In many companies December and January are the months in which employees have discussions with their line managers, to review their year’s performance and get their final score. This is already a very emotional and important moment, followed immediately by another one: setting the objectives for the year to come.
For some employees, to sit in front of a blank page and think about the future can be a daunting task. How can you formulate your objectives? Which ones will your colleagues have? Will you be able to make them specific and measurable enough?
Not very easy, is it? Trust me, I have been there, and I feel for you. It can be a very intimidating job, however there are a few things you can do improve the overall process.
• First of all, within the current global environment, the pace at which things evolve and the markets and political uncertainty there are many unexpected issues. It is totally fine to acknowledge that setting specific and measurable objectives for 1 or 2 years from now can be very difficult. For this reason, it is essential that you have regular discussions with your line manager as the year progresses to revise your goals as you go forward. This should give you some peace of mind and help you to move on to the next phase.
Secondly, before you jump into writing your business objectives, step back for a moment and reflect on the bigger picture. Look back at your previous objectives of the previous year and ask yourself a series of questions:
• What did I learn?
• Which objectives were not met? Why?
• Which ones were more energy draining?
• When did I feel more excited?
• What help did I need, but did not receive? Why not?
Finding answers to these questions will raise your awareness and allow you to better prepare for the coming year.
Thirdly, you want to think strategically about aspects such as your company’s business priorities, what the top challenges are for your position, what key functions your colleagues are working on and what the external landscape looks like. Once you have determined these inputs, it is time to answer some of the following questions:
And lastly, as a final check, mentally project yourself forward to a year from now when you have your performance review discussion.
• How do you imagine that conversation to be?
• Will your manager give you the same feedback as the previous year?
• How will you feel about what you have achieved -- or maybe missed?
If you are feeling positive about all these points, I would say that you have a pretty good first draft to submit. Remember, you can always adapt it along the way.
By Davide Costella,
Contact Davide Costella or any of our coaches in Switzerland for a free introductory session
Self-Help Book / Personal Development