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How Can a Manager Successfully Approach Performance Appraisal Goals?


How Can a Manager Successfully Approach Performance Appraisal Goals?

How Can a Manager Successfully Approach Performance Appraisal Goals?

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Question: How Can a Manager Successfully Approach Performance Appraisal Goals?

I've spoken to people who think the goal-setting portion of a performance appraisal often has the opposite effect than desired. Some organizations overdo goals to the degree that setting and tracking goals feels like the most difficult part of an employee's job. How can the goal setting component of performance appraisals become effective?


People set too many goals and they micromanage the how of accomplishing the goals, when in reality, an employee should have broad, thoughtful goals that zero in on the most important requirements the organization needs from their position. If an employee has more than 5-6 goals, the organization’s expectations are too high, and / or the manager is micromanaging the how and the steps involved in accomplishing the broader goals. Employees need to have the end in mind but manage their own route with feedback and coaching along the way.

Improve Performance Appraisal Goals

Use these ideas to improve performance appraisal goals.

  • Improve performance appraisals by the number and the quality of the goals set. If there are more than five or six key goals, the employee has signed up for an unachievable task. Keep the number of goals rational. Make goals measurable whenever possible. Always encourage and enable time so the employee can work on personally desired developmental goals in addition to the business goals. You’ll end up with an effective, successful, contributing employee who is meeting his or her needs at work, too.

  • Improve performance appraisals by taking a serious look at the detail involved in the employee’s goals. If there are more than five or six, you may be micromanaging how the employee will achieve the goals rather than setting overall goals for his or her performance. Don’t micromanage how the employee achieves goals. Trust the employee to figure out how to attain the goal. Be available for discussion, feedback, and coaching. Uncomfortable? Establish a critical path with the employee, a series of points at which the employee will provide feedback about progress to you. This makes sense because, overall, you are responsible for the achievement of the goals.

Managing by Objectives, an occasionally popular style of management, tends, in the hands of most managers, to be way too nit picky. Focus, instead, on what you really need the employee to accomplish. If you can, provide these components of goals and effective goal setting as you work with your employees. Employees who know their goals, receive regular feedback on their progress, and are recognized when they accomplish the goals will be successful employees. Managers who empower employees to accomplish goals are successful managers.

Share how performance appraisals work in your organization. See what other readers describe about their performance appraisals.

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