I’m a big believer in having objectives and goals. I’m pretty sure its a Gen X thing. They can be something of a challenge in a business environment there’s always a lot happening and sometimes Departmental objectives can be based on business objectives that are not always visible.
I had a boss once who would let June roll around before we finalised our annual objectives. That was great as a junior manager with a bonus dependent on objective achievement, I could always add one Objective from the Jan-Jun period that was complete and another that was half done, but it did feel like cheating.
So my team today works with me to make sure we have our objectives set by the end of Jan and we have an excellent HR department that works with us to get this process done.
Now the problem with this process is making sure we get something meaningful as a mid term review. Most of the time we set our objectives and then dont touch them until a week before they are due, so my aim this year is to make sure we run through them while theres still time to make changes. I recall one fellow after his mid term review proceeding to ditch the rest of his work to try and show that he’d hit the requirements on his list. Dropping a client install for the sake of an administrative inventory project. Way to keep the boss on side. I actually spent a lot of time thinking I should have done more with this guy until a long time after I stopped working with him, I realised he was pretty much not interested in anyone’s help.
Since those days I’ve moved on to ensure that whether HR is chasing me for it or not that I do a mid term review and agree with staff on timeframes for what is on their list. I’m keen to try and do something proactive to help develop the team. The plan is to ask each of the team to jump on seek.com.au and find the job that they want in the next 2 years. Ideally something that sums up what they would like to be doing for us. The goal is then to look at the elements of the job and figure what they need to do to be qualified for that job if it comes up. The second stage will be to do the same thing with the job they want in 10 years. I’m planning to do this exercise with my team leaders and let them try the same thing with their staff. The plan is to empower everyone to talk about what they would like to do short and long term and bring it back to something practical. I’m also hoping that I am going to learn at least 1 new thing about everybody that I didn’t know before.
I’m hoping its going to be a positive experience for everyone. Lets see how it goes.