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Expectations & Goals

It is your responsibility to have conversations with your manager/supervisor to discuss expectations and develop mutually agreeable goals that support and enhance your performance. This process will help you create a “road map” to chart the course for the Performance Excellence Process, PEP.

 
What are Expectations?  
 
Performance expectations provide a framework of how you should perform your job function(s). You and your manager/supervisor should have continuous dialogue about key behaviors and characteristics that you should demonstrate in the work environment based on your respective job title and functions. Expectations should be clear, succinct and associated with performing outlined tasks and job functions.
 
What is a Goal?
 
Much has been written about goal setting. Yet, many people comment that they are not satisfied with their performance in achieving those goals.
 
To begin, let's be sure we have a clear definition of what constitutes a goal. There have been many definitions of a goal; for these purposes a goal is as follows:

A written statement that clearly describes certain actions or tasks with a measurable end result to be accomplished by a specific date.
 
To elaborate on this definition, a goal must be written. If it is not written, it is merely an idea with no power, conviction or motivation behind it. It will lack energy and purpose. A written goal will allow you to remind yourself and others exactly what has to be done. Evaluating this written goal on a regular basis will help provide the motivation to achieve the goal. Making your goals public will also increase your commitment to a goal.
 
A goal will clearly describe certain actions or tasks. A goal that is clearly described will eliminate misunderstandings between you, your colleagues, your staff and your boss. Clearly described goals will include action verbs such as create, design, improve, organize, purchase, etc.
 
Goals must have a measurable result and clearly defined outcome state. A measurable goal is quantifiable. It is described in such a way that the actual result cannot be disputed. If you cannot measure something, chances are you cannot effectively manage it or achieve it because you may never know if you have reached it.

Goals must have a timeframe for completion. A goal statement must identify a specific date by which the actions or tasks are to be completed. Without some form of a deadline or due date, there may be no sense of urgency for the completion of those actions or tasks.
 
What are the Benefits of Setting Goals?
 
Goals help you:
  • Establish direction for your task and/or projects
  • Clarify expectations
  • Identify the results of efforts
  • Achieve higher levels of performance
  • Correct performance deficiencies
  • Take pride and satisfaction in your achievements
 
Setting SMART Goals
 
When setting goals, use clear and concise language that describes specific outcomes. Avoid verbs that are difficult to measure and use verbs that clearly define action.

At FIU, we have defined performance as being a combination of observable behaviors and goal attainment. You can be successful by discussing and understanding the FIU Values and Core Competencies, clarifying your expectations and working with your manager to establish SMART goals that clearly define desired outcomes for tasks and projects.

Outline goals using the SMART technique, a standard that leaves no doubt whether a goal can be or has been accomplished. 

For a goal to be SMART, it must be:
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Agreed-upon
  • Results-focused
  • Time-bound
Specific. Specific standards are detailed and focused. Everyone knows exactly what is expected. Typically, action verbs describe the activity to be performed. Ex: “Increase productivity” is too general because it does not tell what the employee should be doing. “Increase the number of computers repaired in an eight-hour shift” does tell the employee what to do.

Measurable. Measurable standards should be quantified so it is clear when a goal has been reached. Ex: “Try harder” cannot be measured, while “decrease turnaround time by five percent” can be measured very precisely.

Agreed-upon. All parties involved must mutually agree upon a goal. This ensures that goals are achievable. There must be agreement that the goal is worth pursuing and will justify their efforts. Goals that are not agreed-upon are usually not achieved. This can reduce motivation. Ex: You may want to “increase the number of computers repaired in an eight-hour shift from 2 to 5” and your manager might want to “increase the number of computers repaired in an eight-hour shift from 2 to 3”, but you may agree to “increase the number of computers repaired in an eight-hour shift from 2 to 4”. 

Results-focused. Results-focused standards measure outcomes, not activities. Results can be outputs of the work, product, or accomplishments. Ex: “Repair computer systems” is an activity. “Produce functioning computer systems” is a result.

Time-bound. Time-bound standards have specific priority dates. It is clear when a goal should be accomplished. Ex: "Publish the computer system repair log report by the fifteenth of every month.” It is very important that completion dates are agreed-upon by all parties involved.
 
Documenting Expectations and Goals
 
After you and your supervisor have a clear understanding of expectations and have SMART goals to satisfy these expectations, you should document the performance expectations and track progress of the goals . You will be able to:
  • Document the expectations and goals
  • Give each goal a description and unique short name
  • Assign each goal a due date
  • Assign each goal to a specific category
  • Identify how the goal will be measured
  • Set reminder dates to review and update goals

 

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