Performance goals are strategic objectives that an organization’s leadership team has established to outline expected outcomes and guide employee efforts. Performance goals will vary from one organization to the next and will be very specific to each organization’s focus.
By creating performance goals, organizations will benefit from the following: guided employee efforts, defined performance standards, incentivized employees, and accountability for the company’s activities and existence. Based upon how a supervisor might use his/her ability and authority, some might achieve their goals more effectively than others.
As a supervisor, you are trying to persuade your people to follow your lead. This is paramount to achieving your 2022 performance goals. To lead the necessary change for achieving performance goals, supervisors must be aware of and utilize the five basic strategies below.
1) Have Rapport With Employees
What exactly is rapport? Rapport is centered around building relationships with your employees. How well do you know them? And equally important, how well do they know you? Out of all the leadership traits assessed, rapport is the trait most identified as an area of needed development. Do you routinely interact and engage with employees solely to get to know them? Do you know each one of your employees individually and what is important to them? Do you know what hobbies or special interests your employees have? As a supervisor, you should.
By building rapport and getting to know your employees, you are promoting open communication, developing trust, and fostering higher engagement levels. Understanding your team and building rapport with everyone is vital to achieving not only your success as a supervisor but also the organization's performance goals.
For some supervisors, building rapport is innate. They are by nature warm and inviting. They are genuinely interested in getting to know their employees. But for others, this ability is learned. With open communication and positive experiences, building rapport can be developed. As a supervisor, once you build that rapport with your team, you want to work hard to maintain open and honest conversations. You are a trusted advisor to your team members.
2) Have Credibility
Why is having credibility so important as a supervisor? Your employees should listen to you and do what you tell them to do solely because you are the boss, right? Wrong! When you don't have credibility among your employees, you lose their trust, and your effectiveness as a leader declines. Morale and productivity will also decrease when your employees don’t trust you or don’t feel you’re credible. Below are a few suggestions that help build a supervisor’s credibility among employees.
- Be consistent and fair
- Follow your own rules
- Be honest and open
- Be true to your word
- Work just as hard as everyone else
A credible supervisor is a dependable leader. You are a source of reliable information for your team. Supervisors who can develop and cultivate credibility amongst their employees will earn respect and trust. Your team will “go to war” for a supervisor they trust; in turn, you can achieve your 2022 performance goals much more effectively.
3) Communicate Effectively
Communicating effectively is key to ensuring that your performance goals are met. Communication is vital to success in the workplace. As a supervisor, you are the connection between top leadership and your employees. It is your responsibility to ensure the performance goals are realized through the employees’ work efforts and accomplishments. Sounds easy, right?
Communicating effectively is harder than one might expect. As a supervisor, your choice of words, your tone, and your body language will influence the quality of communication. Whether using verbal or written communication, make sure you consider the recipient and ask yourself how your communication will be received. Different words might be needed to convey the same message. Your goal is to ensure that the listener hears what you are saying and also fully understands what that directly means for them. Effective communication is critically important in all that we do, but to achieve your 2022 performance goals it is imperative.
4) Involve and Include Employees
Supervisors cannot achieve performance goals alone; they need to involve and include their employees. Whenever possible, include employees in the planning stage of a project. Ask for their input. This will not only motivate them to do more, but it also gives them a purpose. When employees feel that they are a needed part of the team and the team’s vision, they will work harder and more effectively than those who don’t understand how they fit in the big picture.
If you’re involving your team members in more projects, it stands to reason that you should also be very transparent with them. Don’t sugar-coat anything, and don’t have any surprises “spring up” that will derail your performance goals. Being an honest and credible supervisor will drive your team further toward your goals. Remember to keep your employees involved and invested in the organization; almost everyone is more productive when they are treated as if their work and their feedback are critical to the organization’s success.
5) Recognize and Show Value for Things Done Well
One of the biggest benefits of employee recognition is an increase in productivity and engagement. Performance goals would likely be driven by both attributes. Therefore, if you can successfully figure out how to recognize and show value for things done well, you will be on a road to success in achieving your performance goals.
One of the simplest ways a supervisor can do this is by verbal praise. Some other ideas might include team lunches, gift cards, cash, parties, etc. People like to know that you recognize their work and that you appreciate their efforts. It’s also important that as a supervisor you encourage peer-to-peer recognition. Supervisors can’t be everywhere all the time so creating a platform for peer recognition allows you the opportunity to learn about achievements you might have otherwise not been privy to. By showing your employees how valued they are and providing praise for a job well done, you will motivate your employees to keep up the good work.
Supervisors need to communicate performance goals to their employees so that they both engage the employee and help achieve the organization's desired outcome. When the whole team understands the vision, it allows them to properly work toward fulfilling that goal.
On a final note, employees who have a good rapport and open communication with trusted supervisors will help achieve your 2022 performance goals because they see themselves as integral and valued individuals.