business performance plan

A Goal is Just a Wish Without a Plan

Posted by Stacey Papp

Performance management is as important to your people as it is to your business. Fine tuning your people talent and maximizing their potential can lead your business closer towards establishing a 'hard to copy' competitive distinction. This is a fundamental concept that, if executed correctly, can add a significant amount of value to what you do and how you do it. Understanding the benefits of good performance management is the start to creating greater focus, a more meaningful pursuit of higher performance, and a better ability to deliver strategically. 

Your goal should be to create better alignment between your business priorities and your performance focus by using a performance management process as a tool to communicate important strategic focus to your employees. 

There are a number of standards that apply to any performance conversation. A large part of that talk should focus on reflection of the past year – both successes and challenges that you and your business faced.  After highlighting both the success and areas for improvement, extend the conversation to where the real magic can be found…in the planning. 

Understanding and setting well-designed performance goals for your employees should be a focus in every performance planning conversation. These goals don’t necessarily have to be bullet points from a job description - you’re not here to police performance, but to promote it by ensuring that your business goals help set you up for success. Ask yourself these questions to see if you’re on the right track. 

    1. Assessment of strategic alignment and relevance
    2. Are the goals measurable and quantifiable?
    3. Do the goals offer your people growth through challenge?
    4. Are the goals clearly understood?
    5. Are the goals broad enough to have a lasting impact over the next year?
Goal setting is extremely important! Meaningful, well-constructed business goals help employees have a greater sense of purpose and allow them to better understand how their contribution directly benefits the overall strategy. Business goals should demand more and often require some learning to help with achievement. 

Easily measured and aligned to business strategy, well-designed business goals will offer clarity of focus for employees and will kick-start the learning and development conversation. A primary motivator for employees is the ability to grow. This growth can come in the form of challenging business goals married to development goals that will increase effectiveness and enable the achievement of their performance goals. 

Invest heavily in your performance conversation regardless of the size of your company. Performance management should be considered a top priority as it is a highly effective way to get the most out of your human capital.

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About the Author: Michael Arkins is the Fleetmatics HR Manager for Europe and Australia. Based in Dublin, Ireland is has over 9 years’ experience in HR as well as a BA and MA in Strategic HR Management. 

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