Build the Team You Need with Performance Objectives

It’s Not Kismet, It’s Conscious

The success of your business is not an accident, hiring an effective team is by design.

Central to that design is performance objectives. Performance objectives help you get clear on what you need from each role, inform who you’re looking for and act as a guide to help you hire the right person.  

What are performance objectives?

They are a specific result an employee is expected to produce that contributes to the success of your business.

Performance Objectives Are Not Tasks, They Are The Results.  

Given the goals you have for your business, what outcomes do you need from each of your team members?

While it is typical to give an employee a long list of tasks they need to perform, what is even better is deciding what results you need from their role – these become their performance objectives. Every task your employee performs should serve their role’s performance objectives. 

How do you write a performance objective?

The classic SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based) criteria for goal setting is a great framework to use for writing performance objectives because it helps you clarify the result you are looking for from this person, rather than outline a task they need to perform.

For example, a performance objective for someone in a customer service representative role for a software company could be:  

“To ensure a stable income for our subscription service, you will be expected to increase subscriber customer retention by 2 percent in the next 12 months.”

Whereas a task for the same role would be: 

“Conduct customer experience calls with 20% of all monthly subscribers to rate their level of satisfaction.”

Notice the performance objective has an outcome and the task does not. 

Using Performance Objectives to Hire

Before you post your job ad, take some time to define six to eight performance objectives for the role. These objectives should be central to the role and pivotal to your business meeting its goals. 

When you include the objectives in the job ad, candidates are able to more accurately self-select and you end up with higher-quality applicants. When you use these objectives to inform your vetting and interview processes, your ability to ask the right questions and spot candidates who can fulfill the performance objectives vastly improves. 

Why hire based on a to-do list of tasks you have for a role when you can get clear on the results you need from that role by defining performance objectives? Your candidates will thank you for ‘knowing what you want’ and you will have the clarity you need to ask the right questions and look for evidence that the person you’re evaluating can execute the performance objectives of the role… making your hires and your team your design.