' amount of stakeholders
- # of social media posts linking to your website
- # of interlinkages and SEO advancements made
- # of courses enrolled in
- Resource vs consumption ratio is positive
Top reasons to become input based:
Ensures managers are managing
Sets achievable targets for staff
Empowers staff to achieve your goals
Motivates staff and increases engagement
Reinforces the line of accountability
Stakeholder and investor satisfaction
Increased odds to achieve
Pitfalls of output personnel goals:
Higher attrition – churn and burn
Loss of corporate knowledge, inefficiencies
Download of blame/accountability
Decreased engagement and motivation
While I would never condemn output based goals, I would recommend reserving them for upper management. They should then take these goals, distribute the input based goals to staff, that they believe will achieve the outputs required, then monitor performance. Put simply, accountability for output based goals lies higher up the chain of command.
After all, we do not hire leaders to point fingers, we hire them to achieve objectives and goals.