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Performance Management

April 08, 2015  |   Performance Management,Uncategorized   |     |   Comments Off on Performance Management


• Elements of the System
– Performance Planning and Accomplishment
*  Major Activity Areas
*  Objectives
*  Measures

• Unscheduled Situations
– Unanticipated Accomplishments
– Missed Opportunities
• Annual Evaluation of Overall Performance

Why Plan Performance?

• People work best if they know:
– What’s expected;
– How accomplishments are measured; and,
– How performance will be evaluated.

Performance Planning and Accomplishment

• Establishing Major Activity Areas
• Targeting Performance Objectives
• Developing Performance Measures
• Setting and Measuring Performance
An objective is a statement of specific results to be achieved within a specific time.

A well-defined objective meets the following criteria:
– Consistent with company / department goals and plans
– Derived from Major Activity Areas
– Realistic / attainable / challenging
– Specific
– Measurable: quantifiable or verifiable
– Understood by the manager and the employee

• Well-defined objectives include:

• Write performance objectives as SMART ones.

[S] Specific: Is it adequately defined? Would a third party have the same understanding of the desired result? Is the scope such that there is no doubt what the objective is?

[M] Measurable: Is an exact goal defined? Is the source of the measurement specified (i.e., monthly report, weekly complaint report, etc.)? What happens if the goal is exceeded? (Some – such as revenues, profits, customer satisfaction – may also warrant other rewards; others may not). What happens if the goal is not met?

[A] Achievable: Can it be done using available resources? Is it within the employee’s control? Can it stretch – but still be attainable?

[R] Relevant: Is it relevant to the person’s job? Is it relevant to the overall organization objectives? Does it add value (in the eyes of the customer) by either: reducing waste? improving responsiveness? improving quality?

[T] Time-related: Specific milestone dates attached? All or nothing in relationship to time?

• Additional guidelines for developing SMART goals. The basis for planning goals is to remember:
– Some larger, more complex objectives may span more than one performance period.
– Successful planning and completion of these types of objectives usually require an action plan with incremental milestones.
– These milestones can be used as goals for the specific quarters in which they are due to be completed.
– Notable Achievements – Discuss these with the employee and how they contributed to his/her overall job performance.

• Quantifiable: Can be counted or assigned a numerical value
– Cost
– Quantity
– Deadline
– Quality

• Verifiable: Can be seen, heard, or otherwise confirmed: the more sources the better
– Quality
– Deadline
– Impact
– Event

• Verifiable Measures for Staff Positions – Examples:
– Number of occasions when schedules are to be met.
– Quality of service (accuracy, timeliness) as described by users.
– Description of service provided vs. service requested.
– Ratings of relevance and quality of innovations or new services developed as assessed by users.

• Example: Objectives with Quantifiable Measures

• Checklist for Establishing Objectives:
– Set objectives in the 2 to 3 activity areas with highest priority over the next year.
– Be specific, using quantifiable or verifiable measures.
– Reflect unit/department plans and priorities.
– Take into account constraints (cooperation and resources required).

• Tips for Developing Objectives
– Avoid the “activity trap.”
– If the objective is difficult to establish, check the following:
* Do the Major Activity Areas make sense?
* Is what is being measured unmeasurable?
* Is the task really all that important?

– If the task or result is important, but it’s still difficult to quantify, ask:
* What happens if it is not done or not done right?
* What does this action provide?
* Are there others that know how to measure the task or result?
* How will the employee’s manager know the work is done well?
* How would good performance be explained to someone else?

– Consider defining performance that exceeds standards.

Performance Planning and Accomplishment: Unanticipated Accomplishments

• Unexpected events or demands that:
– Are not included in the objectives;
– Recognize opportunities that might exist;
– Require action above and beyond normal expectations; and,
– Result in a significant positive impact on the department, unit or Company.

• Examples:
– An employee prepared an extensive last-minute briefing package for senior management to use during the Fall Analyst Tour. The completeness of the package enabled them to answer questions succinctly.

– An employee participated in an Accounting Department task force to review suspected inadequacies of the accounts payable system and take corrective action. The employee was instrumental in defining the task force’s approach and took a leadership role in making evaluations and recommendations.

– An employee participated in a task force to review and recommend revisions to an administrative performance appraisal program. The employee asked for input from other admins and presented all alternatives objectively. The employee’s participation resulted in a revised program.

Performance Planning and Accomplishment: Missed Opportunities

• Unexpected events or situations presented during the normal course of the job that:
– Are not included in objectives;
– Not recognized as opportunities;
– Are not acted upon to resolve;
– Are responded to incorrectly;
– Could have been performed better; and,
– Have a major adverse impact on the department, unit or Company.

• Examples:
– The employee did not provide a clear interface procedure with auditors during the summer review. This resulted in incomplete data and conflicting responses to the auditors’ questions about procedures. The audit was completed but was not as positive as expected given the delays required to clarify information.

– The department experienced additional turnover than what was expected. While employment sourced a sufficient number of candidates, there was not adequate time allocated and attention to interviewing and hiring. As a result, the department missed deadlines and key projects were delayed.

– The department had an unusually high workload. One manager asked for an employee’s help and was refused, resulting in an inability to release information by the due date. Next time, assistance should have been given so the manager could find alternative support or the department head should have been consulted about priorities.

Checklist for Establishing Objectives

• Discuss throughout the year.
• Look for verifiable results – positive or negative.
• Recognize significant accomplishments…as they occur.
• Discuss important missed opportunities…when they happen.
• Balance comments between accomplishments and missed opportunities.

Reviewing and Evaluating Individual Performance

• Writing specific statements of accomplishments against objectives.
• Considering unanticipated accomplishments and missed opportunities.
• Determining overall evaluation.

Writing Specific Accomplishments Statements

• Describe the actual result.
• Discuss measurable facts.
• Be specific.
• Indicate how results exceed or miss expectations.
• Specify the consequences.

Examples of Accomplishments Statements

Guidelines for Overall Annual Performance Evaluations

1. Appraise end results against expectations.
2. Comment on performance, not potential.
3. Put strengths and weaknesses into perspective.
4. Evaluate performance over the whole period.
5. Use significant Unanticipated Accomplishments to upgrade overall evaluation for those accomplishing all targeted objectives.
6. Use significant Missed Opportunities as development tools and indicators of a lesser evaluation.


Having a well-defined approach for performance management along with training managers and employees on how to write and evaluate goals and accomplishments against goals will create a “win-win” for the organization.

BCR has experience in working with clients on enhancing their performance management systems and processes. Reach out to us if you should want to explore how we can assist your organization further in this important aspect of managing and valuing your human resources.

Written by: Barb Manny, BCR President and Consultant

BCR is a local, minority-owned firm with more than 25 years experience in serving non-profit, public, and privately held entities in the key areas of Benefits and Compensation Consulting, Performance Management, Human Resource Organization Development, and Human Resource Information Systems and Processes.

Call (847) 236-1208 or email us today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss how we can partner to achieve rewarding results.


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