Setting objectives for your team a simple guide

Deploying objectives in a department

Objective setting is a vital part of appraising and managing employees. Both managers and subordinates should be aware of what the objectives are for the current period as well as be working on new draft objectives for the next period prior to discussing them during a future appraisal meeting – where objectives for the forthcoming period can be documented and agreed.

How to set objectives:

A Manager will have her own set of business objectives and it is the responsibilities of staff to support her in achieving these. Staff should make sure that their manager communicates the objectives to the team and from this they should then be able to define their own goals contributing towards the overall team’s success.

The first task is to identify the results that you as a staffer are responsible for achieving rather than the actual work activity leading to those results. Where possible attempt to quantify or include a definite assessment point like a sign-off when successful completion occurs.

The following are examples of possible required results:

* Project delivered on or under time and within budget
* The delivered signed of business case of the project
* Reduced operating costs of the department
* New sales at the required margin
* Reduced call stack on the service desk
* Improved service levels
* Positive feedback from customers
* Increased profit margin
* Reduced expenses

Then you will need to consider the key elements which show how the objectives will be achieved and what changes in behaviour or action is needed to deliver them. Try to ensure that the objectives represent clear business related targets that contribute to your organization’s success. Wherever possible the objectives should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. Qualitative measures are also good and achievement can be confirmed from interviewing customers for example or by discussing performance with peers. The important point is to come up with an approach that enables in a clear way to demonstrate that you have by your action achieved the set goals.

Sample Business Objectives at staff level:

Ten new customers at an average contract value of will be signed in the next quarter
Sales of $100,000 of extra service revenue in the financial year from additional requirements
To reduce in the number of calls on the call queue outstanding by more than 5 days by 50% in three months.
To respond to a request for change within 5 working days from receipt of documented change note.
Increase the hit rate on customer enquiries to closed deal to 25% of all leads in one year.
To score ‘satisfied’ to ‘very satisfied’ in all post project assessments in the year.
To complete all invoicing to customers by 5 days after the month end close.

Royston

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