4 minute read – Posted by – October 21, 2020

How should goals be incorporated into performance reviews?

Ask the Expert with Ashleigh Myerscough — Episode 17

Ashleigh Myerscough, Senior Performance Coach at 7Geese, answers your questions about performance management. 

This is a really great question and one that can have a lengthy answer. For us here at 7Geese, it always starts with the purpose of the review. 

Every performance review should incorporate a review of the goals that were set for that time period. What you do with that information depends on the purpose of the review. 

Different goals for different individuals

For example, if the performance review has a learning and development focus, then we would incorporate goals as a medium for reflection. How they were or were not accomplished and the lessons learned, so we can then inform our learning and development plans for the next three to six months. 

Whether you are looking at OKRs, stretch goals, or SMART goals, the key is to have input from the team member on the goal and how they are going to work toward achieving it. Having your team members reflect on the goals they previously set and setting new ones will engage them in their own success. 

Reviews for compensation or promotion

If the purpose of the performance review is to inform compensation, promotion, talent management and workforce planning, then we incorporate goals a little differently. We of course still want to ensure we are reviewing the goals set, how they were or were not accomplished, and what lessons our team member took away. 

Then we use all that data to inform our compensation decisions, based on the compensation philosophy of the company. Notice that I said inform compensation decisions. A goal’s success can be influenced by factors, some internal and some external. 

Compensate for effort, not results

We can think about it this way. We can have a team member who sets a goal they know they can achieve without a lot of effort. They achieved their goal but how much value did it add to that team member and the company. Should they be compensated for achieving a goal that was really a measure of status quo rather than a reach?  

On the opposite side of the coin we could have a team member who set a goal that was way too challenging or had external factors that were a barrier to the goals success. If they did not meet their goal, but the value they added in pursuit of achieving that goal was very high, we should compensate for their effort, not just their result. 

Always incorporate goals in the review process

All told, every performance review should incorporate goals. What type of goal, how they were achieved, and the factors involved in the success of achieving those goals will differ based on the purpose of the Performance Review. 
To learn more or chat with one of us about your current performance reviews and see how we conduct reviews here at 7Geese using 7Geese, reach out for a tour.

Ashleigh Myerscough

Senior Performance Coach at 7Geese