Daniel Kehoe: Setting objectives, meeting targets

AS the saying goes, if you don’t know where you are going to, it doesn’t matter how you get there. People respond well when their performance is measured against clear, unambiguous objectives and targets. What’s the difference between an objective and a target, I hear you ask? An objective describes a desired state or condition; a target specifies how much of the desired state or condition. It quantifies the objective. Here is a checklist to explore how well objectives and targets are managed within your team. As you review the list, answer these questions: What needs to happen? What could we do better? • Key practices relating to team performance are identified, discussed and agreed. • Team objectives, standards and targets are set, accepted and achieved for these key practices. • We are involved in the setting of team objectives and team targets. • Team objectives, standards and targets are concise and unambiguous. • We all have the same understanding of team objectives, standards and targets. • How we all will be involved in trying to achieve the objectives is clarified and accepted. • Team objectives/targets are specific, measurable, achievable and realistic (as applicable). • Team objectives/targets fit into and comply with organisation policies and practices. • Other areas whose actions can impact on team performance are consulted during the development of team objectives/targets. • Team objectives/targets are free of jargon, are easy to understand, are communicated and documented where required. • The appropriate resources to achieve identified team objectives/targets are provided. • A budget that will support the desired team objectives/targets is provided, if necessary. • We measure whether team objectives/targets have been achieved and take remedial action where necessary. • We check that team and individual performance is aligned with the team objectives/targets. • We check and confirm that the team is capable of achieving its identified team objectives and targets. • Key performance indicators for team performance are documented in workplace agreements, business plans and job/position descriptions. • Key performance indicators for team performance are featured in performance agreements and performance appraisals. • How the team will monitor its team performance is agreed and executed. • We receive ongoing information about the organisation’s current goals and objectives and as a team our strategies and actions are aligned with them. • Required adjustments in behaviours and actions are implemented effectively and appropriately.

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