Total Recall: Objective Setting

Powerful Performance Objectives for Overnight Results

Here's how to design a powerful performance objective:

First, identify the ‘can’t be guaranteed’ result you/they/others will want to see more or less of – here’s how:

1 - Complete this sentence: “When they are (or will be) doing X (activity/part of role)…..I love it when….because I hate it when…..”

2 - Then: Which is easiest to roughly count – what you see and hear that you love or what you hate?

3 - You have now identified the can’t be guaranteed result you/they will be measuring and looking for an increase or reduction in: ‘Number of……’

Example: "When they are running projects I like it when its smooth & hate surprises we could have anticipated and headed off earlier!" Considering these two things, it's easier to count and measure the surprises so I will be looking for a reduction in the number of unnecessary surprises (which will therefore be the 'can't be guaranteed' result)

5-Step Objective Setting

  • Step One: Link to a bigger goal/target or just start with why the objective: ‘To Help’
  • Two: Follow with a verb: ‘increase, reduce, improve’ etc
  • Three: Insert the can’t be guaranteed result’ (identified above) that you/we are looking for an increase or decrease in
  • Four: Follow with ‘ballpark numbers’ e.g. ‘by 50% from the current 20-30 each day’
  • Five: End with a ‘by when’ if a one-off event or the date we should be at the ‘new normal’ habitfor routine results that need maintaining
  • Capture on objectives template and email over after 121/regular agenda point in next 121 until at the ‘new normal’!

Example: To help drive successful project delivery, reduce the number of 'unnecessary surprises' we agree could have been anticipated/headed off earlier to no more than one or two across the six month project.

Example: To help maximise service, the stakeholder survey should achieve average of 4/5 score post project rollout. To help maximise service, the stakeholder survey should achieve average of 4/5 score post project rollout.

Example: To help you hit the new clients target, achieve X number of contacts requesting information after the next networking event.

Three reasons to agree an objective (consider monthly for each person - do any apply?)

  1. Concerning gap in the day job (almost becoming an underperformance issue)
  2. A day job priority worthy or regular 12 discussion because it won’t necessarily be easy for the individual to achieve
  3. A beyond the day job, stretch target (what’s in it for the individual to do this?)

You should also have received the Total Recall document with the key slides and additional tips to help you further.