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From working with various organisations around performance management over the years, it's clear that setting a good objective is not always as easy as you'd hope.
Managers and employees often struggle to put their objectives down in a
way that really brings them to life, so that they can both say: "I'm clear what success looks like at the end of the year!"
A key part of creating clear objectives is to "start with the end in
mind". Employees and managers should spend time clearly visualising and then articulating what people will "see, think and feel" when the
objective is complete: in essence, what it is that will be different for people.
Doing this makes it much easier to think about the purpose and value of
the objective (and indeed if the employee should actually be doing it at
all!), what success looks like and indeed whether an employee has achieved the objective when doing an end-of-year review (and when tracking progress at various points in the year).
This takes a performance conversation away from the task-focused approach of "I delivered X, Y and Z" to one with an outcome focus of "I made a difference - people now see, think and feel X, Y and Z in each of the areas I’ve delivered”.
When it comes to setting a great objective - the outcome and impact is always much more important than simply what has been delivered.
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