Goals to Performance Review: Connecting the dots

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

May 06

Here is a truth: From the time your goals are given and agreed on until your performance review, you will be doing different work than your goals. In addition, your goals most likely will not have changed.

Yet, when it comes to the performance review, your manager will most likely evaluate you based on your original goals.

That’s a potential problem.

If you are rated on your original goals but are doing work not related to your goals, the chance of rating high is not good. You won’t get credit for the work you are doing because managers need to evaluate against the written, agreed on, goals. And the time you spent away from your goals means you probably didn’t make the goal or knock it out of the park like you could have.

Aligning goals to the current work is critical

Goals are designed as the highest value work we are doing, both personally and professionally. If we believe our goals are the most important stuff to be working, then working on anything else takes us away from what we want to accomplish.

This is obvious, of course. But the truth is, we sway to the urgent, work as it shows up, or the shiny thing clicking along the Internet. Yes, I raise my hand on those too!

Yet, we have to look back and evaluate our progress to our goals. If the goals are not matching the work, then either the work needs to change or the goals need to change to reflect current reality.

Communication with management is necessary

Without being pushy, when presented with work that is not part of your goal, you should question why you should be working on the task. Question any tasks or new projects that keep you from your goals.

It is easy to take care of the one thing, then the next thing, then the next thing. When you get to the end of the week you find that you spent three of the five days working on stuff not related to your goals – if you track your work.

It is difficult to make your goals when you only spend 2/5 of your time on them.

Now, we know business changes quickly. The key is to ensure that your goals change with the business. When your performance review is done your goals will then match your work.

How many of your goals at the beginning of your review period matched up when it came time for the performance review?

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.