2: SETTING PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES (POs)
are next "broken up" into specific Performance Objectives
A Performance Objective (also just referred to as an Objective)
is a short, concise description of measurable output/outcome
that will contribute to the attainment of performance in a
FORMAT OF OBJECTIVES
Objectives need to be put in OUTCOME terms, i.e. WHAT SPECIFICALLY
should be ACHIEVED - a measurable and specific identifiable
product or service that an internal or external customer wants.
is necessary as the methods (steps) used in achieving a
particular objective, often vary, and should therefore not
be prescribed. Prescribing in detail how a specific
task should be done will relegate an employee to the level
of a robot, taking away his/her initiative and individuality
(exceptions will be where safety is critical, or where a
specific best-practice operational procedure needs to be
Objectives consist of two elements: An Action Verb,
and a Noun or Object. Some objectives become
even clearer when the Purpose of the action is also
Let's look at some examples of objectives:
ACTION VERB + NOUN/OBJECT
(plus PURPOSE if necessary)
-Conduct a client survey
to establish their changed needs.
-Research and implement an
employee suggestion scheme.
-Develop a computerized financial
system to replace the present manual version.
-Launch a marketing campaign
to promote our 'Y' service.
-Increase sales of product
-Ensure appropriate stock levels.
Objectives should also include Performance Standards.
These are listed along with each Objective, but preferably
kept in a separate column on the Employee Performance Agreement/Appraisal
Form to make them easily identifiable (also see Step 3:
Setting Performance Standards):
So the format is:
Where Job/Role Descriptions exist that have KPAs with their
related Key Performance Outcomes (KPOs), these KPOs
could/should be used to derive Performance Objectives from.
The latter will be phrased differently though, as KPOs are
put in generic terms and standards, whereas POs are decided
for a specific performance period, incorporating specific
performance standards, e.g.:
as per Job/Role Description
for specific performance period
sales as agreed with Sales Manager.
sales of $300,000 by October 31, 2015.
customer needs surveys as dictated by prevailing company
a customer needs survey in regions A & B to determine
the potential demand for our new product X.
and develop new product lines to maintain company
competitiveness and profitability.
a gadget that will enable car owners to remove wheelnuts
with an electric drill.