Are Performance Objectives Still Relevant?

Many studies have shown that people feel best about themselves, and are the most self-motivated, when they voluntarily do something.

The lesson for leaders is to make sure that their people know why their tasks are important, and the place their role has in the big picture.  One of the best ways to ensure this is to involve your follower in setting their own performance objectives.

Objectives which are imposed from above, with no input from staff, are disempowering.  Staff may comply with the objectives, but they will feel less motivated and may reach targets more slowly or perform at a lower standard.

Once performance objectives are set, it is vital that you provide regular feedback to your staff member on their progress.  Kouzes and Posner tell us: “People’s motivation to increase their productivity on a task only increases when they have a challenging goal and receive feedback on their progress.”


Performance Objectives are a clear statement of WHAT is going to be achieved, WHEN it will be achieved, and HOW WELL it will be completed. 

There are a number of benefits to specifying Performance Objectives. 


1.     Help clarify the expectations of all parties

2.     Are a basis for review and feedback

3.     Bring challenge and interest to the job

4.     Help you allocate time and resources

5.     Focus the organisation on outcomes

Some questions to reflect on:

  1. 1.       Do your people have a current set of performance objectives?
  2. 2.       Are these objectives still relevant?
  3. 3.       Are your followers getting enough regular feedback about their progress towards achieving their objectives?


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