Section 13.1: Planning

Manpreet Binning; Tanjit Rai; and Jolene Neufeld

Actions, Behaviours and Results

For employees to perform well, they must be aware of what is expected of them. An organization needs to set clear expectations for employees to ensure organizational success. It is important to review employees’ performance expectations, including both the behaviors employees are expected to exhibit and the results they are expected to achieve (Pulakos, 2004). An accurate and up-to-date job description will provide employees with a guideline on what is expected of them during their course of employment. This description should cover the general areas of knowledge and the skills needed to be successful in the job.

Behaviours refer to what is expected of the employee based on key competencies (Pu-lakos, 2004). Managers are responsible for discussing behaviours and work outcomes in performance reviews to ensure the employee is on the right track. Behaviour standards are a strategic part of the job, as they directly relate to how the job is done. The results expected of the employee should be tied directly to the organization’s goals. Development goals should be set to improve employee performance or set new goals. Performance expectations help in communicating about performance and the basis for reviewing employee performance. Managers and employees should set clear expectations about the results that must be achieved and the means to achieve them (Performance management: Concepts & definitions).

Finalizing Performance Expectations

It is important that all performance expectations (results and behaviours) are clearly communicated and put into writing, as this reduces ambiguity among management and employees. Putting these into writing will also ensure the performance objectives are clearly understood by everyone.

Performance expectations should be verifiable. Managers and employees should identify how and where evidence about the employee’s performance will be gathered.

To verify performance, employers can assess the following:

  • Specific work products (the outcomes of work being produced).
  • Reports and records, such as attendance, safety, inventory, and financial records.
  • Checklists that can be completed by a supervisor that list criteria that are needed to meet expectations.
  • Direct observation
  • Rating scales for different levels of performance (e.g. behaviorally anchored rating scales).
  • Constructive comments received about the employee’s work from others or observers (Performance management: Concepts & definitions).

Creating Development Goals

It is vitally important that managers and employees set development goals in order for the employee to work towards improving their skillset and performance. Goals must be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound). Development can include things such as on-the-job training, cross-training and workshops. It is important that employee goals align with the organization’s goals and strategies. Managers should remember to revisit these goals when they are conducting performance reviews.

Guidelines for Establishing Effective Performance Goals:

  • Goals must clearly define the end results to be accomplished.
  • To the extent possible, goals should have a direct and obvious link to organizational success factors or goals.
  • Goals should be difficult, but achievable, to motivate performance.
  • Goals should be set in no more than three areas – attempting to achieve too many different goals at once will impede success.

(Pulakos, 2004)



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People Learning and Development Copyright © by Manpreet Binning; Tanjit Rai; and Jolene Neufeld is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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