Many are unaware that managers fear regular performance review discussions as much as their employees do. Why? Because the relationship between good performance, definition of limits and definition of objectives, is not always clear and adequately developed.

Several organizations have adopted the concept of “line-of-sight” objectives. That is a process, in which each employee should make their goals converge to the general ones of the organization. Each employee should indicate, in front of a general objective, which actions are appropriate to jointly pursue personal and general objectives, in any case the limits and boundaries within which to act should be outlined by the employee and manager.

It seems trivial, but an adequate “job description” is fundamental in defining realistic objectives and action limits, and also outlines the expectations of the role. Equally important is open and thoughtful communication between manager and employee. Add that detail once both of you agree. A “working” job description should be a longer and regularly updated document as part of the goal setting process.
Obviously, words must become actions, which means that if the employee requires certain investments (for example in equipment or personnel) to achieve a certain goal, they must be evaluated and agreed (or rejected).

The objective taken into consideration must have specific characteristics that must be shared, for example:

-What is the timeframe?
-What, exactly, does “develop and qualify” mean in this context?
-Does the employee have access to the needed market knowledge and technical knowledge? If not, where does that knowledge come from and does the employee have the right authority to access it? If not, what support do they need and from whom?
-What is the role of the manager in employee’s success?

Sometimes we may find that the path outlined is not so linear, in which case limits, range and perhaps a change of goal will probably need to be re-discussed. This kind of  performance management process  is neither easy nor fast. However, it can be very motivating for an employee (and therefore have great performance) to see a direct path to success knowing that they have the authority and support they need. This methodology obviously requires an open communication and collaboration between manager and employee. If this convergence of intent is achieved, success is assured.
If you want learn more about this topic we suggest this article of Lab Manager.