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Setting Work Objectives

What are Work Objectives?

Work Objectives describe the results expected from employees during the coming work year, season, or term.  Typically objectives relate to budgets, deadlines, accuracy, quality and speed, and they answer these questions:

  • WHAT – exactly what should the employee be trying to do?  What quality standard needs to be achieved?
  • HOW – How will he/she achieve this?
  • WHEN – By when, or how quickly?

Work Objectives are based on the position level and are not a job description or a work plan.

Why are they important?

Well written objectives allow employees to understand what is expected of them from the beginning of the assessment period.  They enable supervisors to readily observe, document and coach employees on an ongoing basis.

They also provide an employee with a means of self-measuring their performance.

Tips on developing effective Work Objectives

Work Objectives should be developed using the SMART methodology:



Single result that is precise and observable



Do we have the means to know when it has been achieved



Realistic and achievable.  Should challenge the employee but is not extreme



Consistent with the employees role in the workplace



There is a time limit associated with completion


“Complete XXX safety inspections by May 1st.”

“Negotiate with XXX to get our prices reduced by at least XX% by June 1st.”

“Reduce response time for XXX by XXX% by the end of the year.”