Performance Objectives and Personal Development


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The purpose of performance objectives is to document mutually agreed upon expectations of performance in key areas of responsibility for a set period of time. They are a conscious agreement, allowing everyone to be clear about what the priorities are for a particular period.

Objectives are most beneficial when they follow a SMART format, that is:

Specific
Measurable
Action Oriented
Realistic
Time-bound

It is helpful for agreement to be reached in as much specificity as possible and on how results will be measured. The objective may describe the kinds of action that will be taken in its achievement, although care should be given to reserve as much freedom and personal initiative as possible for the person delivering the objective. This care allows the focus to be on results while leaving the method of delivery to the judgment and discernment of the responsible person. Of course the agreed upon objective must be realistic, and dates for its final achievement and progress points along the way should be considered as well.

All personnel need regular performance feedback so that continuing personal and professional development can be supported and encouraged by the school. Employees should receive feedback at routine intervals, and the evaluation should be conducted in the light of performance against pre-determined priorities or objectives as described above. Employees should receive clear messages about their perceived strengths and contributions. Areas of weakness should be identified and the employee and the school should work together to craft a development plan that addresses these developmental needs. Development plans are most effective when they clearly spell out the actions the employee is expected to take on her own (self-development) and what actions the school will take to support that development.


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