Most of us have,
one time or another, experienced the frustration and uncertainty
of not knowing what is expected of you in the work situation, or
not knowing how you are doing - having phantom managers who you
rarely ever saw, or who were scared or incompetent to give you the
necessary direction and feedback.
There is a saying
that "if you don't know where you are going, then any road
will take you there".
that finds itself on this road is doomed - local and international
competition will soon take care of that.
it is the job of top management to show the right way, they can
not do it all by themselves - it will have to be a team effort behind
which all employees throw their combined weight.
This means clarity
of vision and purpose from top to bottom so that everybody gets
to know the identified road, and what their part in it should be.
is supported by the concept of cascading ('deploying') goals and
objectives from top to bottom throughout an organisation.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
should start with Strategic Planning by the top management team
who should come up with a Corporate Strategic Business Plan for
the year, containing, inter alia, the corporate vision, mission,
values, goals and strategies for the short to long term. In turn,
this should be followed by similar strategic and operational planning
sessions at the lower unit levels (e.g. division, department, section),
each lower level using the higher level Business Plans as input
into their own process. Objectives for individual employees are
being derived from the appropriate Business Plan of the unit of
which they are members. Planning, therefore, should take place "top-down".
So, by each
employee achieving his own objectives, the corporate vision and
goals will eventually be achieved, "bottom-up".
supports the notion that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail -
but it also demonstrates how top-down goals and objectives are operationalised
into practical and achievable individual employee objectives, right
down to the lowest level in the organisation.
Let's look in
a bit more detail how this process works:
At a Strategic
Planning Session, the strategic priorities and goals for a unit
are decided, but eventually also who should take responsibility
for what, by way of an Operational Action Plan
planning session is then followed by one-on-one performance planning
meetings between line managers and jobholders, drawing from this
Action Plan those objectives allocated to the respective jobholders.
To this then are added any further objectives the position demands.
Before the next
4 or 6-monthly formal Performance Reviews/Appraisals take place,
the unit/team should meet again to review the achievement of the
previously set Action Plan, and to renew it for the next period
Management, but falls outside the scope of this guide, so let's
focus on Performance Management in detail.
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