I am sure many of your have found yourself getting ready to meet with your manager at the end of the year to review your yearly performance goals and set new ones for the coming year. As you are reviewing your SMART goals from the previous year, you start to gain insights into your new goals for the year ahead. However, you notice that as the year progressed and the day-to-day business needs were occurring, what seemed like achievable goals slowly started to move and shift, and what you intended to accomplish did not quite happen. Now you need to assess your performance achievements from the previous year (and sometimes this is a truly creative exercise!) and establish new performance goals for the year ahead.
In many organizations this is often the case. SMART performance goals are set at the start of the year, and as the year progresses, they are forgotten, or pushed to the side as organizational objectives shift and people are caught up in their day-to-day activities.
One of the hallmarks of a high performer is their ability to stay focused and not become distracted by what is happening around them. They know what needs to be accomplished, and when performance conditions change, they adjust and stay on track towards achieving their performance goals.
Below are a few tips on how you can stay focused when working towards your yearly performance goals.
Review your goals often
If you have created a formal performance document (which I hope you have) with yearly goals and objectives, start to review this document weekly. Outline what action steps you need to take that week in order to accomplish your goals.
If things are really busy at work, and you seem to be pulled in all different directions during the day, but you are still committed to achieving your goals, wake up a little earlier each morning and before you get to the office, write out your yearly goals on a piece of paper. If you do this for 30 days, you will embed the goals deep into your mind and throughout the day you will naturally start accomplishing the tasks that are directly related to achieving these goals.
Meet with your manager
Set up weekly meetings with your manager to review what you have accomplished and discuss any challenges that need addressing in order for you to achieve your performance goals. If your manager is too busy to meet with you every week, find a co-worker who you can meet with. Share your accomplishments and challenges with each other and then work together to come up with action items that you will hold each other accountable for.
In addition, remember to record all your weekly accomplishments. This will help you create that year-end performance review document, and give you motivation towards achieving your larger yearly goals.
Adjust your goals
Don’t be afraid to adjust your yearly goals during the year. In our modern-day business world, your client’s needs often change, and this influences the work you are performing. By tracking what you have accomplished you may start to notice a trend towards achieving other organizational objectives. Your 6-month review is a great place to highlight some of your unforeseen yearly accomplishments.
These are just a few actions you can take towards accomplishing your yearly performance goals. Performing in today’s world requires creativity and nimbleness as environments are constantly changing. Staying focused and flexible are key factors in reaching your yearly performance goals.
Turn Your Knowledge into Action
1) Determine a way people and teams in your organization can consistently achieve their performance goals.
2) Take one action this week to ensure you are staying focused and accomplishing your yearly performance goals.
All the best in achieving your highest performance.