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Setting Targets for Staff

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 15 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Setting Targets For Staff

A manager should be ambitious and aim high when setting targets for staff. Challenging yet achievable goals are essential to keep employees motivated to improve performance and maintain high standards.

Look at the current levels of performance and identify ways of improving the skills and knowledge of staff. A manager has to ensure any targets set are in line with the policy and goals of the company as a whole, and try to be consistent in their expectations of other people.

Consider the key areas of a team member’s job and then draw up suitable targets for each of those areas. Of course, a manager has to be able to monitor and measure an employee’s progress and performance if it is to be a worthwhile exercise. Bear this in mind when setting the goals and ensure the necessary information will be accessible.

Divide Tasks Evenly

When setting targets for the whole team, think about the contribution each team member must make and how these contributions can be measured. Try to divide the task evenly, so that if one person misses the target but everyone else achieves it, there is a good chance that the team will achieve its aim.

Management should not look at what is being achieved now when setting standards, but focus on what would be ideal. Learn more about the level of competency needed to do jobs successfully by talking to people with experience in the roles; either staff who have done the same work effectively or outside experts in the field. Rather than focus on the people currently doing the jobs, concentrate on the jobs themselves and the desired results.

A good manager will prepare team members for impending change before it occurs. Realise when the requirements of an employee’s role are changing and plan accordingly. If a role is altered, additional skills may be needed. Check if the team member has already demonstrated those skills sufficiently, or if there are any areas where the employee is lacking skills.

Improve Skills and Knowledge

When a manager identifies a need to improve the skills and knowledge of staff, they should plan suitable training and a timescale for its completion. Check that there is a budget in place to fund the training and that the department will be able to release the team member from normal duties during the training period.

By planning ahead, management should be able to deliver results even through a period of transition. This is because team members will not be disrupted by the change and so will be able to maintain consistent performance.

Don’t stay quiet about team members who meet targets. Instead, offer rewards to recognise such achievements, as this can motivate others to strive for even greater success in the future. Remember too that rewards do not need to take the form of big financial prizes. It is part of a manager’s role to make employees feel important and appreciated. A simple “thank you” is a reward of sorts, so take every opportunity to praise staff.

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