It’s the beginning of the year and many people want to put their best foot forward in the various parts of their lives. From health, relationships and careers. Sometimes, however, it may be difficult to succeed at work due to unrealistic performance goals that you’ve set out. According to Forbes: “Having too much work has become the new normal. With the economy still volatile and employment opportunities still tight, the perfect environment exists for overwork.”
When you are feeling too overwhelmed with the amount of work set out for you, it can be very easy to shut down and feel trapped and unproductive, however, there are some benefits of setting Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).
According to Nomathemba Mxenge, a life and executive coach based in Midrand, there are some benefits of KPI’s.
” It is a measure of delivery it is a measure of how you have performed and how you will be rewarded accordingly for your performance,” she explains.
However, if the KPI’s are not set properly, they can have negative effects and become disastrous. Particularly if the person who has been assigned the indicators doesn’t have autonomy or flexibility to achieve the goals signed to them.
Instead of motivating the team to produce excellent work unrealistically, high standards can result in people feeling as though they can’t meet their targets, says Mxenge: “It then creates an environment where the employees are disgruntled,” she says.
Mxenge adds that unrealistic KPI’s can also drive the wrong type of behaviour in the company, particularly if there are incentives tied to them.
“People might cut corners, people might do things that are unethical. It might create an environment that is competitive and not collaborative amongst peers,” she says.
There are ways to deal with unrealistic performance goals without resorting to criminal and unethical behaviour or completely giving up and becoming disgruntled.
Forbes suggests one of the other things to do is to prioritise things like the emergency room in a hospital.
“Get to know the stakeholders behind all of your projects and prioritize by proximity to senior management and company goals. Organize your activities not just by absolute deadlines, but also by the impact on the powerful, the influential and the complainers,” it suggests.
Mxenge suggests that you have a conversation first with your manager about the feasibility of meeting the targets. Sometimes, it is not even the targets that are too high but things have changed.
“This is the time to actually say I’m actually struggling, this is the planning that I need and these are the resources I need to deliver,”
Setting personal goals is also another way of helping you meet seemingly unrealistic standards. It is important to have a look at how proficient you are at managing your time. Mxenge says many people struggle to plan their day, let alone their weeks or months.
Identifying shortage of skills is also key in helping you achieve goals. If you feel as if though you are lacking a certain qualification, Mxenge suggests you look into potentially upskilling yourself. Another thing you can do is ensure that you have the self-confidence to undertake challenging tasks, she adds.
According to Mxenge, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance:” You will need to ask yourself how to solicit support, whether it is from your manager or a mentor, from a coach or from a peer,” she ends.
Additional reporting: Forbes