It’s that time of year again. Yes, fall! The air is crisp, the leaves have officially changed colors and everyone is getting their Pumpkin Spice fix as often as possible before the season changes. On the work front, fall also means that it’s the end of the year (4th quarter) and it’s time to pay close attention to forecasting for the new year. Forecasting mainly consists of reviewing and projecting sales numbers and planning strategies to reach sales goals. But what about employee performance goals?
Many times, managers only speak with their employees about performance once a year during annual performance reviews. Although performance reviews are beneficial, they are not utilized in the best capacity. Why is performance forecasting perceived to be a lower priority compared to sales? If sales forecasting is important for business growth, shouldn’t performance strategies be forecasted as well? Planning performance growth will yield a better working environment for your employees and better customer experience. Neglecting performance goals throughout the year will eliminate growth opportunities for employees. Consider using the same concept of sales forecasting to engage with your employees more effectively.
Forecasting EmployeePerformance Goals
Here are a few tips:
1. Clarify performance objectives for each employee: Clear performance objectives set the appropriate expectations between management and employees. Clarity eliminates misinterpretations and also ensures that both the performance goals and objectives are realistic and attainable.
2. Identify progress milestones: Once the objectives are clear, identify milestones that will help track the progress of achieving each objective. Managers can also use milestone progressions to praise employees, which will serve as motivation for employees as well.
3. Plan for objective hits and misses: When taking steps to complete a goal, things may not always go as planned. Acknowledge that setbacks may happen and plan (or reassess) accordingly. Click to tweet!
4. Don’t completely rely on past performance reviews to predict outcomes for the next year: Similar to sales forecasting, relying solely on past results may not be the most effective approach. Past performance reviews are good for reference, but they don’t account for present and future trends or any other factors that may have inhibited previous employee performance goals.
5. Review goal milestones with employees each quarter: Once the milestones are identified (as mentioned in tip #2), evaluate the progress of those milestones quarterly. This is also a good way to prevent the surprise factor during the annual performance review meeting.
6. Encourage open and regular feedback: It’s important to keep communication about performance goals open and regular. Doing so will also increase employee engagement. This is not only imperative in general, but it shifts the perspective of the traditional and unbeneficial performance review process. Once employees feel supported by management, they’re more likely to stay motivated to reach performance goals. Who knows, employees may even show more initiative.
As you sip your PSL (pumpkin spice latte), use these tips to forecast employee performance goals and set your employees up for ongoing success this upcoming year!
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