The Review: Accountability and Objectives

Image credit:

Image credit:

Everyone likes to know where they stand in life, whether at work, in relationships, or in that 10K she ran last weekend. (Though, as a midpacker, I can fairly easily find my name on the list without knowing my bib number.)

On the work front, I set A&O sessions.

In accountability and objectives meetings, I sit down one-on-one with each direct report to outline his objectives for the quarter ahead and review how he performed against the objectives set three months before. Although I guide the goal-setting process to ensure it aligns with company needs, I let the employee direct the conversation. I want to ensure that the objectives we determine fit his desired career progression.

Full-time staff members establish approximately ten objectives for each three-month period. Objectives may focus on company projects, improvement in trouble areas, and continuing education efforts. If one objective requires extensive effort, we may set fewer than ten.

When holding him accountable to the past quarter’s objectives, we celebrate the accomplishments and discuss the reasons for any misses.

Sound time consuming?

No question: A&O meetings take more time than single annual reviews. However, providing formal feedback more than once a year

  • helps keep everyone on course;

  • shows team members improvement, accomplishments, and issues more clearly;

  • makes end-of-year reviews easier and less of a surprise for both parties; and

  • gives leadership more direct feedback more often from the team.

If we wait until the end of a twelve-month period to know how each other think and feel, we miss opportunities to improve more quickly.

How do you or your employers do reviews? What do you like or dislike about the process?